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February 2010
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Loose thoughts rattling around a tired brain

A duck sails smoothly across the pond, but under the water it is all a mad chaos of paddling. What we see does not always match the experience. Sometimes an aching arm indicates a larger posture problem rather than an arm problem. All of this is particularly true when dealing with psychology, particularly the psychology of children. Children are not very self-aware. The don’t spend time reasoning out their motivations. They think, they feel, they act. But a more accurate way to state it is: They think, they feel, they think, they feel, they feel, they think, and then they react upon the thoughts and emotions at the beginning of the chain. When asked why, a child can’t often tell you. They rarely know why.

Part of my job as a parent is to be a psychologist. I watch for the odd reactions and indications that the child is feeling stress. When I see the indicators, I then have to sleuth out the causes. Patch keeps getting out of bed and claiming he is hungry, but he had a good dinner. Is he worried about his make-up work? Does he need someone to listen while he talks? Is there an assignment at school he dreads? While I’m at it, I should also figure out why he’s been deliberately provoking Gleek. Is he jealous of her? Did she ignore his game suggestion? Is he mad at a friend and taking it out on his sister because he knows she’ll love him anyway?

Often the sleuthing is straightforward. Most of the time the answers do not matter all that much. But other times, it matters a lot. Children do not break down into major tantrums because they enjoy it. When a normally resilient and happy child has a major meltdown, something else is going on. The something else may be as simple as illness or hunger, but it needs attention.

It seems like the majority of this year has been about Kiki and Link with a side order of Gleek. This week Gleek and Patch have claimed center stage. I suspect the stress of having me busy with LTUE helped trigger the various meltdowns, but the causes were in place before that. I’m still sorting it out. I’m still sleuthing to find the motivations.

I am also still wearing my talent wrangler hat and as a result I’ve taken over some more business manager stuff.

Bottom line: Today was tiring. I’m hoping I’ve slogged through most of it so that tomorrow can be more restful.

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