Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Friend or foe part 2

I keep wondering why my mother won't give me her copy of the book.

I decided I did not get it because I adopted my daughters and thought they must give it out at the hospital or if I did get it I did not know because it was in Chinese.

You know what I am talking about...

The book with all the answers on raising children!

Mom seemed to have the answers and continues to!

I was reminded of this as I gave a pep talk at bedtime. Some "friends" had asked Annabel some details about her past, some that were nobody's business, but telling them that is difficult for Annabel.

Since Mom wouldn't share her book of the secrets to being a great mom, after the report of problems before their trip, I went in search of the answers, which thankfully, in the adoption community, are very close at hand.

Before we could pack for the girls' trip I knew I needed to outfit Annabel with some better coping skills. The program we attended is specifically for children who have been adopted and their parents. It was a great day spent looking at what motivates us and then how we react to situations. They spoke to the children about recognizing the characteristics of friends, both how to be one and how to have one, and knowing the difference between friends and bullies.

The program, most importantly, gave me a glimpse, some might say an insight into my daughters' personalities and potential problems, as well as their strengths.

For Annabel to stand up for herself will take some skill and a lot of practice. For too many years her whole being has been about survivial, not necessarily living, much less enjoying life.

Wth this information in my mind, as I stood there in the pre dawn hour before they left on their trip, I was quietly sending prayers to help Annabel enjoy the trip, when I realized the mothers of her roommmates were standing beside me.

I used to be someone who would confront anyone on anything, but either I have mellowed or more likely, I still feel very insecure in some of these trickier situations as a mom.

So I was very surprised at myself when I went over, introduced myself, and proceeded to tell them what their daughters had been saying to mine. No surprise that they were shocked! They immediately got on the bus and had long talks with their daughters, then were very apologetic and as I expected, thought that all three girls were best friends.

It ended up that the two roommates shared a bed and Annabel got her own and also no surprise, halfway through the trip, those two were fighting and not speaking to each other!

The trip ended up being a fantastic experience for both daughters.

Most people looked at it as a chance to see the historical sites of Texas and the first look at college campuses, but it was also the first time they had to make their own decsions about bedtime, taking showers, what to eat, what to buy, some really, to me, more important lessons they need to learn, in a fairly controlled environment, but away from me.

But I did start this post with talking about a pep talk.

While I had a chance to "handle" the situation on the trip and the problems expected there, I know I cannot be there to fend off all the problems that Annabel will be faced with so I know she has to continue to work on establishing some boundaries, some plans to handle these issues on her own. For that I wish I had that secret book Mom is hiding from me!

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