A week ago, I wrote about something new I was trying with Little Nugget. I decided to change up a few things in the way I parent him. He’s what I describe as our “high needs” child. There is nothing wrong with him nor do I attach any negative connotation to the way I describe him. For example, Little Nugget is not yet* comfortable with playing on his own or being alone for too long. He needs to be near me—or whoever is taking care of him—and if he doesn’t see me, he calls out to find me. He’s not good with “hide n’ seek” because the second he’s done counting, he’s calling out, “Mom, where are you?!” He’s so funny when he does it that my laugh usually gives me away and he finds me. My point is that Little Nuggets requires a lot of attention from the people he loves, and this is perfect for who he is.
It is easier to understand why he behaves a certain way now that I am conscious of his needs. I understand the reason why he cries at the top of his lungs and why he fights us when he is told to get ready for a shower. It makes sense now that he hasn’t acted out in any of these ways for the last week. A straight week!
It’s almost too good to be true that these simple changes have made such a huge difference so quickly. Actually, let me clarify that they are simple changes, but at the same time they are difficult to keep in practice. This is where the conscious part comes into play.
It’s easy for me to get distracted with the everyday routine, with making sure bills are paid, dishes are washed, and making sure that I’m meeting my own needs. On top of it all, I have to consciously incorporate the needs of Little Nugget—and Z Nugg of course, but her needs right now are easy—because he is still very dependent on me. This is exhausting, BUT (yes, there’s a huge but) I must say that consciously parenting him has made being his mother more enjoyable. Less drama, more sweet moments.
If you have a Nugget of your own that “acts out” and you’re desperate to figure out how to cope with his/her behavior, make a conscious attempt to step back and think of it in terms of their coping. I’m in no way trying to add to the ridiculous amount of parenting advice out there, I’m just sharing my experience with you. I’m sharing what has been working for my own highly sensitive child.
I am conscious now that Little Nugget needs to feel included, loved, heard, seen, and affirmed on a daily basis, and now that I write his needs out, I realize these are everyone’s basic needs.
Reading what I’ve accomplished—with the help and support of my better half, of course—in just a week, I’m confident that Little Nugget will develop in a healthy and confident way. He will move mountains in his own way, at his own time.
Cheers to consciously living!
* I wrote “yet” because every child develops differently. Little Nugget’s emotional, social, and mental development is a variation of normal. Not comparing and honoring who he is now, and backing off of who I think he will be in the future, gives me the space and time to make quality memories with him. Something I will crave from him when I’m an elderly mother with adult children. I am leading by example.