A better title for this post would be, "Heather eats her words again!" Or "Never say 'I won't!'"
I have always wondered why on earth people put those harnesses/leashes on their kids. They have always bothered me. Mostly I wondered why people didn't just teach their kids to listen. The harnesses reminded me of walking a dog and while I do love my dog, children are so much more valuable than dogs.
And I guess that's the point. Our children are much too valuable to take unnecessary risks with their safety. You can train most dogs to heel, but you would still use a leash near traffic for their own protection.
I never imagined having a child with significant developmental delays or a possible developmental disorder. It never occurred to me that teaching a child to 'listen' may be complicated. When Conner, our oldest and typically developing child learned to walk, it was *work* to teach him to come to us when we called him, to stop when we asked him to stop, or to stay close to us in a store. He just turned 3 years old and we're still working on those things! I mean work!!
But when you work hard at something and reap the rewards, there's always an opportunity for pride to come creeping in. The misconception that "My child listens because I taught him to because I'm a good parent and I know what to do and if your child doesn't listen it's because you're not doing it right and that's just poor parenting." How's that for a run on sentence? I promised you in the first post I'd give you some of those! But, seriously. We think that way. I do and I think you do too.
But what Parker's delays and great shows of frustration (aka tamtrums) have shown me is that sometimes you can teach your heart out and reap limited results.
I said I would never have one of those silly harnesses. But clearly I do from that picture of Parker with a monkey on his back! The tail is part you hang on to. So, I ate my words! In the interest of my child's safety, I got a monkey pack so he could get out of the stroller and still be safe while I'm still trying to teach him to 'listen'. Wish me luck with that last part. The going is rough and progress seems to be happening at a snail's pace!
The picture above shows Parker walking on a pier at the lake. He loved it and didn't have to hold my hand. Since he can't stand to have anything touching his hands, that is a wonderful thing for both of us!
Thank you Lord for the Monkey Pack!