Terrible photo of us so am using emojis to show how we were feeling.
so frustrated, we cried
Tuesday, October 18th, 2022
Boy, and I thought the second day of homeschooling was a tough one. Hope and I made each other cry on the third day! We settled ourselves in the public library after dropping off my toddler and as I started giving her assignments, she started to shut down again. When asked what was going on in her head, she would not speak and when she did, it was barely audible. It went on for a good 20 minutes and I couldn't deal with it anymore. I had to step away to calm myself down so yelling would not occur. I go back after 2 minutes and Hope was then quietly tearing up. I try again to speak to her and she still wouldn't talk. It felt like no matter what I said or tried to do. On like this we go for another 10 minutes and tears started to well up in my eyes from the frustration. I texted my husband who was in Seattle at the time to pray for us. I no longer knew what else to do as both Hope and I sat there quietly crying.
"I can't do anything to fix this if you aren't willing to talk Hope", I said to my daughter and went on my phone and laptop. I decided to wait it out till she was ready to move forward. On the side of my eyes I can see her struggling internally. She wouldn't look at me while pulling on her shirt and kicked the floor repeatedly. I remained quiet as I scrolled thru my phone. Then as if something clicked in her head, she calmed down and started doing her math work on her own. I continued doing my thing quietly and watched on the side of my eyes as she willingly went on her tasks. The silence was finally broken when she needed help with a question. I took that opportunity to praise her for taking choosing to do the correct thing despite how she was feeling. I acknowledge her frustration, apologized for my bad reactions and explained why I needed to walk away. It wasn't to make her feel like I was abandoning her but that I needed the space to calm myself down so things wouldn't escalate. I then asked her to teach me what I should do to help her when she is in that phase herself. Should I talk or remain quiet? stay close or give space? Not surprising as she is my daughter, she told me to give her space so she can do things to calm herself down. I totally understood because thats exactly how I am too.
It's been almost a week since the incident and things have gone much smoother. In fact, our relationship seems to have become closer. The closeness I credit all the extra time we've been spending together talking and learning because of homeschool.
Lesson: The fact that Hope is so much like me in the way she stonewalls and how frustrating it felt having to deal with it, made me become more self aware in how I made my husband and kids feel when I stonewall them. I don't do it to my children as much as I do it to my husband when I am upset. I apologized to him for all the times I made it hard for him and thanked God for the personal growth.