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Relationship Reflection

Why Relationships/Partnerships Are Important To Me …

  • …Because they are the epitome of who I am. If I didn’t have any positive relationships in my life, I wouldn’t know some of the essential lessons of life … I wouldn’t know how to love, how to forgive, how to share, or how to have patience.
  • … Because they fill my life with a beauty I’ve never known. I wake up each day, knowing that I have a support system of people willing to encourage me, challenge me, and love me. With the people in my life, I can reach new heights, go the extra mile, and explore new things. Without them, I feel that my life would be dull and colorless.
  • … Because they accept me for who I am. I don’t feel the need to conform to someone I am not just to please them. Rather, I know that I will be accepted just as I am.
  • … Because they teach me many lessons each day about life. Whether it’s something simple like learning how to work a coffee machine or a deep issue, like dealing with trust issues, they have instilled wisdom and knowledge into my life.
  • … Because they continuously remind me that a partnership is essential to an effective relationship with anyone. It’s 100%-100% in every relationship, and I have learned to embrace that from the people in my life.
  • … Because they enriched my life with love, wisdom, knowledge, and happiness. I have learned how to love from the deepest part of my heart, how to smile even when it hurts, and how to think through a tough situation. I have developed into a well-rounded person because of the countless ways relationships and partnerships affected me.
  •  because they indeed collaborate together to make me who I am.

Without them, I simply would not be me.

People Who I Currently Have Positive Relationships and Partnerships With …

  • Sammy …
    The man who captured my heart forever

    Sammy and I at the Zoo

My beloved fiancée has captured my heart, body, and soul. He truly is my other half, who completes and compliments me. My weaknesses are his strengths, and his weaknesses are my strengths. We laugh together. We learn together. We love together. He has me forever, and forever has no end.

My relationship with Sammy continues to be a positive one in my life because he is always encouraging and challenging me to be a better person. On my bad days, he is there with a smile and always helping me to see the positive side of the situation. We take the time to listen to each other (most times) and offer advice when appropriate. We collaborate together with situations that affect both of us. We share uplifting, positive words, rather than negative and harsh. We find a sense of safety within each other and feel completely comfortable to be who we truly are. We work together as a team, making each person feel valuable, treasured, and equal. I’m honored to know Sammy not only as my friend and future mate, but as my partner in life.

Our relationship, while long-distance at this time, constantly revolves around several factors that helps it develop and maintain. Our maintain commitment to each other is communication. We value and treasure communication between the two of us. Whether over the phone, through texting, or sometimes in person, we talk and maintain a sense of security and trust with each other. We also depend on honesty. We both know that we need to be honest with each other to develop our relationship deeper. We also uphold a sense of deep commitment to each other. We are learning how to work as a team, involving the other person as a valuable mate. We maintain a commitment to each other which helps develop trust between the two of us.

My past has definitely serves as a huge challenge to help us fully communication, be honest, and trust. I had a rough past that left me bruised, battered, and broken. My sense of trust in people was shredded, and I am still working to rebuild it nearly 3 years later. This is a hindrance, as there are times when I don’t want to share things with Sammy for fear of what he will think. I sometimes question his level of commitment to me, based on previous situations that happened to me prior to meeting Sammy.  Due to my negative past, my current relationship has suffered. We are working hard together to overcome this hurtful past and move forward together in life.

I don’t just have a relationship with Sammy … I truly have a partnership. We work together to make decisions. Together, we share responsibilities, whether it is house chores or who is treating for dinner. We take turns calling each other. What one contributes so does the other. We work together as equal partners, valuing who the other person is. Our relationship is indeed a partnership that positively impacts my life.

 

  • Ephraim Emmanuel …

                               … The boy who has me wrapped around his finger

 

Ephraim and I

My son is not the typical three year old boy. He was born not breathing. No heartbeat. Blue. I guess, he was technically born dead. However, he came back to me after a few minutes. His traumatic birth was not without long-term negative consequences. He struggles with multiple disabilities now, including cerebral palsy and feeding difficulties. However, he doesn’t let anything stop him. With a smile on his face, he is truly the definition of a miracle.

My relationship with Ephraim is always a positive one. We are always laughing and smiling together. We take time to enjoy the simple things in life, like dancing when no one is watching or placing with a pair of socks. Being Ephraim’s mother has taught me how to love and to cherish each moment. I have learned how much he can do, despite his disabilities. I have truly embraced what a miracle really is. Our relationship is positive because we teach each other as we go, loving and laughing along the way.

One factor that definitely helps our relationships stay strong is the amount of time we spend together. We spend at least an hour together each day, playing or watching TV. We usually end up going everywhere together when I’m not working. With the amount of time we spend together, we have developed a strong bond. Although we do spend a considerable amount of time together, we do spend much of the work days apart. This helps us value our time together and treasure each moment. We also engage in genuine interaction. I simply don’t “go through the motions.” I take my time, teaching him and helping him learn how to adapt in life. In turn, he takes his time to share a true smile or laugh his little head off. Together, we engage in genuine interaction and spend a lot of time together, which maintains and develops our relationship into a solid one.

There are definitely challenges with my relationship with Ephraim, especially in regards to his disability. Because of the extent of his disability, he cannot communicate effectively. We are working hard through therapy and consistent follow through at home to encourage him to use sign language and assistive communication devices. However, there are still periods where he can’t communicate his needs and wants, which leaves us both frustrated. While there is a lack in speech, Ephraim and I work together to find alternative ways to still engage in a positive relationship.

 

  • My Mom and Dad …

                   … The two people who have seen me through thick and thin

My mom and dad have seen me at my best and at my worst. They brought me into this world, full of love and happiness. As I grew up, I learned countless valuable lessons that shaped who I am today. They’ve taught me how to love, to forgive, to share, how to have patience, and mostly, that I can do anything I put my mind to. Because of them, I am who I am today.

My relationship with my parents continues to be a positive one because we take the time to communicate on a regular basis. While our schedules are hectic during the school year, we manage to take a few moments to talk about our day or week. We also take a day here and there to escape from our busy schedules and enjoy a fun activity together. Furthermore, we have uplifting, positive conversations that challenge me to be a better person. Rather than feeling stuck, my parents come along side of me and encourage me to constantly reach for more. Finally, we also partake equally in our relationship, helping each one of us feel valuable and wanted. I am able to run errands or pick up items that they might need. Likewise, they often offer to pick up something I may need or surprise me with a treat. Communication, encouragement, and equal share are just some of the factors that helps maintain and develop our relationship, making it a positive one.

Having a difference of opinion is definitely a challenge that we must continuously work on. As I continue to make my own path in this world, my values and beliefs are shaping into my own person view, which sometimes differs from the ones my parents uphold. This can create a clash for conversation, as we will butt heads over a particular topic. They remain set in their ways, and often have a hard time seeing the particular topic through my eyes. This can cause bumps in our relationships, causing miscommunications and negative words. We work together to set aside our own personal opinions and truly listen to what the other person has to say. This remains a challenge to this day, but our relationship is strong and has overcome.

 As an adult child, my relationship with my parents has become more of a partnership. While they are still learning that I am an adult and can make my own decisions, they are embracing me as a collaborative partner. They ask my opinions about certain things and invite me to teach them new concepts, often related to technology. My mom will ask my advice about educational situations, and we work together to come up with a solution. When my parents offer an equal opportunity, I eagerly accept it and feel more like an active contributor.

 

How These Relationships and Partnerships Impact My Work as an Effective Early Childhood Professional …

 All of the relationships and partnerships in my life have impacted me as a whole, affective every area, including professionally. As an early childhood educator, I reflect upon my personal relationships and partnerships, gather the important lessons I have gained from them, and apply them to my profession.

 Looking at the several factors that contribute to a positive relationship in my life, I work on incorporate these into the families I work with. I constantly work with the children and families to maintain consistent communicate. I encourage a two-way communication log book, hopefully making parents feel like a partner in their child’s education. I also embrace a sense of honesty on both parts. I have found that when I am honest with a parent about their child’s day, even including the negative parts, parents tend to remain open and honest in return. I want to make sure families feel valued and an integral part in their child’s life, therefore I look for every opportunity to include them in decisions in regards to their child and the center as a whole. I engage in a genuine interaction with families, taking the time to listen. Through spending time with them and valuing their opinion, they feel important and a part in their child’s educational life. Furthermore, I constantly encourage parents, especially when they are going through a difficult situation. Through kind, heart-felt words, parents begin to open up and take time to listen to any recommendations or suggestions. These factors that have inspired positive relationships in my life heavily impact how I foster and develop relationships in the field of early childhood.

In addition, the challenges that I have encountered and work to overcome in my personal relationships play a significant role in my professional career. I need to constantly remember that families may be dealing with negative situations in their past that may affect our current relationship. They may have endured a poor childcare center or their child may have been negatively affected in some way. They can carry these negative implications into the current childcare relationship, which can leave a huge impact. Just like I am working with Sammy to overcome my negative past, I need to be patient and work with families to develop a sense of trust and work to replace the negative past with a positive future. In addition, I need to constantly work to find alternative ways to communicate with parents, if this is an issue. My son and I have developed a unique system to communicate, and I need to remember this when communication issues become a problem. Rather than becoming frustrated, the parents and I will hopefully be able to work together to develop our own unique way to communicate. Finally, I am need to remember that families come from different values, opinions, and beliefs. Just like with my parents, I need to put aside my personal beliefs and take time to truly listen to what they say. The challenges I endure in my personal relationships definitely impact my role in early childhood education and help me learn how to overcome those little bumps.

Finally, my relationships and partnerships can impact my work in the early childhood field by teaching me to utilize those special characteristics in my professional relationships. I need to work together with families, involving them in every aspect of their child’s educational journey, from decisions to communication. I also need to offer equal opportunities for all families, helping them feel like an active contributor. Through partnering with families by involvement and opportunities for contribution, effective and positive relationships will be formed.

 

3 responses to “Relationship Reflection

    • shawneced

      November 12, 2012 at 1:58 am

      Your son is so handsome. Wow I love the red hair!!!!!!!!

       
  1. Cheri Creecy

    November 13, 2012 at 5:17 am

    Erin,
    I really enjoyed your post. The way that you feel about Sammy touched my heart. Just by reading I could feel the love that you have for him and your son is adorable.

     

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