Thursday, March 22, 2012

When You Never Expect Highly Sensitive Twins

Meltdowns is a word that always appear in our home and in this blog. 2 days ago, my 3 years old went berserk when he was greeted with a thunderstorm after waking up from his nap. I wasn't sure if the thunderstorm is the cause of it but it definitely contributed to it. He just went bonkers and there was no distraction or redirection that can calm him. Tantrums are supposed to be common with children of his age but I often wonder if the intensity of the meltdown is normal. To others, my boy, a well behaved, mild mannered, quiet and often regarded as a "timid" boy screamed and kicked with all his might. There seem to be fear in him from the way he screams. He started hurting himself and when I tried to stop him, with a look of vengeance, he attacked me. After an hour of what I called an "abusive meltdown", I was drained, upset and hurt. This type of outburst is not unusual. In fact, it happens frequently, especially during start of school, new routine, after social gatherings or outing. But we had a week free of this. I thought things were looking up and I was beaten when he blew up out of the blue.

I couldn't pick myself up after the meltdown. I wanted to know if such meltdown is what people called as the terrible two tantrum. We have considered seeing a child therapist many times to find the answer but I have my concerns with that too. I started looking on the web to find support groups or blogs about sensitive children. There aren't many that are similar to our situations. The closest I could find was Raising Smart Girls.

A paragraph in her blog touched me and it gave me hope.

"I guess I wanted to tell younger mothers (and fathers) who are struggling with their highly sensitive, highly spirited, intense children, it does get better.  Our challenging children are a gift for us to dig beneath the surface of their behavior and also to dig beneath the surface of our responses." 

Our children have some similar Highly Sensitive Traits and I could identify with her pain and struggles with her children. And it makes me feel so much better than I'm not alone.

I didn't want to share too much about their sensitive traits and the problems I have with them on this blog as I don't want friends and relatives to think there's something wrong with them. At the same time, I do not want to be dismissed with "it's a phase" to our problems. Being sensitive is not an illness or problem though it often bring me woes as their mother. I must find a better way to help them and to guide them. Sensitive children may have a harder time growing up, learning to adapt, coming to terms, etc. But if given the right guidance, they can use their sensitivity to their advantage.

I'm sharing this because I want to tell other parents that they are not alone if they have a child or children who can't sleep, who doesn't talk or response to people they don't know well, who clings on to you at a new environment, who stand at the playground for an hour observing other children and not playing themselves. who meltdown after coming back from home after an outing, who remembers the boy who snatched his car more than a year ago, who tend to have long meltdowns, you are not alone and things can be improved. The good news is that we have actually improved quite a few areas with patience,  perseverance and knowledge on Highly Sensitive Children. But it may still a long journey for me when it comes to handling the outbursts and not having a break down myself.

Raise a C child

I want to raise a C child. A child who is

- Confident

- Courageous

- Creative

- Caring

To do that, I must remind myself again to give them Time, Patience, Empathy and Love. The 4 essentials to raise Highly Sensitive Children that I have. 2 of which, Patience and Empathy is what I struggle with. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Outsourcing Parenting - How much did you outsourced?

I came across this term, "Outsource Parenting" from a post by Blinky Mummy which sounded amusing to me initially. But when I gave it a deeper thought, many families I see may have a problem of outsourcing too much. Be it to maids, grandparents, enrichment centres, child care centres, televisions, iphone, ipad, etc.

And I'm on the other end of the spectrum which is bad too as I'm like a mad woman everyday because the only thing I outsourced was Preschool. I admit I gave homeschooling a serious thought before. Thank god I didn't have the courage to go with it and we found a great preschool in our area.
How much did you outsource?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Drawing with Bike.

Few days ago, we were drawing dirty stares from people while scribbling with chalk on the ground. Few days later, my boys came up with a better activity while waiting for me to get my phone I left at home. 

Materials Needed
- A puddle of water.
- Empty space
- Bike
- Creativity


Monday, March 5, 2012

FAQ for my Twins

With twins, we often get a lot of attention from strangers, often unwanted. Someone always have a comment about how small I am to have twins, how skinny I have become to take care of them and they are total strangers, throwing such remarks directly at me or sometimes, worse, behind me, loudly in a dialect they think I don't understand.

I also get a lot of questions about my fertility from total strangers.

Here's some examples of very direct ways:

"Oh, you have twins? Are they natural?"
"Oh, those are your twins? Did you go for IVF?"

Or, they will ask indirectly:
"Are they twins? Does twins run in your family?"

And when I answered no, here are the 2 response.

(Response 1) So you went for IVF?
(Response 2) Oh I see. (Cloud forms above their heads, "She went for IVF")

For the past 3 years, the "ultimate blatant award" goes to

 "You are so lucky, IF they were natural."

And there are those who have bad communication skills.

They: "They are twins? Natural?"
Me: "No, I went for C section"
They: IVF ah?

It took me some time to realize that when people ask "natural?", they are not interested if you had a natural birth, they just want to know if your twins are genetic engineered.

While I don't think going through IVF is something shameful and I would openly admit if I had gone for one. I would think such matters are private and they aren't things that we start to chat with total strangers. More so when I didn't go for any fertility treatments and I felt I almost have to explain to people that I didn't undergo any form of fertility treatment, so stop looking at my twins as if they are some genetic engineered freaks.

And then, there are two types of people who react to twins:

(Group 1) Full of envy, excited to see twins like they are some celebrity. Look up to you like you are an almighty super mom.

When they were babies, there were times I felt like celebrity mom, except that nobody ask me for my autograph. There are people that just love twins so much and they get really excited when they see one and they start to throw questions at you like a machine gun.

(Group 2) Sad, jealous people. Tried all ways to undermine you as a mom to cover up their low self esteem that they are just not as fertile as you.

It's probably sour grapes. These are the people that insist on thinking that your twins are foetus that grew out of a test tube and it should be a breeze to care for twins.

There was once I was on the train and 2 ladies came in and spoke loudly.

Lady A: Hey, look, they are twins. Oh... they are so cute!! 
Lady B: (Looked at us, from top to toe, rudely I might add.) I don't want twins. What's so great about twins?

It didn't help that my twins were fussing at that time. I tried my best to block out but they were talking too loudly and I had the impulse to go up to Lady B to tell her, "Don't worry, there's a superb high chance you won't get one."

Here's a video that's really happening in real life. Don't be surprised, there are lots of insensitive people like that and actually worse. If you have met me outside with my twins, I probably didn't see you because I was concentrating on the road, avoiding eye contact with anyone, so they don't get a chance to throw these questions at me. I used to hate train trips when I'm stuck in the train and the people next to you or opposite you start a discussion about you and your twins openly. It's getting better as they get older. It takes more observation to know that they are twins.

Well, have a good laugh with this video.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Art Appreciation: Street Art

Saw this book at the library and got intensely interested in 3D art. Was very impressed with what the artist did.

I suddenly recalled that there was a street art exhibition at Bugis by Joe Hill. Was utterly disappointed when I found out that the exhibition has ended just the previous day!!

Nevertheless, we still went out with our chalk and pretended to be great chalk artist in our neighborhood.

I was quite surprised to get some dirty stares when we were at it. The chalk scribbles were easily washed off with some water when we were done and the rain that comes in the afternoon left no traces behind. I think we are no where near vandalism.

Related Posts with Thumbnails