Flying by the Seat of my Pants — Not
by Anna M. Lenardson
On the spectrum of mom personalities, I weigh in way over on the "fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants, let's have pancakes for dinner, you can wear those socks one more day" side of the scale. I'm not organized or systematic. Usually I can't find my lists. And I forget to look at what I've written in my calendar. My house is a tad on the messy side. And our laundry often goes from washer to basket to floor to washer without ever darkening the door of the closet.
But I have this daughter. I have this beautiful, charming, pixie of a daughter with a learning "difference." She struggles in school. She has a terrific memory, but reads several levels below her current grade. I've had to transform into more of a systematic mom. I've had to try and fail and try again. I've had to take note of what works and work on what fails. I've had to come up with rituals and schedules. I've discovered that she, despite having a strong attention deficit, is an auditory learner. That explains why in the second grade, she could write out her spelling words twice every night and still get them all wrong on the test on Friday. But, through trial and error (hypothesis and experiment), I soon found that if she said the letters aloud as she was writing, her results were much better.
Nowadays, we make flashcards and study for tests orally. When she has a paper to write, she dictates, and I type. When she is completing review sheets, I read her textbook aloud to her, and she listens for the relevant information. When she has verses to memorize, I say a line and she repeats it back until it sticks. I wonder if they have mother/daughter rooms in college?
So, I guess maybe there's a bit more of the systematic mom in me than I thought … but just doesn’t ask me what's for dinner tomorrow.
Anna M. Lenardson and her family live in Cascais, Portugal. She’s a field leader for MOPS.