Happy New Year, everyone! Most of us will agree that 2013 went by too quickly. So, for myself – and I am sure there are many others who will agree – I will pretend that we are still at the tail-end of 2013, according to the Chinese calendar!
Many will also say that there was “not enough time” to complete their New Year resolutions made in January 2013! So, do we complete what we started, or do we start a fresh list …?
I started a list about three years back and every year, I do a review. It was better for me since I could monitor my own progress and make the necessary adjustments to ensure higher success in the current year! So, how have I performed? Have I improved in the following areas:
a) Have more patience
I have been working on this for many years. I read somewhere that the same events will occur until the lessons have been learnt. I think there is a breakthrough here but I still have to work on my patience.
Well, it is a long journey but I am just glad I am able to move on. Most times, it is because I am impatient and I want to see results. And I think this is more prevalent among parents with special children (learning and/or physical disabilities). However, we can never have an equation such as this “Specific skills training, duration two months = desired results”, can we?
For other parents in the same boat, I want to assure you that our kids are better at the end of the X month-period compared to the beginning. We don’t realise that, do we? We only know that they have yet to achieve the desired results.
Take a step back, and you will know that the efforts are worth it. They have acquired some level of skills, the progress they made is important and we should use that to motivate and guide them to improve further.
b) Laugh with the kids
Okay, I will need more time for this. It is easier to laugh and enjoy “mum-baby” moments with my younger son. At nine-going-on-10, he is still cheeky and mischievous. He is playful and is not resistant to cuddles and hugs … just yet.
My girl (with a learning disability) will turn 19 soon; thus I suppose joking and laughing with mum is not so cool anymore. However, we do get to enjoy each other’s company. On my part, I try to converse with her as much as possible. There are times when this requires a bit of effort (on my part) as the topics of conversation are not that of a young-adult and mum. However, I remind myself that it is important for me as I need to learn and understand how she thinks so that I can be more effective in reaching out to her.
For other parents reading this, remember to always hug your kids and enjoy all “silly moments” with them. This is one way to bond and bonding is very important when they are young. In any case, there will come a day when they pull away ….
c) Appreciate the “present moment” rather than waste time worrying about the future
I think I have worried less, so, perhaps I can move on. Worrying is part of being a mum but I always ask myself, “Can I do anything differently, now?” If the answer is, “No!” then I will launch into “prayer mode” and ask for divine intervention.
I have wasted much time and energy worrying about things that never took place. So, now I try to be positive and do whatever is in my power. Otherwise, I will try my best not to think of the worst and worry unnecessarily.
d) An addition – allocate more “me-time”
We spend many hours taking care of our family, kids (and more so if they require/demand extra attention because of their special needs) etc and hardly have any time to ourselves. We have placed the least priority on ourselves and it didn’t hit me as a bad thing until I was ill for a short time. During that time, I realised I needed to re-think my way of life, such as placing more importance on health issues and allocating more personal time. In reality, allocating the time for exercise is a real challenge though I am quite happy to spend some quiet moments with a cup of coffee and a book!
Happy New Year again and may all of you make meaningful resolutions!
Parents who have questions about learning disabilities and how to detect them can contact Anna Wong at firstname.lastname@example.org.