Amazon Shipping

Sunday, January 19, 2014

New Puppy, new ideas, and a return to work hopefully

Well, I have done what I said I would never do again.  We have a new puppy in the house.  I love to visit other people's puppies, laugh at their antics, snuggle their cute fluffiness, and I am always happy to leave them at their home for all of the tough stuff.  My Narni is 8 years old, She was very good as puppies go, in part due to her tiny size, and thus the tiny size of housebreaking messes and her tiny mouth could not chew the heck out of many bigger things.
 Jake is a Christmas gift for Julie.  she got to pick him out a couple of weeks before Christmas and we have just been waiting for him to be old enough to bring home.  Yesterday was the day he came home.
 He and Narni are getting along well.  He was a bit lonely and scared of course when he first got here, but he seems to be settling in well.
 He is a shepherd mix, and will be around 50 lbs when full grown.   He is a beautiful little puppy.
Right now, Jake is the same size as Narni right now, he is about 8 weeks old, and she is 8 years old!  The kids are having fun, though Josiah is having a bit of trouble adjusting, as usual.  He likes the puppy and is trying to understand everything.
So I have been reading up on how to house train your puppy, how to train your puppy, how to feed your puppy, how to establish the right pack hierarchy so that you are in charge and the puppy is happy to behave, etc...  It is amazing, but it is a lot like working with kids with special needs.  Focus on rewarding expected acceptable behavior, do not put a lot of energy into negative consequences, wait for calm behavior before giving the food bowl, teach trust not fear, establish authority through patience and consistency, and boundaries are more loving than mushiness.

It just has reminded me that I have been slowly going back to the societal parenting style of lots of negative consequences and giving way to much energy to what I don't want than what I do want with my kids.  And that I need to ensure I am being consistent, holding firm boundaries, praising accepted behavior, and not giving a lot of energy to negative consequences.  Both boys have lost their handheld computer thingy due to very unacceptable behavior at the store the other day.  And I have been just trying to be matter of fact about it when they ask for it--reminding them that they did lose that privileged and why without getting into an argument with them.  I realize that I have lost some of  the authority I used to have, and that is in part due to so much inconsistency over the past few months due to many changes.  

I foresee more changes coming down the pike, as I am still trying to find get back into a career field, as the boys issues are now well defined, and I am confident that the family will be able to handle me returning to work outside the home full-time.  the way the job search is going (I have had a few interviews but there are a lot of applicants and not a lot of jobs, especially around here in my field) it is going to take a while, and may necessitate a move back near a major research university.  But that will give time to get the puppy trained and secure, and the kids will be able to stay in the same schools until a really good opportunity comes along.  It has just been too long that we have been living just squeaking by, and some months not being able to meet all of our basic needs (like rent, utilities, food, gas, car insurance).  I grew up living below the poverty line, lived a middle class life for a while both before and after having kids, and then returned to below poverty level a few years ago.  I do not disparage the time I have spent remembering how to be more self-sufficient, or rediscovering how hard working people living on little money are.  So many middle class and wealthy people these days seem to think those with less money are lazy of do not work hard.  Most people of low income that I know work 50-60 hours a week, help out their family and community, and really understand the responsibility they have to the community they live in.  It is good to be reminded that public perception is often wrong or based on a subset of individuals, not on the majority of people of a certain classification.  though I will be happy to get back to my career, I made the choice to focus on children with special needs, and now that their needs are well defined and can be met more easily, I am happy to be on track to work full-time again, to have a career focused job, and to make a livable paycheck.

No comments: