Friday, September 23, 2011

Fitting in

To me, the biggest challenge raising a dyslexic kid is the emotional part of it. To begin with, in comparison to their peers, they are a few years behind in term of maturity. That makes it really hard for them to fit in. Emily is getting better. But she still struggles a lot to get along with her friends. And her older siblings. Emily always find it more comfortable with younger friends. Sometimes way younger. She just clicked effortlessly.
Emily & Charmaine. Charmaine is 6yo.

An example of her immaturity that drives me up the wall. This afternoon, in between unloading their school bags from the car, she saw Luqman got few candies. (BTW she and candy is a life long love affair...yikesss) And predictably, she asked for the candy. And predictably Luqman ignored her. It's his annoying way of saying I'll consider about it but let's just wait until we get inside the house. But that's not how she interpreted the brother's curt response. To her, it means NO. And a NO is just not acceptable to her. So she started stomping her feet and throwing tantrum. After sulking near the swimming pool for a while and realizing that nobody gives her any attention, she came up and continued the tantrum inside the house. By this time, I was already in the kitchen and I could hear her crying and wailing got annoyingly louder and LOUDERRR. If u r my neighbour, u would probably think I have abused her or she has just had a very traumatic experience. Ironically, "Don't cry me Argentina" start playing in my head in auto rewind mode and I no longer found the wailing annoying. It suddenly became quite hilarious. Anyway, pardon my sick sense of humor. I need it badly to stay sober.

The thing is this crying and throwing tantrum is very frequent. More frequent than the 4yo little sister, who at times seem much wiser in handling her emotions. Watch this and you will get the drift.
She can cries anywhere. Over anything. As long as things don't go her way. That makes it more difficult for her to fit in. And the siblings don't like it either. Which I can't blame them. Coz it can be really embarassing to have your sister throwing tantrum in front of your friends in school. And I really need gazillion of patience to deal with this soberly. Unfortunately I don't have that much patience. In moment of desperation, I will resort to THE one thing that work effectively. Always. Better than Harry Potter's magic wand. Just the mention of it will stop the sobbing and the wailing. Not a sound. Zilch.
Yeah. I know. This make me sound like Cinderella's stepmother. But seriously, it is so difficult to deal with the bouts of tantrums soberly. And I ain't Mother Theresa.

The real problem with her is she has problem with her emotions. Expressing, identifying and dealing with them. I noticed that when she's angry, she doesn't know it's anger. She doesn't know there is a source to the anger that she's feeling. It could be because she is nervous, or disappointed or millions of other reasons. She doesn't know how to express it correctly. So she throws tantrum. Coz that's the only way she knows how to get the attention. She has problem expressing herself verbally. If u ask her opinion about anything, she will struggle to put it in words. But she's improving. S-l-o-w-l-y. Once in a while, Medina will asked her to stop crying and remind her tantrum doesn't work. I need to work with her identifying those emotions and dealing with them positively. And it's not easy. But hopefully, one day she will stop throwing tantrum and my "magic wand" is strictly for hanging clothes only :-P

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