Friday, March 6, 2009

New lessons

I think I had the most meaningful day yesterday. It was the day that I have learnt an important lesson, a lesson in parenting. You may think I must be mad coz afterall I am a mother of 2.

Friends (who know me) and my readers will know that I had always been complaining so much about my Athena. How mad I was with her etc.. Last night I thought to myself if I should be writing this down afterall a blog doesn't mean you gotta spill every beans out. In the end I thought it might be good coz
1) helps to clear some doubts with people I know that I am not exaggerating every word I say about Athena. I remain true and honest in my thoughts, opinions. So sometimes some friends do not like the way I say certain things. With deep regrets if I may have offended you (but don't worry I am always open to critisism)
2) it serves as a reminder to myself that I had gone through this challenging parenting. In years to come (if my blog still exists), it can certainly trigger my memory should I suffer from Alzheimer's Disease or any kind of dementia
3) when my children read this next time, they know what "hell" their mummy went through . And hopefully they're not faced with the same situation as I do. Of course this entry is not going to be one which will cause my child, Athena embarrassment in years to come where she gets accused for making her mother's life hell, but rather one where I hope I can find a better solution to my parenting style with her.

I had been quite troubled (gek-sim) with the way Athena kept taunting me with her nonsense, and kept wondering if there's a big problem with me - if I was too strict; too lenient or too demanding. However I did suspect I have minute depression. But then I also thought what's the problem with her, her behaviour may seem normal to others, like any child would behave but she's extremely stubborn behind doors (in the presence of the people she knew). Mom went to the medium and apparently he knew what's going on even before she could explain much to him, said she's born like this. And...he even said that the mother has depression. (even Master Tan did mention something like this before) So confirm it's more of her behaviour.

And then the talk about where this behaviour came from. Mom had been taunted by my sister for 16 years. Mom had been telling us it's difficult bringing her up, coz' she'll come up with alot of crying games or taunting her - and only to my mom. Mom mention that probably I'm walking in the same path as she did many years ago. I'm also dealing with a child, someone as difficult as my sister to bring up. Okay, what do I mean by her unique behaviour.
eg. I tell her to keep her toys. She refuses, I continue asking her in a nice way, can be bribing her with some things. Refuses again and then I flare up. I flare up still no response (and when I say no response I'm not referring to her pushing the job till later. She simply refuses to do it! Can just lie herself down on the sofa/floor and refuses and then start throwing tantrum) I look at her.. looks like kena possessed like that.

Words from sister
When I spoke to sister, who after so many years finally grew up and didn't make mom's life difficult. I get a different perspective from her.

>> Saying that that's some kind of ADHD, not the normal jump here; jump there; cannot listen; in own world kind but another form. Sister said smart people have that (she's trying to hint that she's smart lah. I would have been, if not for that kick down the L-shaped stairs. I'm mentally retarded now. Hee!) eg. Stephen Hawkings, Albert Einstein. This is interesting, read this. And the medium did say "this girl is smart". So I do not know if she's going to be someone famous in the world or a "genius in her own ways and be someone unknown". Maybe will see if she'll be in the Gifted Program years down the road. Maybe I was suppose to be in there leh.... but coz' my mom illiterate lah!!

>> She feels awkard if she don't make someone else's life hell. She must deliberately taunt someone. In Athena's case it will be us, the direct family (my parents or siblings wouldn't get to see this). And of course with my constant contact with the children all the time + I have depression = BIG FLARE UP

>> Sister used to fight over things or cry over the "aircon in the car etc.." - really sound like Athena. The only advantage my sister had was she is the younger child (at that time) & brother doted and gave in to her, whereas Athena is the older child & I have Aricia fighting with her and neither of them giving in.

>> Can't concentrate on doing one thing at a time. The whole place will look like a battlefield, but yes things will be done. Sounds abit like Athena and me - that's why my "preparing of materials" never seems to end. (haha! sorry just kidding. I don't think I'm gifted or that smart)
No wonder, I keep screaming at her to sit still when she's having her lunch/dinner. She'd eat and then walk to do something else

>> Though they are known to be those hyperactive kind. I must admit Athena is not that bad but yes, she doesn't sit still for long either. And like what sister said she herself though naughty but was well behaved when in others' house. Quite true in Athena's case.

>> They like to do things their ways, don't like to be directed at. Ahem... sister was creating hell in school too. Wouldn't want to spell out what happened but the teacher kept calling me my sister's name (even after she already left the school) and nobody believed that I was HER SISTER!! And probably coz' they thought I was going to be that "optimum naughty" child as well so nobody paid much attention to me or even bothered to let me sit for the tests. (shit! I didn't know. Last time I thought it was cool and so proud of having an elder sister in my school before.. and tell my teachers.) I told my sister that they probably triple blessed the school after she left, and no wonder they tear down the building lah! In Athena's case, I am consoled that she behaves well in school.
But I may want to send her for tests, if there's such a thing, to determine if she's ADHD. If she is, I'd speak to the teachers and then work around her nature. Coz' sometimes I ask her "what did you learn in school today?" she tells me "I don't know." ???!!!???

>> Distracted. Yes, countless of times she can't seem to stand still. When learning music, she'd be fiddling with the buttons or ribbons. And then she gets scolding from Peggy and later me. When I teach her something, she'd be doing that too. But then........thing is you ask her to play back what you just said, she tells you everything and can play back.

>> Sister tells me too on certain words she didn't like to hear as a child. And with that advice, I try not to ask her "is it you don't like mummy, that's why you're making things difficult for me" coz' like my sister said "if I don't do anything to make someone angry, I'll be feeling very awkward." And naughty she may be, she still loves my mom. And no wonder when I asked Athena, she won't answer me (coz' of her pride) but she'd shake or nod her head accordingly and tells me she loves me.

>>I cited an example of her coming back to school one day with her 'casual' test paper and she scored 34/40. I nagged at her over that loss of 6 marks, which was 4-5 silly careless mistakes. Sister said I sounded like mom, so sister at that time felt 'I study hard and get 34/40 you scold me, I don't study and get 32/40 you also scold me. So I might as well don't study at all.' And that 34/40 isn't that bad, true.... better than my results and it's 85%. But I'm expecting 90% and above for her, that girl can do it. She's smart, I'm not saying it coz' I want to praise my daughter. But I've seen her how she can write those chinese/english words on her own and how she answers my questions. So for this, I will not listen to sister's advice. Will continue to push her.

So now I know that's the reason why I say Parenting Books don't work on Athena (and I should be writing one). And why I kept shouting "suay suay suay ah" coz' I didn't realise the problem. Mom tackled that for 16 years, I don't know how long I'll have to tackle her. Maybe should use this 'measuring time' as a determination for me to live my life and not commit suicide.
Friends do give me advices and they always think I'm wrong in my parenting style, tell me what they do to their children and their children listen. I always tell them it didn't work on me, now I know why.... coz' Athena is 'special case', whether I use the soft or hard approach. I didn't want to argue further with friends coz' it'll be spoiling relationships with them but I'd eat the humble pie and say "okay, I will try it", knowing that I've done that before and it didn't work.

I'm really walking in the same path as mom, she didn't know that she had depression. Or if ever such a word existed before. Something did almost happen but it fell through. And somehow I'm grateful that I have my mom here with me now, someone who understands what I'm going through. I probably have double pressure coz' I'm so into the education aspects for the children and give me advice. Someone to watch over me so that I won't suddenly get so bloody depressed and slash my wrists or jump down from 12th floor.
I guess you must be shock - coz' for people who know me, I may seem to be a very cheerful person cracking jokes all the time. But of course like what mom said "we hide our feelings well" but what mom said about us - we are very strong, we have gone through what others may not have. I think I agree coz I realise I am able to pick myself up most times and I am stronger than anyone else.
I'm depressed over everything. Firstly, my hubby is out of the country most of the time. I'm always the only person taking charge of the house and children well-being. Even when he's in SIN, I'm still the only person taking charge. I am tasked with the full responsibility of educating 2 children which is totally draining me out!! Honest to God, I have tons of things to do but I don't have enough time. While he works or play computer games.
Speak to hubby?? I remember I spoke to MH about something and she thought it's funny that we don't talk that much of our inner feelings or me asking him to help etc.. Why? I hate to confront and then start a fight. And the person who's going to be dwelling more in the 'words used during the fight' will be me not him. Moreover I'm very independent.
I guess this came about in the recent years, thank goodness not when I was flying. Imagine you have a stewardessess who suddenly go berserk in the cabin and start threatening passengers with knives and dunno what nots, and then obviously outnumbered and then sent into the mad hospital and get my name striked off SQ payroll.

Mom said she has to used all kinds of methods in a day to coax my sister. So I'm going to try... and next time write a book on this.

Footnote :
A drunk wouldn't admit he's drunk, a mad person wouldn't admit he's mad. But why I, a depressed person admit I am depressed over this public blog. Not for sympathy, I don't need it (I'm not a pet) but perhaps to tell the world that we shouldn't deny if we have problem, it'll be easier for people to reach out to help us when we really do need it.

Now, as I walk down the years with Athena. I hope I can try to be a better parent to her (and not to be seen as a mad tyrant mother), and hopefully no depression.


Little Miss Snooze said...

hugs. If you can find a local support group, you will know you are not alone.

Lily Ann said...

That's a good idea. Thanks!