The Just.Be.Enough. journey would not be what it is without today’s guest. Laverne was once a Just.Be.Enough. contributor, and will always be in our team’s hearts. Laverne is a mismatch-sock-wearing, indecisive, sassy, creative wife, mother, educator, best friend and sister who a year and a half ago started blogging when her best friend said, “Come on let’s start a blog. It’ll be fun.” So with a deep breath and fear that all the weirdos in the world would start stalking her or come to her house and kidnap her children she dove in and the pair started Kindred Adventures together. Today Laverne writes at akalaverne.com and is enriched by the incredible people she has met blogging. (And to date she not been stalked and her children have not been kidnapped.)
The pediatrician’s words felt as if he had reached inside my chest and crushed my heart.
“No consequences, no taking away privileges and no taking away toys?”
Our struggles with constipation had brought us to his office. We left his office with the assurance that there was nothing physically wrong with her and a lesson in change that would be the most difficult parenting task I have ever faced. I would need to change.
As a special education teacher I have worked with my share of students with significant behavior disabilities. During my 13 years of teaching I have even asked for and welcomed the most challenging. They are the students I am most passionate about working with. With a strong plan, consistency, and consequences backed by positives I have helped students change their behaviors and enabled them to make good choices. In other words, it has been my job to dig in, stand my ground, and make change happen.
“What you are doing now isn’t working, is it?”
I knew he was right.
I had to change before she could feel empowered to change too. As we left the doctor’s office his words continued to weigh heavy on my heart. I had to relinquish all power in this power struggle. I had to bite my tongue and not say anything when my capable six-year-old had an accident, and another, and another, and four more each day.
The moment I relinquished power things changed. Our relationship changed. I began to look deeper at other parts of our relationship.
Other things needed to change as well. I needed to listen better. I needed to hear the little things she needed me to let her do – things she could not express to me but that made her feel empowered. I needed to let her be herself, to embrace the qualities of her character as strengths, regardless of how crazy they made me.
Giving up that one thing — letting go of that one control — was the hardest and most difficult thing I have done as a mother to date. It went against everything in my being.
It was the best thing I have ever done.