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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

changes I am making

Okay, so I know earlier today I had my little rant about things about school.  It is just that it is such a difficult situation, and the school and I both have high hopes for my son, but we also have different ideas of what that means.  I want Josiah to be the best Josiah that he can be--to love who he is, the embrace his strengths and his weaknesses, to find what makes him who he is, and to find the best way that he can contribute to and make an impact in the world.  I want him to be happy with who he is, happy with the choices that he makes, and be a person that others can respect and cherish for who he is and how he chooses to live.  That is what I want for my son. 

The school also wants him to strive to reach his highest potential.  they want him to come to school ready to follow the schedule that all of the other kids follow.  They want him to move through the day in the same way other kids do.  They want him to not question their authority, and just calmly and kindly associate with his peers and his teachers in a way that is respectful and acceptable in our society.  They want him to conform to the needs and routines of the institution.  They recognise that due to his physical and developmental challenges, he needs help and some accommodation to do this, and expect him to just accept their help and accommodations just as they expect him to follow the rules.  They want him to be successful in the arena that they are setting forth for him.

Both of these goals for Josiah are good.  Both have the right focus--wanting to help Josiah to succeed and find his niche in the world, and to do so with self confidence, self-discipline, and self awareness, as well as a more local and global awareness of how he and his actions impact others. 

But what does Josiah want?

obviously we are all missing something here--as he is NOT reaching those goals.  What is his focus, what lens is he viewing the world through?  What is the motivation that he has for his behaviors and the words that he says?  When he gets angry and frustrated, he shouts out things and says he wants to hurt people, but I have watched him and know that he actually does not want to hurt or upset others, but when he is so upset, I think he puts that "bully" cloak on because it hides his fear.  He talks to me about being afraid, when I ask him to tell me about what was going on.  At school he says he is angry, at home he tells me he was scared.  But at school he can not identify why he was angry and at home he rarely can identify verbally why he was scared. 

I have spent quite a bit of time this evening going over his daily reports.  January was an amazing month of him, almost every day was a "star student" day (meaning that he did very well, and even if he had a mishap, that he worked to correct it and overcome it).  Then suddenly, with very little lead up time, he was having horrible days at school again.  he refuses to go to music, which is the class he loves the most (which started before the big meltdowns) and is telling me that he is scared to go there because he got in trouble, though no one has mentioned trouble in music class.  Other things I was looking at was the phrases he is saying when he is angry.  At first they made no sense to me, as they are not ones we use often (if at all) in our house--"You Suck" "I hate people" "Piece of garbage" etc....  And as read through them a few times, suddenly I could hear them in my head being said by a specific voice--the voice of Squidward on Sponge bob square pant.  Almost every single rude and mean thing Josiah has been saying has come from Squidward!!

So I started really thinking about this...In many wise and religious texts it talks about how what we focus on is important to our lives and/or becomes a part of us.  Phillipians 4:8 says "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." (NIV)  This idea is well supported by the Law of Attraction teachings, "What you focus on expands..." "What you think about you bring about..." and a number of other references to this in the movie/book The Secret, as well as many other books.    I'd go more into this but it is late and anyone who really wants to know can find many more sources than I just by using google.

Anyway, with this in mind, A and I talked about it, and we decided that we will see what happens if we eliminate Sponge Bob Square pants from the kids viewing. At this point I am willing to try anything (including getting rid of TV, video games and all other 2 dimensional substitutes for life--though that is a bit drastic).  I am toying with the idea of limiting viewing to educational shows only, but for now I think we will go wit eliminating Sponge Bob as that seems to be Josiah's focus and his internalization of some of the attitudes and phrases from there.  I am also further reducing video gaming time (which I had started already, as Josiah has been having extreme reactions to losing--it doesn't help that his brother can not stop himself from rubbing it it very nonchalantly anytime Josiah does not get a perfect score). 

I am really hoping it will help.  i am not sure what else to change....

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