Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Fitting In

Do you know how it is if you try a club, church, or even a place of employment and you just don't feel like you fit in? I feel like a fish out of water in those situations. Our children face this daily everywhere they go. We try to so hard to have them feel fully accepted at home. Kids at school can be a different story.

In lower elementary I felt the children were, for the most part, so forgiving. They honestly tried to over look the comments my kids made. They included them in their fun. They even went to a couple of birthday parties, but not many. By upper elementary it began to fade and they started feeling that no one liked them. We worked on the social skills. What to say. Even more importantly what NOT to say. It didn't work.

Middle school....needs no explanation. It's a time in our lives where none of us would go back. You never hear anyone say "I wish I could go through puberty again." : )

High School can be a great time. There are football games, dances, youth group activities and all kinds of clubs to join. For the kid who doesn't feel he fits in any of those situations it is tough. Therapists always urge "Get your kids involved. Have them join a group." When I don't trust my own instincts and let them talk me into it, it turns into another opportunity for my child to fail. They need to find things they are good at. They need to excel. It cannot be in a group. At least not for mine. Teddy is a wonderful artist. It is a way of expressing himself. Taz knows more trivia about World War II than Roosevelt.

Even though my kids are in different phases of healing they still have a very tough time socially. For Taz, the nervous talking and blurting out are his main struggle. For Teddy it is different. He has a completely unique way of looking at the world. He is still in defense mode most of the time. He is just waiting for another kid to verbally assault, look at him or physically "get in his space". If you walk through the world looking for trouble, you are usually going to find it.

I always thought "If they could only see home as a safe place of refuge" it would help. Some days we are there. I think is important for everyone to have that safety at home.

In grad school we learned that 86 per cent of our interaction with loved ones needs to be positive in order to have a healthy relationship. Sometimes I am the one who needs to shut my mouth. We have a long way to go. It is a marathon not a sprint. One foot in front of the other. Never, never, never quit.


Dia por Dia said...

Thank you for this post. I have been playing catchup on my blog reading and wanted to tell you how helpful this post along with the ones about Family sculpting and road block were for me/us. My two RADlings are healing slowly but surely and your insights gave me a couple of new perspectives/ strategies --which I am always in need of. Feel free to add my blog to your list if you like.

Dia (www.ranchochico.blogspot.com)

Brenda said...

Thanks so much Dia! I am adding you now! I'm glad we are all here to help each other

BT said...

This post is such a good reinforcement for me. Right when I need it, of course! Yes, home has to be the refuge. I have to shut my mouth more often than I do.

Even in early elementary, our P had a hard time socially. Some kids have been downright mean, and most of the others just dismissive. I'm actually unsure as to which of these attitudes causes more pain for P. Now in grade 4, he's finding it hard as well. Fortunately, he's got one good steady friend, and that makes a difference. He gets help with socialization twice a week with the school counselor, too, and that also seems to be -- millimeter by millimeter. P feels at this point that many of the kids won't change their minds about him now, no matter what he does, so we face a constant battle with him over the topic of whether all his efforts are in vain (and therefore a waste of his time).

peggysue said...

The socialization is something that is confusing to know how to work on to help our kids. I cannot be at school with DD to say "whoops! try saying something else next time!" or "ooooh, not a good choice."

I can tell we are making better behavioral choices because this year is going much better than last. We pulled her out of first grade halfway through and homeschooled, then put her in a new school for a fresh start and it HAS helped a lot! But there have been no birthday party invitations, no play dates, nothing. We are still working at moving in a year's time and that will be another fresh start at another school, but we can't keep switching schools indefinitely.

Brenda said...

Peggy Sue,

As mine are getting older they give me more details about the conversations that take place at school. Social skills are so hard for them.