I went to a used book store today and boy did I have a great time!
I was looking through the parenting section for a few SPD books I wanted. Even though I didn't find the two books I was looking for, I did find six others that sound good.
None of them deal with SPD, but it certainly won't hurt to read them.
As I looked back through my stack I noticed a theme: self esteem. That's one thing I think A has lacked throughout her life (all 5 years of it). She used to act like a dog that got beaten all the time. When I would get onto her she would cower. I was not prone to yelling (neither is her daddy). And sure we spank, but we never used it to threaten her with and we barely had to use it as a form of discipline because she minded us so well.
Even now she still has a very obvious comfort zone when it comes to people. She doesn't like to ask certain people for something or even tell them things. Just recently she accidentally threw her plastic plate in the trash at lunch. She wanted to tell me, but refused to do it with her daddy listening. It was an accident! She wasn't even remotely close to getting in trouble and yet she would only tell me in private!
So many of A's behaviors can be attributed to her SPD, but there are also many things that would have been part of her even without the SPD. I'm pretty sure this is one of those things. She would just naturally have been more timid than other kiddos.
It's certainly something I think she's improving on. Used to she would only meltdown for me and was perfect around everyone else. On one hand, that's every parent's dream: everyone thinking your kid is a perfect angel. On the other hand, however, I wanted other people to see what I had to deal with! I wanted someone else to see how hard it was to parent A. There were many times during her meltdowns that I would be tempted to call my husband or best friend just to let them hear what I dealt with on a regular basis (there were a few times I actually made those calls)! I think that her new found boldness is a result of her becoming more confident and comfortable with who she is. Yay!
Unfortunately I am not a naturally optimistic person and depression runs rampant on both sides of her family tree, so teaching A optimism is not something that I will be able to model well for her. If I can change the way I think (something I've worked on in counseling) and thus help change the way Ava thinks then she's already years ahead of other people!
So today as I saw these titles about self esteem and raising positive, optimistic kids I just couldn't pass them up!
I want to be an advocate for A. I want to be able to be her voice when she is too young or too intimidated to be able to speak up for herself. I also want her to learn how to be an advocate for herself.
I'm looking forward to having a better outlook on life and now I have more motivation--it's not just for me, it's for A too!