Friday, August 1, 2014

I've started a new Blog

Hello Friends,
It has been a while! I've been focusing on creating two new children's books and also spending a veritable ton of time to promote them. Self-publishing is easy. Selling books is another story altogether!
Now that my head is above water, I want to write and create a platform for promoting my books. I am inspired by The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond, and have started a similar kind of blog, focusing a little more on the Homeschool adventure.

I hope you find it interesting and relative! I've also created it on Facebook, so look me up and share with your friends.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Our Story is Published

I decided that there is just too much to write in my little blogs without having some kind of background "whole picture" view.  So I wrote a little book:

My hope is that our story will help other families with their gifted or anxious child.
It is on the Kindle, Nook and soon will be available in paper on

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Anxiety and My Gifted Child: A Glass Half Full

My son has anxiety. He isn't even 9 and he has more worries than a 21 year old college student paying for their first apartment and living on Top Ramen. He thinks about all the different diseases he read about in Horrible Science books, he worries about poisonous spider bites and has a fear of heights (with zero incidents to cause it) and when I tell him that he can only go up to his ankles in the big waves breaking on shore, he deducts that if he isn’t careful, he’ll be pulled out into the ocean and never seen again.  Seriously.

This is not something I anticipated when I thoughtfully and passionately planned on having children and being a mother.  It is painful and scary (and oftentimes annoying) and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.

In January we started therapy for a second time.  The first round a year ago was with a standard family therapist who looked at me with horror in her eyes at the story of being “pulled out to the ocean and never seen again.”  She believed that I said that to my 7 year old!  She didn’t understand what “GIFTED” means.  (And in case you, the reader, do not, here’s a perfect example of what the gifted mind does:  it is thinking far beyond the literal and drawing conclusions most wouldn’t even see; it is visionary and can sometimes be fantastical).
Our new Gifted therapist is guiding us to discover the root of the anxiety.  We have “play” sessions where T is creating and drawing and discussing.  We have very rich sessions and he seems to be making progress by identifying his anxieties and coping better with them. This week we created “worry boxes” and wrote down some of our worries and sealed them into our individual boxes.  We talked about how Mom and Dad’s worries are not for him to worry about and there is a difference between grown-up worries and what worries the kids should have to deal with.  He wrote about getting a spider bite and I said, “Well, would you like to hear what Mom would do about that?”  He wasn’t interested in hearing about going to the hospital to be treated.  He just wanted to worry about the possibility.

Does my son revel in the negative?  Does he enjoy the worry, in a way?  Today T realized his computer had to be wiped out and reloaded because he downloaded a virus. He was in tears because he felt that he would never get his computer back to the way he had it setup before. Through a painful exchange of my trying to explain that everything could be re-downloaded, I had to stop and take a breath (and raise my voice a little.) “Son! Listen to what is going on here! You are choosing to think the worst instead of listening to my telling you it can all be put back and fine!”  As he does so often, he was choosing to see a glass half empty and here I was, pulling my hair out trying to make it all better. We've discussed recently how you can either be part of the Problem or part of the Solution. I sent him to his room with paper and pen to write all the applications we needed to put back onto the computer once it was restored. He calmed right down and started to be part of the solution. Hells to the yeah.

There are a couple of lessons I have learned recently:

1.  I can't really make it all better, but I can provide empathy and comfort.  In all of my frustration, the loving comfort just disappears.  The therapist explained that it's okay to set the limits, but if you validate the feeling and offer comfort to them, the limit is alot more palatable.  I was immediately reminded of the toddler years.  "Toddlerese" is Harvey Karp's method of speaking to a frustrated toddler.  You learn to speak their cave-man language and you really can have "The Happiest Toddler on the Block" per his successful book.  I just have to pull those skills back into play with my 8 year old.  Cool.

2.  My anxious boy is trying to create a sense of fulfillment, similar to that of a comfort-eater or a shopaholic.  He's trying to fill a need

I told my son that I believe you have a choice in life:  You can be a Worrier or you can be a Warrior. I told him“Mom is a Warrior and I will do anything I can to protect you and your brother” which is why I think it’s important to be prepared.  That really seemed to resonate with him because, really, what boy doesn’t want to be a Warrior?  He lightened up immensely with this idea.

Maybe the anxiety is getting better?  God, I sure hope so.  Clearly, we are growing; we are getting it together.  I'm learning about triggers and how to keep his nosey self out of the grown-up worries.  He's learning that life doesn't have to be half-full and he doesn't need to worry about everything.  I'm thinking age 9 is going to be a lot better and will be happy to leave age 8 well behind us.