Giggles recently did a writing assignment on what kind of parent she will be. I can safely say that all of us waited with baited breath to see what she would write. Her teachers warned me that this assignment was coming. It was nice of them. Giggles’ teacher is an adoptive mom herself. She knows well what this assignment would mean for Giggles and I. It would mean addressing the fact that she had a mom before she had me. Would she write about being the kind of mother her first mother was? Or would she be a parent like I am? The GhanaDuo’s first mom and I don’t parent the same way at all. Giggles rarely had limits in Ghana. Her first mom was just struggling to get by. It was Giggles internal motivation to please that kept her in line at all (ShyGuy=not internally motivated to please, so he was a lot more of a handful for his “first mom”).
I got a copy of the assignment today. Giggles very sweet student teacher photocopied it and handed it to FPD. She thought we might want to keep a copy of it. Here is what she wrote, mistakes and all (just because her writing makes her so uniquely her).
I will be a good parent because I use all the same thing my mom and dad though (taught) me and I will do the same things like go on a trip to fun places like the zoo and other trips. One thing I would not get them is a toy gun because they might take it to school and they will be in trouble with their teacher and then they will be in trouble with the teacher and then they will not go to the zoo and other fun places so they will be in their room for a long time and I will be mad like my mom is when somebody get in trouble with me and with his dad.
First of all, from my mom heart…tears. She wrote about us.
She also wrote about something that every older adopted child struggles with, something that we have drilled into the heads of the Ghanaian kids for the last almost two years they’ve lived with us… setting limits with love. We won’t beat her, but if she steps a toe over the line, privileges will be lost. I tell her over and over that my job as her mom isn’t to be her friend, it’s to guide her as she learns how to become an adult in the real world. Giggles wrote about all the fun places we go as a family (apparently the zoo tops her list), but she also talks about how she knows the fun will disappear if she misbehaves. Do you know what really touched my heart about this though? Giggles makes the connection that this is an effective way to parent, and that she believes in it enough that she plans to parent this way too.
There were a lot of arguments over the last almost two years between FPD, myself and the GhanaDuo about WHY we have to parent this way. It took A LOT of talking to make them understand that they are accountable for their actions, that it isn’t effective to just whip them with a stick and then let them go back to what they were doing. They need to understand the consequences their actions bring. It’s SO much more work than the stick, but apparently, it’s worth it. She really gets it.
who only wishes that Bubbly would ‘get it’ now too.