The way in which I parent my two children is incredibly different. Like most parents I often wonder if I am doing the right thing for both of them. However, I generally parent our birth son instinctively, but where our adopted daughter is concerned I have to carefully consider and analyse my actions and responses to everything.
For example, when Sammy Skateboard was little if he fell over and bumped his knee I would instantly scoop him up and make a huge fuss, showering him with kisses.
We have learnt that if we do this with Winnie Whirlwind it fuels a major meltdown and also results in staged, attention seeking accidents. So a quick cuddle and kiss and a “you’re fine”, is the standard response.
Even when we are having fun we have to think about ‘how much fun we are having’. All children get over excited but, Winnie goes from 0 to 60 in two seconds and then takes several hours to calm down. The culmination, yes you’ve guessed it, is a major meltdown. So even our fun has to be controlled.
I know, in the past, I have also been guilty of giving into Sammy just for a quite life. This is just not an option for Winnie.
This may all sound a bit harsh, but the long-term repercussions of not carefully considering our reactions to Winnie and the strategies we use, are immense.
In short I have to hold back from being the parent that I yearn to be, the parent that comes naturally to me, the parent that I am to Sammy. This is incredibly difficult. I would love nothing more than to drop my guard and just be Mummy. But that isn’t what Winnie needs. She needs far more than that and it takes a great deal of thought.
And it is very easy to get lost in that process.
So every now and then I have to stop myself thinking, analysing and strategising and make a concerted effort to serve up a spoonful of therapeutic fun, for all our sakes!