We have continually prayed over this problem, worked on it, read Christian parenting books for advice and of course sought out our family and peers to see if they have had the same experience with any of their children. I even spend time after David Sr. goes to bed and the kids are in bed sometimes, and I just kneel at his bed and pray over him. I sometimes think that Dobson didn't even have a chapter that covered Jon's level of strong willed behavior, HA. I feel I need to say again, that Jon does have an extremely bright and sweet side to him, and we see it often it is just that when his mood changes (and we don't know the trigger) the other side is beyond unbearable to deal with.
So recently I was at church, I had a particularly emotional weekend and then the cherry of the weekend was followed by a very BAD day with Jon. This was the weekend we had gone to the Buddy Walk and what I hadn't shared was that Jon had gotten lost from us for about 30-45 minutes in a crowd of over 1000+ people wearing the same thing (everyone was in the yellow BW shirts). So to have him come home the very next day and not learn anything from being separated from us and giving us a hard time . . . . I did not have a great Mommy Sunday. So, when I got to choir on Sunday evening my emotions were on major overload and I found myself crying while singing, because of course the words to the song were speaking REALLY LOUDLY to where I was at the moment. Then a small group of us stepped out to practice a song for the Christmas Cantata and during that I started laughing hysterically which to my surprise turned into sobs, I got up and left the room and went to the parking lot to get some air and gather myself. A few minutes later a dear friend of mine came out and stood with me. She simply said, "Bad mom day?" YES! She of course knew we had lost Jon during the walk because I had mentioned it on FB and she knew it was already an emotional weekend, so when she realized that my Bad mom day was also related to him she had some advice.
Jennifer related that she and her husband also had some difficulty with one of their children and her behavior and they found her behavior got worse when her dad was deployed. She recognized that although our situations are not the same, she said that Jon might be suffering a little from being in the middle and all that has happened with Rachel's birth. Jenn said David and I might want to consider setting up regular dates OR One on One time with Jon so that he has our personal attention and he knows he is important to us. I really thought this was great advice and thought that this could hold some truth. Of course Jon is important to us, but with the daily business of trying to take care of an infant, a house, a child doing more homework now that he is a 1st grader and then all of our church activities I feel lucky to have a moment alone in the bathroom. But helping Jon to understand his importance in our family and have confidence to communicate to us in a manner that would be pleasing to the Lord is our focus right now and a big priority.
With that in mind we are working on first setting up Mommy and Me ONLY time for Jon and I. With my parents help, while David Jr is at school, Jon and I will have play dates with one another while Rachel stays with Grandma and Grandpa. Jon will have my full attention and it will be his time to do mostly what he wants. Here are a few of the ideas we have for our dates with Jon (David will eventually plan on taking time off from work to surprise Jon with his dates).
- Going to the park
- Go to the Library and pick a special book for just the two of us and our time
- Out to lunch
- Ferry Boat ride
- Go down to the aquarium (we have a family membership)
- Fort Macon
- Going to a farm a friend suggested (can't think of the name)
For our first one, I went to the library and picked out our first book, my plan is he will go with me to return it and we will pick another together. Our first book is Stuart Little by E.B. White, I also picked out Charlotte's Web for our family reading time each night. So this was the result of our first Mommy and Me ONLY time and it went very well. Go back to this post for instructions on how to make the Monster Page Corner Bookmarks.