More thoughts on parenting the introverted child

Last week I wrote a post about Mikail's Speech and Language Therapy Play Group and I have LOVED the comments that were left either here on the blog, via email, text and facebook. So much encouragement and love. Thank you! Isn't it great to know that we aren't on this 'parenting boat' alone? This is what it should be about...sharing honestly and supporting and encouraging each other.

One thing I have been thinking a lot about is that this Play Group Mikail is a part of is a Speech and Language Therapy group. The focus is not socialization. The focus is Speech and Language development. THAT has been of comfort to me.

The second thing I have been thinking about is that I wrote the words "I am disappointed" in that post. I came to realize that I am not disappointed in Mikail. It's not him that I was disappointed in. It's ME that I was disappointed in. It's as though I should have done something better something different to help him be more of a social little guy. It's not his fault. It's mine. Maybe I should take him out into social situations more. Maybe he should go to daycare or a play group. Maybe I haven't given him the opportunities I need to to help him success socially. I have been mulling that over in my mind these past few days and last night, when I received the most awesome little email from a long time friend, I was reminded that I need not be disappointed. Not in Mikail and not in myself. This friend shared an article with me that really helped me to remember why it is that we have chosen that I stay home with the kids during the early years before they start school. Psychologist Dr. Gordon Neufeld is quoted a lot in the article, and I do have some issues with some of his thoughts on education etc, but that is a different discussion. One portion of the article really spoke to me and reminded me that the reason I am home with Mikail and Olivia is to establish strong and deep emotional connections so that when the time comes for them to go out into the world, they will have a strong understanding of who they are and have the capacity to build healthy relationships with those around them :

For Dr. Neufeld, the capacity for healthy relationships is meant to unfold in the first six years of life. “It’s a very basic agenda,” he says. “By the fifth year of life if everything is continuous and safe then emotional intimacy begins. A child gives his heart to whomever he is attached to and that is an incredibly important part….The first issue is always to establish strong, deep emotional connections with those who are raising you...." 

If you're interested in the rest of the article it can be found HERE. 

No need to be disappointed. It has been good to reflect on the true purpose of this Play Group for Mikail as well as the purpose behind why it is that I am staying home with the kids.

And guess what? Yesterday we went to church and Mikail made it through the whole hour and a half in the toddler room without us being paged. We talked about it with him constantly the day before and laid out our expectations of him and went through the run down of how we were going to be in the next room and he would be able to hear the music and would know that that is where we were. We talked about being brave and bold (not sure he understood that, but he will one day) and how there would be toys and we talked about which ones he would play with and how there would be a snack and that when we were all done we would come and get him and all go home together.  Well, we got to church and he marched right up to the Castle Room, waved goodbye and played nicely the whole time (I was able to hear him play for about 10 minutes while I was in the nursery feeding Olivia). When we came to pick him up he was too busy to go home.  Warmed my heart. 

This just showed me that it will all be okay and that Mikail is a little guy who needs to be walked through all the steps ahead of time so that he can be brave and bold.  Not too different from his Mama, who needs that too.


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