7 Ways To Regroup When You Lose Your Stuff As An Exceptional Parent

This morning was one of those mornings I wished I could press rewind to the moment Michael woke up. I wished I would have said and done things differently from the start when Michael woke up late, started dilly dallying, getting caught up in small details which we did not have time for. I wished I had not been triggered by his anxiety and anger to unburden all my anger and self-pity that I had been bottling up all week as we repeated a bad morning routine which did not seem to be changing any time soon. I also wished, both silently and loud, that someone else would ring the doorbell and take over for me. This woman would be a calm Buddha Mom which  I am striving to be. She would look like the calm Buddha Parent Coach  I am when I work with kids and parents who I am not related to. She would gently take me by the hand and tell me to breathe.

After when Michael and I  had both calmed down, apologized and left for camp, I realized that this bad morning had been a blessing and a huge wake up call as to what I needed to change in my parenting style. Yes, Michael needs to continue making changes as to how he handles stress and anger. He is actually doing better and each day incorporating the strategies he is learning through the anxiety exercises our Educator gave us. But I also have to learn new strategies to cope with my stress and anger as a Mom. As a professional, I know what to do to keep myself calm and in control. I would avoid doing all the things I did this morning as a rule, no matter how angry I was on the inside. But when it’s your child the walls come crumbling down much easier as that there is no child better equipped to push your buttons than your own flesh and blood.

I came away from this morning’s difficulties, realizing that not only do I have to be Buddha Mom as I am Buddha Professional in my work, BUT I need to anticipate that my child, on purpose or simply due to me being Mom and him knowing he can throw all his difficulties at me at once,  will give me multiple challenges, and I need to be in shape to handle them calmly, predictably and compassionately. As always though,  my philosophy is taking a bad experience and seeing what positive thing I can learn as the take away. The take away in this case is 7 ways Exceptional Parents can regroup when they lose their stuff with their Exceptional Child and learn to do for future stressful encounters.

  1.  Breathe and Take 5 : It’s important to remember to breathe then take 5 seconds before responding to anything negative or stressful your child says, whether intentional or not.
  2. Deal With Your Own Daily Stress and Anger: You need to make sure that any anger or stress you feel towards your child or others is handled at the end of each day. Don’t let this pile up.
  3. Exercise, Yoga and Meditate: This is important to do to handle stress in advance, but do it after too. Your body will thank you.
  4. Forgive Yourself: This is a toughie for a lot of Moms who feel they have to be perfect.   You don’t. You are human. You will do and say things you regret. Apologize, forgive and learn from it.
  5. Talk To Your Child About What They Can Learn: If your child is able to have this discussion, talk to them about what they can learn from yours and their mistakes.
  6. Make Sure To Give Them And You A Clean Slate:  Make sure that once the fight is over, there is no more lingering anger, fear or resentment. Start over.
  7. Talk To Other Exceptional Parents: Talking to other parents, either friends or parents in support groups, can help you remember that you are not the first parent to lose it with your child nor will you be the last. Again, it’s ok. You are a human being.

Exceptional Parents, how long did it take you to forgive yourself when you have lost your stuff with your Exceptional Child? Remember, we all have moments we regret, but these moments and experiences are what shape us into stronger more resilient parents and human beings. Sometimes the best way to grow is through these challenging times. You and your child can use that as a stepping stone and move forward into easier terrain from then on. Until next time.

I am a writer, speaker and parent coach. I blog about how my exceptional son with autism and type 1 diabetes is raising me to a better human being and exceptional mom. My mission is to empower other exceptional parents to trust in their parenting instinct while letting their exceptional child open their eyes to all that is possible! For more information on my coaching services and to download a copy of my FREE EBOOK “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” see my website, http://www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com.

 

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The Push And Pull Of Child And Teen-An Exceptional Family’s Survival Strategies

I realized it the other day as I sat on a bench at the park watching Michael run through the splash pad and scream in happiness for what seemed the umpteenth time,

“Mommy, look at me! Look Mommy! Look!”

I was trying to chill out and give him his space, as he had asked me to about a half hour before at the park.
“Mommy, I want to go myself to the park. When will I be able to walk here by myself?”

This park is located at the corner of our street. I would have LOVED to say now, but there are still things I am concerned about for Michael’s safety. Sometimes he will say or do inappropriate things. It may just be with me, but I can’t take the chance of him making a scene alone. He has also asked when he could bike ride alone, go to stores alone, and get his own cell phone. Sigh. The teen hormones are raging even though he is just eleven and a half. Now, this is cute and it feels good to be complaining about these kinds of issues. This means my little guy is growing up and becoming independent, but then a half hour later he wants ALL my attention like when he was five or six  years old and gets upset if I am not focusing one hundred percent on watching him play in the splash pad. He will also question, even when I am animated and obviously not upset, if I am interested in what he has to say and happy.

This is the part that I have only recently understood. My Exceptional Son is caught between two worlds-that of child and teen. Tween is smack in the middle. He is still trying to figure out who he is, as well as handling controlling his stress levels and performing well at school, summer camp and in relationships. He is also trying to manage ASD, ADHD and Type 1 Diabetes. He is pretty fantastic, though lately I have been failing to see that. You see, I am also trying to navigate this labyrinth, even though it is from the outside looking in. Whenever I am having a rough moment though, I remind myself that it is ok to feel frustrated and fed up, but that it is Michael’s choice whether he wants to change the negative behavior and adopt positive replacement behaviors. This means admitting he needs help and letting those around him help him. This means admitting you are vulnerable. This is hard even for most adults, never mind an eleven year old child.

All I can do is encourage Michael to see he has people in his corner, “Team Michael,” who want him to realize his full potential, be happy, healthy and learn to manage stress and know he has options to function in a more positive way with himself and towards others. He has chosen to fight and change his negative patterns. I’m not surprised. He has been a fighter since conception, birth and beyond. It may mean reminders on behavior when times are tough, but he is up for the challenge. I have to remind myself that I am also up for the challenge during those times I feel defeated as a Mom or that I messed up. We all need to remember that sometimes we all feel stuck and it simply means we need to try something new. Everyone, even adults, have growing pains from time to time. It’s important to remember our kids have them too, and though exceptional kids experience them differently, it could still be a struggle.

Exceptional Parents, have you noticed your Exceptional Child experiencing an identity crisis as they got older? For some it is uneventful. For others, it is life changing. The important thing to remember is just to be there for your child, and go with their flow. Also admit that you are having growing pains and may need to blow off some steam now and then with family and friends. That’s ok. Do whatever you need to do to stay calm, collected and be the example your child needs as they mature. Until next time.

I am a writer, speaker and parent coach. I blog about how my exceptional son with autism and type 1 diabetes is raising me to a better human being and exceptional mom. My mission is to empower other exceptional parents to trust in their parenting instinct while letting their exceptional child open their eyes to all that is possible! For more information on my coaching services and to download a copy of my FREE EBOOK “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” see my website, http://www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com.

 

Signs That Your Exceptional Child Gets Their Anxiety And How To Help Them Find New Strategies

Eureka! I found myself saying this the other day in my head when Michael had an “Aha” moment. This moment was so important as it has shaped the last three days of our family life. Michael has finally began understanding his severe anxiety and his phobias  and how to start using strategies. Thank goodness he is a child who can talk to me about his fears, real and imagined. Besides doing this, however, he is also learning to detect signs that his anxiety is growing. He experiences stomach aches, tension, and panic attacks. The panic attacks are new. He will start to cry and say he does not want to be home. Home is where even when structured, he can hear the inner critical voice that says things he gets overwhelmed with and he can never be as busy than he is outside the home.The first time he shared this with me my heart broke. The only consolation was I could commiserate. As an anxiety sufferer myself, and one who has been on that roller coaster of emotions for most of my forty odd years, I was able to tell Michael that his inner critical voice exaggerates and even lies. It is a scared voice that needs support and acceptance as well as love from the rest of him. Once he learns how to love all of him, his anxiety will lessen. I know this, as I have learned tricks over the years to manage my own anxiety. I am constantly honing new mental muscle to be able to cope as well, and know that I can and will reach out for help whenever I need it.

In the meantime, we are doing the great exercises his Educator has given us for anxiety. They range from writing out scenarios of fears along with the worst and best possible outcomes, as well as wonderful ones that teach children about red thoughts and green thoughts, red thoughts being negative or stressful ways of looking at events, and green thoughts being positive ways to frame things in their minds. They also talk about how problems can be viewed as challenges to be overcome. Finally, he filled out a sheet that had him read situations and he had to label them as an Antidote or a Poison. Michael got them all right, and I could see him beginning the process of understanding his own anxiety. We talked about how everyone has anxiety as well as fears and phobias.

So how to know when your exceptional child gets their anxiety? Here are some of the signs:

  1. They recognize signs of fear in their bodies: The first time Michael was able to say his stomach or head hurt, I knew we were on the way to him recognizing the first signs of anxiety.
  2. They cry or are angry more often: Anger and anxiety often go hand in hand. As I have told people, Michael cycles in and out of anger and anxiety most days. Lately it has been anxiety, and I see the panic attack as he will cry and tell me he is feeling overwhelmed.
  3. Appetites change or diminish: This is so true, though if your child is on medication for anxiety or aggression, that will affect appetite too. Still, you will see that some times they say they are scared and don’t want to eat. At other times, you will see them eat more.
  4. They want to learn ways to manage it: The day that Michael was eager to do the homework and strategies to manage his anxiety, was when I knew he was ready for it.
  5. They start applying what they have learned. As a Mom what has made me most proud, is to see Michael using the belly breathing I have showed him to manage his anxiety, start replacing his negative thoughts with positive ones, and slowly move back into meditation and mindfulness. He has also went and retrieved old articles and read them to himself to figure out how they could help him.

Exceptional Parents, what are your stories when your Exceptional Child started to understand how to manage their anxiety and stress? Every child is different, and they will regulate their emotions differently too. The important thing is when you see your child practicing the strategies you have taught them, looking at articles or books that help them regulate, and asking for help. This means they are ready to take the next step-that is, managing to control their own fears and knowing that they are the true masters of their destiny. Until next time.

I am a writer, speaker, and parent coach. I blog about how my exceptional son with autism, ADHD and type 1 diabetes, is raising me to a better human being and exceptional mom by showing me how different brains view the world in a whole new way! My mission is to empower other exceptional parents to trust in their parenting instinct while letting their exceptional child open their eyes to all that is possible for them to do! For more information on my coaching services and to download a copy of my FREE EBOOK “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” see my website, http://www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com.

 

Trusting Your Exceptional Parenting Instincts- 5 Ways To Tap Into Your Exceptional Parenting Power

So to say that lately I have doubting myself as an Exceptional Mom is the understatement of the year.  Michael’s aggression and anxiety have both been building up since the Spring, and he wasn’t feeling good about himself. I know that I am a good Mom doing all I can, yet I felt that I must be missing something about my child, or he wouldn’t feel the need to act out, right? Well, actually right and wrong. Part of why an exceptional child, any child, acts out is due to not having sufficient boundaries in place between parent and child. Various reasons are to blame, lack of confidence, communication, exhaustion, burnout, on both sides. But the other reason is completely due to the child’s character. Yes parents, even though are kids have challenges,  it does not mean that they cannot control themselves or learn how to. It also does not mean that they can choose to misbehave as it nets them attention or other things. It means they need to learn positive ways to listen as it has a positive outcome.

I have learned so much from the team we are working with now to help Michael, as well as the teams we have had in the past. Michael’s team at school each year has taught me so much. But yet, my input is also valuable to his present and past teams. One thing that has always been a constant with all the therapists we have worked with who help Michael, is that they sought my input and Dad’s as much as giving their own. This was huge for me at the beginning when I didn’t trust myself at all as a parent. And in the last year, when I still trusted myself yet was feeling vulnerable and depressed  due to many therapy and therapeutic failures, they reminded me what a hard job being a parent is, and that it was important they get to know my child based on my feedback.

In the form of charts, exercises, emails and meetings, I have introduced and brought Michael live and center to his therapists offices. They have in turn thanked me for my input and showed me therapeutic measures and medications that have worked in general, and tried their best to tweak these measures to fit Michael and help him. There have been successes. There have been failures. But we continue on. Michael is the bravest of all of us. He is so willing to try new things, to get help. He wants to change the bad behavior and replace it with good. He is working hard as are we, and Dad and I praise him for this and always tell him how much we love him. It’s not always easy. What do we do to continue tapping into our parenting power? Here are 5 things:

  1. Make sure you are rested and get therapy if you need it: A tired parent will not focus and function well. Take care of your overall health.
  2. Read up on therapies and medications that therapists talk about: Don’t be afraid to ask for articles or read up on what your therapists recommend for your child. Do your own research too.
  3. Have fun with your child: Take the time to go the park, play, have fun with your child. This will recharge both of you in your relationship to see how much you get each other.
  4. Explore meditation and getting quiet: Explore mindfulness as a way to connect with who you are. This will help you build confidence to trust your instincts. Also exercise as a stress release.
  5. Talk to your child: Ask your child about their feelings and communicate positively with them in any way. If they can talk or communicate in some other way, ask them how they are feeling and get to know the real them. Otherwise, observe them as only a parent can. You will see things others will miss. Trust me on this!

Exceptional Parents, how many times have you thought that you don’t really understand your child at all and experts know better? We’ve all been there. Know this. Experts can give you great resources, sites to look at, and tools. Experts can support you and your child in ways no one else can. But you as the parent know instinctively what will and will not work for your child. Even if you are wrong, you usually know what to try next. Don’t ever doubt that your love and ability to learn more about your child will not be enough. It will. And the professionals that are worth yours and your child’s time, are the ones that put you at the top of the list as consultants in your child’s therapy plan. Remember, the team that helps your child succeed starts with them and you as the top experts. Until next time.

I am a writer, speaker and parent coach. I blog about how my exceptional son with autism and type 1 diabetes is raising me to a better human being and exceptional mom. My mission is to empower other exceptional parents to trust in their parenting instinct while letting their exceptional child open their eyes to all that is possible! For more information on my coaching services and to download a copy of my FREE EBOOK “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” see my website, http://www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com.

Consistency Is Key-How To Set Boundaries With Your Exceptional Child

I realized  as soon as the words were out of my mouth that I would have to follow through. Oh no. There would be no outing to the park tonight as the evening before Michael was not listening and had lots of inappropriate behaviors towards me. There had been times I’d missed this cue and not reacted by giving a consequence in time. What had this caused? Inconsistency in how Michael looked for attention and got it from me. Dad has been having the same problem. We realized that due to him being a very detail-oriented kid who needs to know what is happening at all times, we also needed to be more aware of setting more boundaries as to what is acceptable and not. In trying to move away from a strict schedule and trying to teach Michael to be more flexible, we had forgotten to set boundaries on what is appropriate for him to say or do.

Michael is a sensory child. He will want to hug or squeeze you. He will also sometimes come in your personal space. We are now realizing we need to remind him about each person’s personal bubble and how important it is to respect that. We also need to teach him what is appropriate to say or not. All our exceptional kids have their quirks about behavior and expectation. Just remember that as a parent we all forget from time to time to keep the universal rules in place. With kids with ASD and  different brains, however, a common rule set is really important to keep families functioning smoothly and expectations clear. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. Write down family rules: This is good in any family, but especially in exceptional ones where kids can have an idea what to expect.
  2. Have a rewards  system for good behavior: If your child responds well to it, have a rewards system for good behavior with details on what they could earn.
  3. Both parents need to have same set of rules: It’s important that rules apply across the board with both sets of parents.
  4. Praise the good: Sometimes as parents we forget to look at the good behavior and only focus on the bad. Change that mindset.
  5. Have stable routines: Have a stable bedtime, daytime and all other times family routine. This will help your child feel more secure.

Exceptional Parents, how do you keep consistency in your family for behavior and other things? If you are not always doing things the same way, stop and think how this is affecting  your child’s and your stress level. You can solve so much  anxiety and stress with keeping consistent in how you respond to your child and other family events. You will see how this will help you all as a family grow stronger and be happier. Until next time.

I am a writer, speaker and parent coach. I blog about how my exceptional son with autism and type 1 diabetes is raising me to a better human being and exceptional mom. My mission is to empower other exceptional parents to trust in their parenting instinct while letting their exceptional child open their eyes to all that is possible! For more information on my coaching services and to download a copy of my FREE EBOOK “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” see my website, http://www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com.

How Exceptional Parents Can Press The Reset Button On Manifesting Abundance In Their Exceptional Family

Times are tough. Summers are even tougher. At least they are in most exceptional families. Ours is no exception, but with many wonderful angels in my life that God and the Universe keep putting in my path, I am hearing t the same refrain: You need to bring hope and the abundance mindset back. Now, by abundance mindset, it does not necessarily mean  financial though it could be. Abundance also includes emotional, physical and spiritual balance. It is about clearing out the clutter in our minds, hearts and lives. It is about not letting pain and worry about our children, ourselves and loved ones define our whole experience. Though I know this and help other Moms and people move out of this mindset, I have noticed in the last month that I have been stuck in a negative mindset where my hope has been shaky. I have been letting pain and fear rule, never a good idea. Well, I decided last weekend no more. I am on a journey back to rediscovering hope, love, community and seeing the beauty in even the most painful situation.

It starts with seeing the beauty in yourself, in all your moods. Next, look with love on your child and other family members. Michael has been giving me reasons to smile even in the midst of his fear and personal struggles lately. He has even made me chuckle once or twice. I know laughter is coming back soon again in our family. Why? Because we are slowly opening up to the reality that life is a mix of beauty, darkness, and everything in between.

Looking at Michael swimming last night at one or our community pools, I saw him having fun, relaxed and smiling while fooling around in the water. He was flipping underwater and then swimming. He kept looking at me sitting on deck with a puzzled look and then asked,

“Mommy, why aren’t you coming in to swim?”

“You know what Michael. I’m tired today. I’m going to watch instead.”
He was disappointed and tried several more times. I usually enjoyed swimming with Michael and in general, but last night was so tired and stressed. I took a Mommy respite on shore while he entertained himself. I was also afraid of silly inaproppriate behaviors starting as lately they had when I was in the water with him. Alone, he did great. As I looked at him, I thought how cute and sweet he is from this distance when I’m not putting out behavior or attitude fires. I realized that I had to start rebuilding my patience level with me before I could be patient with him. Today I went for a massage and did a long meditation and yoga workout. Those are part of my resets to rebuilding my abundance mindset. Every woman must frind her own.

Exceptional Parents, are you stuck in a negative mindset? If so, don’t worry. Start with baby steps in calming down your stress level first. A calm relaxed person can see difficulties more clearly. Go easy on yourself. Do things that make you happy. Your child will pick up on that playful vibe. That will help them as well handle their fear more easily. Together, you can both channel a more positive mindset in your lives. Until next time.

I am a writer, speaker and parent coach. I blog about how my exceptional son with autism and type 1 diabetes is raising me to a better human being and exceptional mom. My mission is to empower other exceptional parents to trust in their parenting instinct while letting their exceptional child open their eyes to all that is possible! For more information on my coaching services and to download a copy of my FREE EBOOK “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” see my website, http://www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com

When To Get Help And Support For You-How To Avoid Exceptional Parenting Burnout

So last Friday morning I found myself anxious. More anxious than I’ve been in a long while. I counted. I’ve had a few anxiety episodes in the last month with all the problems Michael has been experiencing at home. I managed to handle them and stay relatively on track. Not happy, but on track. Great. But I also was noticing that my level of frustration tolerance and stress towards Michael and other things in my life had gone considerably down in the last month as more stress built up on the home front. I remembered where I was five years ago during my second burnout. I didn’t want there to be a third. I couldn’t afford it. My child needed me. My husband needed me. My family and friends needed me. My jobs needed me.  I needed me.  It was time to go back to therapy-short term counselling to learn additional ways to cope with new diagnoses on Michael’s part, and new ways for me to function appropriately as a Mom and person on my own. I wanted to live my life fully with all the new challenges in my life.

So this got me thinking, how  do you know when therapy, either for the first time for a pruning or looking for additional strategies, is necessary? Here are the 5 signs:

  1. You can’t de stress on your own: Yes, it’s obvious. But on one level, when you are a busy parent, you don’t always think you can’t unwind because of extreme stress. You think it is due to a bad day. Look back though. If you’ve had a string of “bad days”, chances are you are suffering from overload. Ask for help.

2) You are angry at everyone, including you: You have lots of anger. At your family, friends, the world, anything  A LOT of the time. You know in your heart you are stressed, but try and justify it. Listen to your heart. Find a trusted source where you can be yourself and unburden. It is usually someone unconnected to family. This way there are no strings.

3)Self-pity : While it is normal and right to feel sorry for yourself for a bad day or week,  if you are constantly in a state of feeling sorry for all your stress and not reaching out to others, it’s time to unburden yourself and get help. If not, it will filter into other positive areas of your life and cause problems.

4) You forgot the last time you laughed: Sad, but true. If you are having a hard time finding anything funny, even real funny things due to overwhelming stress, get in touch with a professional who can help. We all have good moments and times we can let loose. If you’ve forgotten how, find your way back. With time and patience, it will happen.

5) You forget to see the good moments with your family: Sometimes, family stress and coping is all Moms see. Remember though, there are the good moments when things fall into place. If it is hard to remember the last time you laughed with your child or partner, get help. There are always good things. You need to see them to have hope, or else the journey towards healing for you and your family is that much more difficult.

Exceptional Parents, how many times have you felt at your wits end coping with yet another challenge in your Exceptional Parenting life? Remember, it is ok to feel overwhelmed and fed up. Anger is ok. What is not ok is staying quiet. You need to get yourself help and not suffer in silence. The first sign of stress is usually when old strategies that helped you regulate don’t anymore. Don’t be afraid to reach out-to family, friends, professionals and admit you need help on your parenting journey. This makes you strong, not weak. Remember how you encourage your child to take a new step every day into the unknown. Do the same for you. You will see how you will look at things differently once you know you have new tools and support to guide you as an exceptional parent. Until next time.

I am a writer, speaker and parent coach. I blog about how my exceptional son with autism and type 1 diabetes is raising me to a better human being and exceptional mom. My mission is to empower other exceptional parents to trust in their parenting instinct while letting their exceptional child open their eyes to all that is possible! For more information on my coaching services and to download a copy of my FREE EBOOK “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” see my website, http://www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com

 

 

 

 

Exceptional Mom Friends-Lifeline In Times of Stress

I am a lucky woman. There. I’ve said it. I know I am blessed beyond reason. I not only have a great family, but amazing Mom friends just like me who “get it,” in other words, who get what I am going through. I don’t get a chance to see them in person as much as I like (or they like too). We are all busy with our families, even when things are going well. And when they are not going well, it’s even crazier.  We try to get out for Mommy dinners with wine, but it doesn’t always work out.  Still, I know I can have the world’s worst Mom day, feel like a total failure and email, text or call them, and be told, “You’re amazing.” Just knowing they are  out there brings tears to my eyes. I am not alone, I think! The other day at camp pick up I saw one of these Mom friends. She spontaneously gave me a hug. It meant the world to me on a week where things have been less than perfect at home with Michael. And of course, like every Mom, I am blaming myself. I know as a professional that things are not all my fault. But as a Mom, naturally it is your fault. You are the glue that holds the family together. And when that glue dries up, good night Charlie.

As a parent coach who works with families, I am professional, calm, centered and trust my instincts. As a Mom I am usually that. On my best days. On the other days when my kid throws me new curve balls like he did this week,  I am tired and scared. I sometimes question myself. Am I doing this motherhood thing right? Do I really know my kid? Am I missing something major? The answer is usually, No, you are fine by my inner voice, but when that voice is tired, scared and fearful  I hear the voice of  God and that of my Mom friends. God  speaks through them, giving me strength and hope, as well as reminding me I love my child and am doing everything I can to teach him how to handle the new obstacles life has thrown at him. He is a great kid who will get through this challenges as is his Mom.

I think back to all the Mom friends I have met over the years. I have met them at Michael’s schools, support groups, volunteering at his school, and at other online support groups .They make me laugh. They make me remember the joys of being a mother to a specific kind of child with challenges, because no matter what, they all have children with challenges and different brains too. We can commiserate and laugh about the same things. Cry over the struggles. And then celebrate the victories. There are so many more victories than challenges. Another friend talks about our “little village” of Moms who support each other. Just knowing they are there makes all the difference.

It is so important for all exceptional parents to find their village-online, in person, or both. Talk with these parents. Meet with them regularly or as often as you can. You are not alone. You are a woman carrying what so many women carry- love, strength, fear, anger, hope, despair and resilience in the end to see things through for your child to the best of your ability. No matter what, Moms don’t give up, and if you ever feel yourself about to lose it, reach out and connect to another Mom. You will be rewarded with a kind ear, laughter, and understanding. I would not be where I am today (nor would Michael), without the help of my Mom friends who listened to me, gave me the names of therapists, schools, play centers, you name it, to make life less crazy and more manageable and fun.  Now, I occasionally find myself returning the favor when a Mom comes to me. I feel privileged to be able to help any Mom by providing information, a kind ear, or a hug (virtual or in person), that she is an incredible Mom and human being. As women, we are too hard on ourselves and we need to stop doing that. We need to let ourselves be loved and know that like our child is enough for us we are enough for ourselves and those around us. At least the ones who matter.

Exceptional Parents, how many of you reach out to your Mom or parent friends when you are down or scared? Remember, your journey is unique, but all Moms have shared your pain of fear for their child and struggle to make things better for them now and in the future. Support each other through the rough times and celebrate the victories together. You will never feel alone again. Until next time.

I am a writer, speaker and parent coach. I blog about how my exceptional son with autism and type 1 diabetes is raising me to a better human being and exceptional mom. My mission is to empower other exceptional parents to trust in their parenting instinct while letting their exceptional child open their eyes to all that is possible! For more information on my coaching services and to download a copy of my FREE EBOOK “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” see my website, http://www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com

How To See Your Exceptional Child’s Strengths During Hard Times

Summer is a very difficult time for exceptional families. Ours is no different. The adjusting from school to being home is a change. Then home to camp is another change. Then camp to home or family vacation is a final change. All of this causes a lot of stress for exceptional kids who suffer from anxiety and for their families. When things are complicated with many different issues that your child faces, you can imagine how hard it is to stay positive as a parent. But staying positive is a must. I learn every summer, through all of Michael’s challenges, that it is when I am calm that I can make the most difference to helping him learn better ways to handle stress, anger and anxiety. I was reminded recently by professionals working with our family and by my own Mommy gut, that I needed to focus on the positive things my child is doing.

Yes, amidst all the emotional chaos and worry Michael is carrying around he is still, hands down, doing some pretty amazing things. He is trying out new sports at camp and liking it. He has earned several beads for his friendship bracelet for cooperation, kindness and a good attitude , but what strikes me most of all, is his willingness to continue doing the things he loves- cooking new recipes, (I am excited he wants to start this up again), playing soccer, trying out new activities, and taking on more management of his diabetes care. When I see good listening, responsibility, creativity in any of these or other domains, I am making sure to praise Michael. He has also started opening up more about fears he has, real and imagined, and is willing and interested to get help to fix what is holding him back. He knows he is stuck. His self-esteem is at an all-time low, and any lifting of it is progress.

On the tough days when he is argumentative and verbally or physically aggressive to us and himself, it has been hold to stay positive, but I find that if I make the effort to look for the positive in a rough day, we will end on a good note. I realize that I may need to do some pruning with therapy for me in the future. As a parent coach and someone that others turn to for help, this is what I owe them to continue being strong for them and their children. I also owe it to myself  too to go from a place of despair and stress, to a place of hope and belief again for me and my child.  I believe I am a good Mom, coach and person. I believe my child can and will conquer his demons. He is a powerhouse, after all. He has overcome so much in his eleven years on this planet, I know he will not fail. It’s getting him to believe in himself and me to stay positive in the darker times that the challenges lie. I am up for it. It’s my child’s future at stake, and I want him to have every advantage possible to believing in himself like Dad and I believe in him. I know he will get there. I see his potential as do those around him. It’s time we get him to see it too.

Exceptional Parents, are you having a hard time seeing the positive or beauty in your Exceptional Child due to severe behaviors, obsessions, anxiety or fear? Remember, your gem, your child is buried under all the baggage. You will get them out. Never stop seeing their light. It is there even in difficult times. Look for the moments they are victorious over their fears, they make you laugh or admit they are at a loss. This means they are coming out of the fog of their fear. You are their anchor. You are the boat they climb into in the wild sea. Never stop believing in their strength to overcome their struggles, and in your power to help them. See the positive in both of you and you will make progress together. Until next time.

I am a writer, speaker and parent coach. I blog about how my exceptional son with autism and type 1 diabetes is raising me to a better human being and exceptional mom. My mission is to empower other exceptional parents to trust in their parenting instinct while letting their exceptional child open their eyes to all that is possible! For more information on my coaching services and to download a copy of my FREE EBOOK “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” see my website, http://www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com.

I am a writer, speaker and parent coach. I blog about how my exceptional son with autism and type 1 diabetes is raising me to a better human being and exceptional mom. My mission is to empower other exceptional parents to trust in their parenting instinct while letting their exceptional child open their eyes to all that is possible! For more information on my coaching services and to download a copy of my FREE EBOOK “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” see my website, http://www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com.

 

 

The 7 Exceptional Mom Steps Of Coming To Terms With Your Exceptional Child’s New Medical Conditions

Every Exceptional Mom knows her child has multiple challenges. Every Exceptional Mom tries to meet those challenges as best as she can. Only sometimes she can’t. A challenge can send her fears into overdrive and she feels stuck. It’s important to keep in mind the following 7 Steps on how to get through the time when a diagnose is in process and is finished. These steps can be a parent’s best guide in the unknown of a medical condition.

  1. Feel The Anger: Don’t be afraid to be angry. It’s not fair for your child to face another challenge and you holding it in makes it worse. Get angry though, then make peace with what you can’t control.
  2. Feel The Fear: Fear is good, in small doses. It helps mobilize a Mama Bear to fight hard to help her child. As long as fear doesn’t overshadow other elements.
  3. Research: Go online (to reputable sites and article) and read up on what you suspect. Tell your child’s doctor, therapist. Ask questions. You will feel better knowing you are doing something more than waiting.
  4. Go Out With Your Partner and Alone: Don’t be afraid to go out and be happy. You will be a better help to your child, especially in the light of stressful news.
  5. Surround Yourself With A Parent Network: Talk to other exceptional parents. Vent. Laugh. Cry. They are there for you as you are for them.
  6. Write Down Your Feelings: Keeping a diary or journal can help you make sense of a lot of stressful thoughts going around in your head.
  7. Seek Counseling : Don’t be afraid of your fears and anger about the unknown. All parents have been there. You’re human. Seek counseling for you and for you and your partner if you need.

Exceptional Parents, what steps have helped you come to a more positive place in handling new medical issues your child has? As long as you are honest about how you are feeling at any given time, you will get through it. Remember, you have come so far in advocating for what your child has now. You will simply acquire new skills to handle what lies ahead. Your child too is a champion that will persevere through any new challenges like they have in the past. Be gentle with yourself and with them. Until next time.

I am a writer, speaker and parent coach. I blog about how my exceptional son with autism and type 1 diabetes is raising me to a better human being and exceptional mom. My mission is to empower other exceptional parents to trust in their parenting instinct while letting their exceptional child open their eyes to all that is possible! For more information on my coaching services and to download a copy of my FREE EBOOK “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” see my website, http://www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com.