Saturday, March 22, 2014

A few ways CP changes my parenting style

I have two kids, one with CP, and one without. After the first few years of seemingly endless PT and OT, therapy generally now comes through living for Hannah. That means my affected child copies her sister and therefore I shamelessly use my older child to help the younger one, just by hoping two handed activities look good.  Lately I have hosted a lot of play dates for both kids, and I have realized that not only do I use my kids to help each other but I am using other families' kids to encourage mine, and it works. It seems like other kids who come over think my house is the "no rules" house.  I have an indoor scooter, and kids can ride it through the house, and I kept the Flintstones style car past the normal age based time frame, and people climb on top and push each other around in creative ways. What I have been enjoying is how physical kids can get in group play and how that inspires Hannah in particular, but also keeps Claire from sitting and watching TV. Hannah got the scooter when she was three or so, as an idea from a PT, with the hope that she would use it and increase balance and strength in her affected leg. We got the three wheeled style with a wider platform. Honestly she still doesn't push off with her affected leg but she will get on it and scoot through the house at least once each time some other child takes it for a spin and leaves it lying about. A tall child who is visiting today was able to get the cereal boxes off the fridge, which us something my kids would just call to me to do for them, so even self sufficiency skills get boosted by playing with other kids. Seeing kids whose parents must be telling the kids to get it themselves (unlike me, as I seem to find it terrifying to let my kids life and pour a gallon of milk and spill it) Hannah now gets inspired to carry a stool around so she can get things. All in all, my house is a complete disaster now that people get their own things of interest but I figure it is only to Hannah's benefit to keep stretching for things above her literal and figurative reach. I am trying to work on not doing for my kids when they could do for themselves, but right now, just working on that is all I can do. It really is helpful though, when a mom of a fellow almost eight year old who is coming to sleepover texts me to say her child gets clumsy when she hits her exhaustion limit, and to know that is not really a factor of CP or small stature but one of run of the mill childhood experience.  So today, I am grateful for the village people who sometimes send their kids to me.  But also I am tired of picking up M&Ms.

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