I always thought, I want my child to be different. I want him to be comfortable not following the crowd and staying true to his 'own way'!! And then.... well, then I became a mother who enrolled her son in group activities...
"The other kids have the listening ears on"
"You're supposed to be listening to the teacher"
"Please sit still like all the other kids"
"Please go join the group and participate"
"Follow the group please"
I get tired of hearing my own voice. ugh..
And then I feel the sideways glances of other parents as they take another step away. Perhaps I'm far more disruptive to the class than he is. I hear my voice again. "Yep. It's me. I'm the disruptive one. But why is he not participating?!!"
Being an uptight over-analyzing adoptive momma (this is a very select group of individuals- ok- individual- I maybe the only one), I look at these things under the microscope and dissect all various possibilities as to "why he is doing this?!?!"
- Is he just manipulating the kids and adults for more attention? (radish?)
- Is it because I'm still his favorite toy, and he's attempting to manipulate me to engage him?(darned institutional learned behavior)
- Is it because this is still over his head developmentally? (intervention intervention!!)
- OK there are 2 & 3 year olds getting this stuff and paying attention!?!?! (intervention!! intervention!!)
- Maybe his estimated age really is off? Maybe he's younger? (should we bone scan?)
- His height would put him in the 80%ile of US charts... he's not likely younger...
- Maybe he just doesn't like this stuff? It's water, mud and frogs and worms! What's a kid not to like!?!? Except that I won't let him eat any of it (another post for another day)
- Maybe, just maybe, he is staying true to his nature. Maybe he is confident being away from the group? Maybe he is still learning? What are my comments doing to that spirit??!! ouch
I still want him to be independent. I still want the confident in his own independent spirit child to grow into a confident spirited man. So why oh why does my mouth attempt to squash that spirit and attempt to make him conform? Conformity. YUCK!! I have so much to learn from Momma's who can see and spot the joy and inner spirit of their child and honor it! Encourage it!
The truth is. It is all of those things. It is learned behavior from institutional living. It is attachment disordered behavior. It is his spirit and just him! Because- HE is all of those things. He is doing EXACTLY what he should be doing and he is learning! He is Engaged! It's Momma who is still behind on learning about her own child and her own weaknesses and tendencies. Label that.