Thursday, June 15, 2006

Tough Love 101

I remember our first seaside trip with Nasri almost 2 years ago. For the sensory sensitive boy he was at that time, a trip that should have involved lots of fun; playing in the sand and chasing of waves turned out pretty much horrible for him. He didn’t like the feel of the rough sand under his feet and the waves to him, were just scary. It didn’t help (me) that N was persistent in his moves to make Nasri more susceptible to the feeling of the sand grains on his feet and body that he smothered sand all over him and made the little guy stand in the waves bawling his eyes out and screaming all the while. N wouldn’t let me console Nasri and it pained me to see him suffer so. I eventually gave in, not because I agreed with N (I thought there were better ways of dealing with the situation) but because I knew I could not argue with him, and even if I did, I wouldn’t win. So I walked away from the beach, backing away from my son who was crying out to me wanting me to carry him away and to give him his cuddles and tucked myself in a corner at the resort behind some palm trees bawling my eyes out, furious with N.

It has always been so between N and I when it comes to parenting. I have always been the one they come to for hugs, kisses and cuddles and bedtime stories. I prefer to be firm yet calm and loving (if that’s possible) although there are times when the dragon in me emerges and a few hangers or belts nearest to me come handy if the boys get out of hand. N on the other hand is our disciplinarian and the kids will kiss him when “ordered” to. Hehe..kesian N. Our in-house Sergeant Hassan, if I may call him that. He is the typical no nonsense dad, strict and firm and what he says goes. Fullstop.

It gets a bit more difficult when we are dealing wih Nasri and coping with his “issues”. Being the one mostly responsible for Nasri’s therapy and also the one who surfs the net day in day out searching for new ways to improve his daily programmes, we are on two different ends of the planet on our opinions on how to handle him. N likes to rough it out, nevermind if the boy screams murder, nevermind if the house turns upside down. Sergeant Hassan kan? Kadang-kadang macam Hitler pun ada jugak (hehe..)! I on the other hand, so called more knowledgable on the methods couldn’t bear to see my son being “tormented” in that manner. Initially, we had our little squabbles on this but in the end, I learned to shut out his cries for help but to do this, I always had to walk out. I couldn’t watch it and I knew I couldn’t reason with N on this. It wasn’t as though N was hurting the boy, no, he wouldn’t do that as he loves his son as much as I do. But he had his own ways of “treating” Nasri’s issues.

Over time, although I began to get used to N’s methods, I harbored a kind of anger at him for doing it. It wasn’t until recently when N and I attended a session with Nasri’s therapists that we discussed these issues.. N wasn’t all wrong and neither was I. In fact, at one point they even told me, “It’s his son too” and that if I couldn’t watch, then I should just leave N with his son and let him do whatever. It’s apparently good that we have this balance in our family and we should make the most out of this; not only for when with Nasri but also with his abang.

It has produced results though, Nasri has progressed in so many different ways. He no longer is uncomfortable with sand and he no longer is that sensory sensitive child he was those days. In fact, he loves playing in sand these days (it also helped that his therapists recommended that we cover his body with “kanji” every other day and let him play in it) and although we haven’t been to the beach off-late, I don’t think he’d have any problems loving the waves anymore. Come to think of it, maybe we should pack our beachwear and get to the beach this weekend to celebrate our little boy!

No one told me that parenting would be hard and I’m not talking about mother and child parenting; more of the mother vs father parenting issues. But I guess that’s what this life is about, for us to evolve and to live and learn. Perhaps one day N will learn to be a bit like me, and as for this mommy, it looks like I have to take a “Tough-Love 101” course. How lah to have a third one like this?


Blogger Nazrah said...

alaaaaaaaaa....pot calling kettle black la pulak...

buat aje la number 3...belasah je.

8:19 AM  
Blogger LifeBloom said...

I just have so much respect for parents. Especially mums. You guys are the real heroes.

You & N are just another great example of parents doing everything they can for their kids. Your boys are very lucky!

11:06 AM  
Blogger mommy@lif said...

dena, i can so relate to this.. just like my case.. i yang lagi 'berlembut' with my son than hubby. but my boss ckp it's good to have opposites in the household but it ur hubby is too firm, maybe you yang kena explain why N did that. for kids, NO je tak cukup tapi kalau kita bagi reasons/ explanation diorg akan faham & respect their parents.

6:21 PM  
Blogger drbubbles said...

ayo sis, your posting always left me speechless.

7:00 PM  
Blogger anedra said...

nazrah: hehe..belasah je kan?? lepas tu pening. deal with it then lah kan??

lifebloom: I sure hope we're doing this right. Kalau lah ada crystal ball, kan best?? ehh..yr 70s reunion dah ke belum?

alif's mommy: tell me about it. everytime N has his turn in dealing with the boys..I gotta be the orang tengah later and listen to the boys and reason with them on why Dad did what he did. But it's harder with Nasri, cos he doesn't understand. Sedih. I guess he (and his mommy) will have to learn the hard way!! :)

drbubbles: haiya! why like that??

7:30 PM  
Blogger Ely said...

yup, its mom vs dad or ibu vs paps for me. we dont fight over kids but fight over whos method is better.

happy parenting my dear. when the kids hit teenage years, thats when concensus between u and N will be tested mine!!!

9:49 PM  
Blogger Kak Teh said...

both of you are handling him so well - dont be too hard on yourself. When I met Nasri last week, he actually came running to me, looked straight at me - and at last minute - changed his mind and changed course! He must have remembered that Oteh pinches hard!
Love you all loads!

10:40 PM  
Blogger OOD said...

i get that too. One thinks the kids are babies still, and the other thinks discipline should start as early as possible. And i get physical pain when the kids get beaten. It can become quite difficult to tell myself that the kids are his too and he deserves to parent them the way he thinks best too.

Most of all it is difficult to admit that no method is actually the perfect one? And no matter what the books/websites say on parenting, there is no blanket rule!

SO difficult yet i am working nights to make another child! Somebody slap me hard already!

11:40 PM  
Blogger trueblue said...

I admire your strength.

Keep up the good work!

12:56 AM  
Blogger anedra said...

ely: teenage years?? Gosh..I'm so not in a rush for that! Slow and steady and must berbanyaaaaaak SABAR! yes??

Oteh: Of course he remembers that you like to pinch! hehe! Love ya loads too!

Oody: Ne' hard all the nights oody! Tak rugi! And I'm sure Yamtuan will be happy! Deal with the headaches later!

Trueblue: Aiyah...where got strength? but thanks anyways! :)

1:20 AM  
Blogger *concreterose* said...

daeynne.. what ure doing is working wonders on nasri... and the differences in raising up children would make your child stronger as he would get the positive traits from both parents... and i still would like to reserve nasar and nasri for my kids *one day maybe*


1:21 AM  
Blogger rose said...

really love it when you write stories like this coz i feel for you as i'm in the same boat some times. But, my guess, we just have to learn how to let go when we entrust our hubbies some responsibilities in teaching/coaching. If dia tak buat pun at times kita marah so bila dia buat kita kena diam and discuss to hubby later. I'm sure Allah is great and knows best.

2:14 AM  
Blogger Blabs said...

Pening kepala I baca all the wise tales on the mommies' blogs. Makes me realise that I have SO much to learn when my time comes. Eeeks!! But a balance is good, yes? I think I'll be more like N, H is the lembik one. :)

4:46 AM  
Blogger MA said...

Oh wow...

I don't know which is harder - having two opposites of parenting methods from two parents, or having to wield different approach single-handedly.

I don't think I could tahan if I see anyone *berkasar* either physically or verbally with my kids
especially if it's coming from a parent.

Bertegas, yes. But not berkasar.

Who says parenting is a walk in a park kan?

But you're doing good, Dena. Very, very good.

7:14 PM  
Anonymous atn said...

i'm gonna say the same thing i said in Naz's blog: bake, bake, bake! he he he

actually I think a younger sibling will be good for baby N.

12:10 PM  
Blogger bergen said...

Bergen was here.

9:44 PM  
Blogger anedra said...

concreterosie: hey!! treat them like your own babes! my kids yr kids..anyway, you're their godmommy now aren't ya?

K rose: yes, I guess. I suppose we need to find the "equilibrium" somehow and get to some agreement somewhere. But there's always the issue on self-principles and sometimes, as the mommy that carried the child for 9 months in her tummy etc..etc..I feel that I have kuasa veto on them! haha! like i said, we live and learn. Nice to see u here..

blabs:'s a whole new ball-game altogether when the babies come! but it's fun and the most fulfilling thing ever!

makandeh: i know what u mean. N and I come frm two different schools (I suppose based on how our parents brought us up) and it ain't easy. I always end up in tears..but sometimes i think I may be too lembik osso. Anyways, 'ur one of my role models now! hehe. love reading yr stories on how u handle the brood!

K ten: yeah..yeah.. i suppose. Too many "what-ifs" in my head right now when it comes to THAT decision, although I do know that I want a baby girl BADLY! waaaarrghhh!

Berg: heya there! thanks for dropping by!

10:30 PM  
Blogger Queen Of The House said...

Glad to know Nasri's therapies are going well.

As for another baby .... buat aje. You will never regret; how can any parent regret having another child?

4:32 AM  
Blogger LifeBloom said...

Oh you remembered...Yes the 70s get together happened a month ago. It was great meeting up with all the old friends. We spent the whole night and morning yakking. Some mums played hookey and slept over! We had a slumber party!

2:39 AM  
Blogger anedra said...

your royal highness: alhamdulillah, he is doing good,,but it's a marathon and the journey is still long! as for the third, I cd never regret one, but like i said to kak ten..there are so many "what ifs" as I cope etc..etc.. belasah je lah kan?

lifebloom: wooohoooo! sounds like fun. I'll be having a little reunion tomorrow with dorm-mates!! yaaayy!!

6:33 PM  

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