Parenting Lessons I Learnt from my Loooong (ahem) Illness
Okay! Okay! It wasn’t that long. I was bound to my bed only for the better part of January. Yet, as you can imagine, it disturbed my life at home and at work.
Just imagine you are so ill that you cannot lift your head from your pillow and your toddler/preschooler/pre-tween/or tween wants all that attention from you that was his right before the illness.
You feel incapable and sorry.
And remember the time when you finally got rid of that disabling disease and returned to normal life where you were free and healthy!
How it felt when you tried to feel that long-desired connection with your kid and they tell you, through their words or behavior that they are no more interested. They prefer the care giver who was available to them during the illness.
They prefer those helpful souls over YOU!
Yeah I know it hurts.
I have been hurt just recently, so I can tell you it hurts in the left side of out chest.
But we have to accept it.
They were hurt too. Although not because of our any of our fault. Yet they were hurt. They wanted to rely on the close connection we shared. Yet the other part of the connection was missing.
Everything is replaceable
They felt alone.
They felt rejected, the way we do right now.
We must understand that they are not rejecting us. They are only protecting their own uncertainty. They want to feel that that they will have stable relationship with the person who was taking care of them in our absence.
It’s a sad truth of life that human beings can replace relationships one with other. They can find new friends, so called siblings, aunts, and uncles.
Everything is replaceable including parents’ love.
Relationships are not Born But Made
When he was just two days young, my son assured me that he knows no one in the world but me. His eyes followed my voice. He never wanted to waver his eyes off me. And cried when I was absent for longer than an hour.
He showed me that the connection between me and him was natural. It didn’t depend on me, my behavior, my efforts, or him. It’s immortal.
But then he Grew Up.
And now most of his behavior towards me is dictated by my preceding actions. if I was angry a minute before then he is away pretending that I don’t exist. If I was happy just recently then he is showing me his new inventions or telling me stories.
Our mother-son connection has not deteriorated a bit, I promise you. But the relation we enjoy vary from day to day and mostly from hour to hour depending on the behavior I show towards him or he shows towards, well, anybody or anything.
Attention is more Important than Hugs or Kisses
So, I am here trying to gain the attention of my kid. I want to win him once again. and the kid is busy in sticking to the long absence I have already shown. I have to make good of the loss he suffered during the long era of my illness.
Then I remember Kate’s five to one rule of maintaining healthy relationships. Being a very boring person, I usually lack the activities which I can enjoy with my kids. So, all that is left with me to re-ignite my parent-child love is cuddling, kissing and tickling.
These acts were well received when my son was a toddler. But as he has grown into a young age of pre-schoolers, he often rejects these advancements, often with protests and anger.
Then I force my lazy mind into action so a new activity can be born that spark the love circuit. Most of the time silliest one of these activities works. The key is in paying enough attention to your kid to move out of your own box of limitations.
They are still your kids
Although they are showing you that your importance is decreased in their eyes and they no more care for you, don’t be deceived by what they are showing. Pay attention to what they want you to know.
They are expressing their anger. They want you to know how they felt when you deserted them (in their eyes, of course).
By making you understand them, they are trying to get you into their league. It’s a great time to assure your love.
Tell them you get the point. Show them you understand their emotions. And prove that you always stand on their side. Because you do and they want to be assured about it.
Enjoy! We get only a few years of our kids’ childhood.