Sunday, October 6, 2013
The language of my son–Being a single mother of 3 – two girls and a boy there were many challenges to say the least. All the children are two years apart – my son the youngest. A huge challenge for me was how to really communicate with my son as he seemed to communicate differently than my girls.
The girls? Well this seemed easy. They were like me .. They were little girls. I understood their childhood interests. Playing with baby dolls, dress up, Barbies etc… I understood their emotions and how they communicated them… From happiness to sadness I found I could easily predict and understand their emotions and how they got to them…. But a boy? What does he play with? cars? GI Joe? Etc? How is he going to express his emotions and how does he get to them? How do I direct his communications and emotions into what a man is supposed to be? I felt lost….and I hoped through time I would figure it out…or at least that’s what I told myself to get through the days..
The differences were noticeable and tough to handle as my communications to my son didn’t always seem to be well received by him. He wanted to be cuddled, but on his terms. He was often very quiet and didn’t say much. He also wouldn’t repeat himself so when he spoke I had to be listening or I missed out. He played, but alone, and didn’t really want to have to explain his thought process to us girls so that we could play too. He was my son and he was his own person. He was a calming force in a house of raging emotions and drama that the girls seemed to have just as a part of their nature. But there was something missing a real communication… A true understanding.
Nighttime was a chance for me to check in with him and chat before bed. I often wanted to communicate in his language but couldn’t seem to break through his wall of being the only boy. I had to get creative. He loved his “little men” toys these were Digimon, and some other popular characters that he played with … He also loved stuffed animals… His bed was full of them. We would have nights in the summer where we would ” camp out ” in the living room. He would participate but only after moving all his stuffed animals into the living room first. His love for his stuffed animals helped cultivate my communication skills.
One night I thought and thought how I could express to this little being that I loved him, that I loved that he was my son … My only boy …and that made him special beyond compare. Yes the girls were like me, but he was cherished because he was my only boy! Well, it came to me….
Tucking him In one night I asked him did he know how much I loved him?. He just looked at me in silence as he often did … The silence sometimes seemed to be his communication…
I said “if you were a toy @ toys r us…. I would buy all of you that was on the shelf” (toys r us is our local toy store) he looked @ me and smiled the biggest smile… He sat up and gave me a hug… And there started our special communication… Whenever I would say that phrase to him he would smile… I finally broke through his wall of communication… The fact that he was a boy and did things different and thought differently? I had finally found a way to connect. From that day forward I realized I had to learn to speak his language… His language on his level..it was a challenge and made me have to be more creative … But I figured it out and I am still figuring it out… 🙂
He was around 4 yrs old when this happened.
He is now soon to be 18… That line doesn’t work now…. I’m still working to speak his language. I call it the ” language of my son”