I am so proud of Kelsie tonight. There are many, many reasons but tonight, I am especially thankful for her helpfulness and her independence. Nathan has been out of town so I have been running things on my own this week. So this evening, as I went upstairs to give M her bath and put her to bed, I asked Kelsie to finish her “Star of the Week” homework and then connect herself to chest PT. Even though I know she CAN do this, I am still usually the one to call her over and physically connect her once it’s time to do this chore. Or continually ask her to do it since she dreads it so much. So, as kids do, I kind of expected her to delay and not really follow my instructions the first time. But I came downstairs about 20 minutes later to find that she had finished her work (and did a beautiful job at that!), connected herself to her machine, started it, and even had a piece of Halloween candy (which she had asked for earlier) sitting next to her and instead of secretly tearing into it, she patiently waited to eat it until I got downstairs to give her her enzymes. She is only 6 but she has had to learn a level of discipline and responsibility most her age do not have to deal with. It is an ongoing challenge for me as her mother to set reasonable expectations in regards to her CF care and allow her to be a “normal” kid, but still teach her to adhere to this time consuming daily regimen and to do it independently as early as she is ready. She is doing an excellent job and while she still prays every night for CF to go away, she rarely ever complains. My sweet girl, you are my star EVERY week!!
And this was also a good reminded to myself to notice that these little things are really big things and they deserve noticing. I made sure to give her lots of praise and make her know how proud I was of her. And even though the concept of positive reinforcement is pretty well known among parenting circles, it bears repeating…if you reinforce the positive behavior, you are more likely to get more of it. This is important in any area of parenting but when your child has a chronic illness that they are going to have to care for on their own one day, it’s feels even more imperative that you continue to foster these areas of responsibility, independence, and maturity, pretty early on.
Good job girl. Mommy is so proud of you.