Monday, May 30, 2011

Do I push enough?

My wife and I are usually pretty much on the same page parenting wise.  But there are some differences.  We are after all, human and come with our own family history of dynamics, or dysfunction. . . or whatever, I guess.  Much of what happened to me growing up, I decided really early on that I would not emulate. I would not have a relationship where my children were shouldering adult emotional issues, where they were a confidant for my fears.  I would not refuse to speak with them. I would not scream. I would not make meal times battle grounds. I would make sure my kids felt they were not inadequate. There were things I loved growing up that I conciously brought to my life as a mom.  A love of reading. A love of the out of doors.  A strong work ethic. An ability to have fun with little.  In other words I did a lot of "sifting" the wheat from the chaff and came out with what I thought were the strong good things to pass on and decided to make my own way in a new direction with a bunch of other stuff.

And about a lot of those things K and I see eye to eye.  The one problem is that I look at our kids and I see that there are several who have some significant issues that they are challenged by often.  Sometimes challenged by daily.  Autism for instance is a tough road.  There are days that are hugely better than others.  But I look at the whole picture and I see that Chet is in my opinion so much better at things than he was a few years ago.  It gives me hope. It gives me pride in his efforts.  K is more likely to see that which he has yet to achieve and want to be talking about and reaching for that improvement with him.  And I worry that everything will always feel to him like he just didn't quite hit the bar.  That nothing was just good.  Good. . . but . . . if you get my drift. 

So for instance when we brunched at a very busy, very noisy restaurant this weekend, I was honestly proud of Chet. There were some space issues that he handled remarkably well.  There was an enormous amount of noise that he handled with only a couple of reminders that he did not have to get louder and louder to compensate for the noise around him.  He ate a new food with gusto.  But he has issues cutting food and said food resisted his initial efforts to cut.  Which made him try to opt to put a gigantic portion in his mouth.  I did intercede and helped him cut the food up.  Did it really casually and he was okay with it and the crisis was averted.  But to my wife, it was "just an okay" for Chet because of that.  And because I thought he did well, she thinks that I am too easily pleased, and reluctant to push him, or any of the kids for that matter.

And I may be, I don't know. 

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