Transitions and Going At Your Exceptional Child’s Pace

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I am currently in the process of figuring out how to go with Michael’s flow when it comes to transitions. It used to be easy. It took him a really long time with ALL changes to adjust. Now, as he has gotten older, many things have gotten easier. Some things though, like meeting new people and venturing into trying new things have still become challenging. For Dad and I as parents it is hard to introduce new things to Michael as often there is a period of terror, refusal, then another period where he gradually considers trying the new venture. We don’t want him to feel terrified, yet we want him to learn to stretch his wings and try new things. We always empower him by telling him he can do it, and also that we are right there in the corner cheering him on. This works better with some things than others.

We are currently grappling with something that Michael is scared to try, but I think would be a great experience for all of us. This is having him play and hang out at a local respite center. Michael is more comfortable at home with familiar babysitters and surroundings, and I think he feels worried that it is all too new. We have toured the premises and he liked it, but the fear of the unknown in so great. His terror and paralysis I can totally get. I remember feeling elements of that too as a young child. What got me through was knowing that my parents were there for me, and at least I could say that I tried. Michael’s mind does not work the same. This place always does sleep aways for the weekend too, and I think Michael is worried that if he goes for a few hours he will have to sleep there. Of course we told him no. He would only sleep there when and if he wanted to. Finally, at a very dark period in our family life late last Spring I did tell him that we all needed a family break from one another, and that a respite place would give us all that break. I was having a hard time as a Mom and needed a breather. It’s only natural he still think we are sending him away there for a lot longer than a few hours.

It’s amazing how our children’s brains work. If they are worriers, it is even more complicated. As parents, we have to choose our words, and make sure our children know that no matter how scared they are, they do not need to fear trying new things now or in the future if they are not ready. We will love them no matter what, and we understand if they are scared. Parents can also share their own fear and how they got through things. They can name strategies and ways their child can handle these feelings. Most importantly, parents can just go with their child’s flow, and learn to read the signals of frustration, anger and being ready for big challenges.

Exceptional Parents, are you struggling with where your child fits on the transitions side off life? Are you trying to figure out how to best prepare them for new things? First and foremost, listen to your child’s voice and body language. Try and see what it is that they need most and give it to them. If you don’t know, try something out of the box. The worst that can happen is that it does not work. At least you tried. Don’t be afraid to fail. You and your child will learn how best to help them through transitions and into new things. And this learning is a part of life for everyone. 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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How Exhaustion Affects The Exceptional Family For Better Or Worse

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So this afternoon there were a lot of rough patches for Michael and I. As I reflected on this afterwards when he and I had calmed down at bedtime, I realized that the common denominator for both of us had been one thing-tiredness. Both Michael and I had not slept well the night before. Upon realizing this, I became aware that our threshold for stress and handling stressful situations would not be the best. Enter Dad coming home late from work and the same situation was repeated threefold. Fortunately, we all realized that the best thing to do was to go to our separate corners and calm down once we had let out our frustrations. How many times had it taken us to learn this lesson? Quite a few. Yet we learned it as today was evident, and in the end, we even figured out the right equation for each of us. Dad went to finish up some work he needed to get done. Mom caught up on Social Media, and Michael finished his homework calmly and got himself ready for bed with no incident. This was pretty darn good.

Then the work on winding down for the evening began. It went well as Dad and I did our routines and Michael did his. Ok, Mom is still doing her routine now. As a night owl, nighttime is my most productive time so within reason, I stretch the hours as much as I can, especially for my writing. But mainly what I learned was how we all make mistakes when we are tired. We don’t use strategies to handle stress, anxiety, and anger well. We feel overwhelmed more frequently. We don’t ask for help. The areas in our brain that need to work are not always working. Sleep and rest are integral for all parents to function at their best. We save our best for the daytime, but once the evening rolls around, exhaustion kicks in as there is no escaping it if it is plaguing us. Parents, you need to relax, recharge, and rejuvenate if you want to show the best possible example to your child about handling stress post work and school hours. And this of course is the hardest time of the day.

Exceptional Parents, what are the best ways you have for handling stress and exhaustion? What recommendations do you have for other parents? Remember, you need to be able to not take your child’s mood swings seriously when they are tired, and show them the right way to handle stress and exhaustion and learn from their mistakes. If you can’t, they will often surprise you by modelling good behavior to you when given the chance. Give them that chance. 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.

Balancing Out Life With Medication and Behavioral Strategies

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Michael’s life and ours has gotten a lot easier since a combination of medication and behavioral strategies has helped Michael learn better coping mechanisms at home and elsewhere. Other than extreme drowsiness which is messing up going to sleep on time when he has a catnap earlier in the evening, our family is in the process of balancing out what works and what doesn’t for us in our day to day lives as an exceptional family. It is great to see Michael so receptive to new ideas, and even when he does not like something, he is calm about it most of the time.

Watching him in day to day life, I am moved and so proud of his courage and strength. He is trying new things everyday, even things that scare him. He is learning how to share his frustrations better with us, and he is maturing before our very eyes with the way he is improving in his cooking and baking, and in how he is handling his diabetes management. He is almost at the point of learning how to do the insulin injection, pretty much doing the entire needle set up. He is very knowledgeable on the carbs in most of the foods he is eating, and when uncertain, he is label reading with Dad or I in the stores and at home. His anxiety is still up there about certain activities and life, but he is making progress at learning how to handle it. Most importantly, Dad and I are learning how to pace ourselves better as parents, especially by not always taking the negative comments made in annoyance too seriously. We are learning to choose our battles as parents, and have written up family rules so that we all know what is acceptable and unacceptable for everyone.

In the end, what matters is what makes our family life run more smoothly, and we tweak the rest. This is how all exceptional families can do things. Remember there is no one right way to raise your special child. They are all unique, and as such have unique parents.

Exceptional Parents, what is the best life balance that you have found for your Exceptional Child? There is no wrong answer here. Whatever you do and try for your child, remember watch them and see if they seem happier, calmer, clearer. If so, you are on the right track and they are making progress. If not, it’s back to the drawing board which is ok too. Your child and you will find the right balance together because you are starting from the right beginning, with love for one another. 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 Show Your Child You Value Their Uniqueness While Teaching Societal Rules

child unique.jpegThis weekend was a good one with Michael. We had an action packed two days with activities, structured and unstructured, and he earned many points   (a new system we are using that an Educator suggested), which added up to two favorite rewards of his, a visit to his favorite shopping mall and extra IPAD time. He also got a chance to spend time with a favorite babysitter while Dad and I went out on a dinner date. That was fun for all too! 🙂

What I also found really worked to have a good weekend behavior-wise with me and Michael, was the fact that I made sure to show Michael how I appreciated all his efforts to show me the skills he is continuously acquiring in handling his diabetes management, mapping, cooking,  swimming, reading and writing. He also wanted to go on walks and read a book together. Of course, these things had to be done at a certain time and place in the home. For example, if I was busy doing chores or had to finish something, I made sure to explain in advance to Michael that I would love to look at what he had done and spend time with him, but it would need to be at the time when I was finished my work. I am slowly showing Michael there is a time and place to do do things, talk and spend time together. He is also beginning to understand that. The thing is, that a parent needs to do this in a way that a child knows the parent sees them as unique and special, but also follows a structure and routine that is logical. Michael is starting to understand this and I am happy to see that. For kids with autism this can be super challenging.

Exceptional Parents, what works for you in balancing teaching your child they are an individual and that they have to follow a similar routine/structure to other children? What are some of the things you have learned in your journey so far? I think for most of us, it is that our children teach us so much about how smart and flexible they can be if they understand what is expected of them. This is pretty much the same as for all of us. Remember to love and encourage all the passions your child has, while teaching them what they can do to better the world we live in. They have so much to contribute. They just need people to see their potential. It all starts with their primary caregivers believing in their abilities. 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.

 

Patience, Patience and More Patience- 5 Ways Our Exceptional Kids Can Learn This Lesson and Teach It To Us Too

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Today for the millionth time in the day I thought to myself how many times Michael teaches me patience and how to hold on to the better part of myself. He does this by, you got it folks, testing me left, right and center. It’s the same with all children, and some adults for that matter. Most people have their issues to work through, and some when they see they can get a rise out of you, well, they do their best to get that rise. Kids who are exceptional are not only capable of this, but often seek it out due to low thresholds of tolerance for stress, sensory issues or just not really understanding the social cues of the neuro typical world. I often remind myself, and have been lucky to have been reminded of this with the professionals who have worked and work with our family, that Michael and kids like him are wired differently from birth. The way they view our world, is through their lens, similarly to how we from the neuro typical world view their world from the inside out. “Do you see me? Do you really see me?” becomes the mantra for how both of us perceive each other. However, with respect, true respect for our differences, strengths and weaknesses, we can help one another so much.

Every day, even on the days I have felt like a failure as a Mom, Michael has shown me how courageous I am and how courageous he is. Michael has pushed us both out to sea and found an island for us to live on. On this island, the sky is the limit as I know it will be for Michael. . The two of us are adventurers in this sea of life, as I think all parents of all children are. However, what is important to hold on to is how our kids will help us build patience when we feel we can’t go on. In what ways will they do this? Here are some of those ways:

1) They will make us face our fears: Exceptional kids have to face their fears and in doing so, they push us exceptional parents to face our fears too. Over and over I have had to face what has been uncomfortable for me to face and you know what, it has helped me grow and become stronger. The same will happen for you!

2) You will learn to see EVERY child as an individual: Every parent of every child knows their child is an individual before anything else. But sometimes all of this gets lost when we are busy fighting with them to finish their homework, be polite like so and so, listen like so and so. Of course, it is important that all our children follow rules and learn to get along in the world, but if we don’t hone who they are as individuals and patiently wait to see what they will make of that, we are not doing them or ourselves any favors.

3) They will help you learn what your triggers are: Oh yeah on that. Little kids know what set us off, and if we can figure out what kind of people push our buttons, we are truly ahead of the game as parents and human beings. Michael has shown me how to go to find my happy place, go to it, and how to help him find his way to his, or at least give him the map to do so.

4) You will have oodles of energy to handle other people’s issues in your life thanks to your child: I cannot say enough how overall Michael has helped me learn to help and commiserate with many other adults and children around me and have patience for them. I always say, like Michael, like me, these people struggle to find patience. Let me be someone who helps them along the way.

5) If you let them, your child will let you learn to laugh at the craziness of life: This was a hard one for me several times in my life, but as I become more experienced as a Mom and Michael grows up, I feel that life with an Exceptional Child, can be an adventure where there are lots of laughs and craziness in a good way, if we let those feelings in. It is not always easy or possible, but Michael is showing me more that I need to learn to laugh at the craziness of life in order to be able to move forward.

 

Exceptional Parents, how has your Exceptional Child taught you patience? Remember, one day at a time will help you focus on all your child is and all you are in order to be your best and strongest. You are both in this adventure for a reason. Until next time.

 

 

 

 

How Finding the Right People Can Truly Help Your Exceptional Child Shine

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The last few days I have been counting my blessings for team Michael. They truly see what an incredible boy he is. They have said he is smart, kind, funny and thoughtful. They see his true challenges in self-regulating and have gotten me to reconnect with him on his good points and on how to motivate him again-with rewards, both verbal and material to work for, and they have (as have family and friends in the past), showed me who I am fighting for- the incredible little boy that is Michael who forever changed my life and what I thought a so-called disability is. I now know better. I see that the only thing that is different about Michael is the way his brain is wired, so different from mine and his Dad’s that we are both either perplexed by him, blown away by him, or a combination of both. What I have been reminded of through Michael’s educator and psychiatrist lately, is to value the amazing little human being that he is. We are so proud of him!

Don’t get me wrong. I think Dad and I have been pretty much doing this all along, but as parents there have been dark nights of the soul, nights when we wonder, are we really doing right by him? Are we raising a future honorable, upstanding citizen or one who will end up on the other side of the law? Yes, with Michael hitting puberty there has been so much anger, so much testing against authority, that Dad and I have worried. He is moving away from our value system, the one we have shown him since childhood saying his friends don’t believe or practice that. However, in recent days I am seeing what is his value system over what he is emulating from friends. It is now even more important than ever before for his father and I to talk about when we are proud of him, when he needs to adjust his attitude and to emulate proper behavior ourselves. Our little boy is there doing good and making positive choices. I want to continue to show him I believe in him.

Tonight right before dinner he had some free time before he did his dinner insulin injection. What did he choose to do? He chose to make the Valentine’s candy bags for his friends. And yes, buying the candies was his initiative! The day before was a PED DAY for Michael. He chose to find time in his day to make Valentine cards for his classmates.  I had a super proud Mommy moment, and saw the little boy who is still there inside the angst ridden tween I see more and more these days. This little boy was, as his team reminded me, kind, funny, smart and a good kid and person. I felt so happy and proud of Michael. I told him. And I was glad to see that Dad and I were doing something right. We had to be, to have Michael making good choices when given the chance.

Exceptional Parents, what team members do you have on your child’s team? Do they resonate with your family values and with who your child is as a person? Do they like and want what is best for your child? If not, keep looking. You will know you have found good support for your child and yourself if the therapists and other educators or professionals mirror back the beauty that is your child to you. Sometimes we all need to reminded how incredible our kids are, (and we are) as their parents. Remember, it takes a village to raise a child. Go in search of your village, and don’t be afraid to keep looking if the values are not the same as your family’s. 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.

Picking Your Battles With Your Exceptional Child-What NOT To Do

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It was an up and down weekend as far as Michael’s behaviors went. There were good moments, and some tough ones. Through it all, I noticed two things- the moments we picked our battles with Michael, and the times we did not do such a good job in doing this. Those moments made for mini disasters where we all had to calm down and regroup. However, as always, I learned a lot. I learned about when it is time to put your own agenda aside as a parent. Sometimes those life lessons can wait if your child is dealing with hormones, frustration or a combination of both as in our case. Other times, it’s about being more clear as a parent to your child. They need to see where the boundaries are. So, on that note, here are the things I learned NOT to do when picking battles with my Exceptional Child:

  1. Telling Them You Are Always Right: The most annoying person in the world is that person who is always saying “I told you so.” Don’t be the kind of parent that rubs in your child’s mistake, no matter how obviously wrong they were. Be diplomatic, ask them gently if they learned their lesson, and remind them that we all make mistakes, but not to lose the lesson in all this.
  2. Don’t Give Your Child Some Control Over Some Decisions: This is a tough decision when your child is exhibiting challenging behaviors, but they need to know they have some choice in determining what happens in their day. Make sure it is reasonable, of course.
  3. Don’t Be Clear About Your Expectations: A lot of parents, well meaning, will sometimes forget to be totally clear about their expectations of a child’s behavior and what they want that child to do in a day. Then, when behaviors happen they become frustrated. Don’t let this happen to you or your child. Be clear from the outset and you’ll save both of you (and the rest of the family) lots of stress.
  4. React To Every Little Behavior Meant to Raise The Hair On The Back Of  Your Neck: Oh yes, been there, done that, bought the t-shirt. Michael has done things, little and bigger, to get a rise out of Dad and I. We know to ignore the minor infractions so to speak when there are bigger issues at stake, but being human, there have been times when we reacted big time. Of course, he did this behavior again just to see what we would do. Don’t do this and ignore the behavior if you can. It’s always the best way for your child to learn self-control.
  5. Don’t Praise And Encourage The Good : Again, parents don’t set out to not praise the good things their child does, but sometimes when they are dealing with so much negative stuff that they forget to reward or acknowledge the positive. Our kids do so many good things in a day, and even if it’s just one a day, praise that one. It will go a long way in helping them see that positive behavior will get them a better response than negative attention.

 

Exceptional Parents, what have you learned NOT to do when handling the challenging moments with your Exceptional Child? I’ll bet it has helped you grow as a parent and you feel more compassion towards your child as you see what they struggle with. Remember to have compassion with yourself too. You are handling a lot in paving the way for them. We all learn from our mistakes and become stronger. Don’t be afraid to show your child you are learning as they are from your mistakes, and together the two of you will become stronger 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.

5 Ways Our Exceptional Kids Make Us Face Our Personal Difficulties and Overcome Them

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Ah, this morning. How I wish I could have replayed some parts of it differently. I wish I had had more patience when Michael, who never gets up until thirty minutes until the bus gets here, and who today when I needed to get myself organized earlier with my usual routine, shower and dressing woke up two hours earlier than he needed to and was very chatty. I also wish I had given Dad enough information about the morning routine so things would have gone more smoothly for both Michael and Dad. Lastly, I wish I had left the house earlier not to have felt so frazzled by the way I handled Michael’s routine being off, therefore throwing off my routine. I did everything but my meditation and yoga routine which  normally is done as soon as I get up. This helps me enormously with handling stress and anxiety better, but today with Michael up and following me around it was challenging. It was not the end of the world, but I felt frustrated that I also was so thrown off by the change in our family schedule for one day.

The next question I asked myself was, what could I learn about myself from this experience? What was Michael teaching me today? I truly believe that as much  as we teach our kids they teach us more. Today was just one of the ways I felt that Michael teachers me about myself, and about what I love and what I want to improve upon. I believe all our kids show us ways to get over our difficulties. How? Here are 5 ways:

  1. They help us learn to laugh at ourselves: When I looked back at the “me” of this am getting annoyed and stressed about some small changes in our family routine (like Michael being up early), I realized that yes, it can be stressful to have a motor mouth child when you like quiet in the am, but this is a small problem compared to the bigger ones and to laugh it off. Life is too short to do otherwise.
  2. They teach  us to be more patient with ourselves: This is a biggie for me. Michael has taught me to be more patient with myself, with all of my emotional stuff, and to go easy on the hard areas in my life by showing me the compassion and love I show him. You need to practice what you preach parents!
  3. They help you face your own challenges as they usually have similar ones: This is so true. Michael’s big challenges are his perfectionism, absolute need for control and his difficulty in new social situations. These were all my issues when I was a child  and a young adult. I’ve come a long way, and Michael reminds me how I have to impart these life lessons to him to teach him that he can change the difficult areas if he is willing to venture out into the unknown and risk failure.
  4. They push you to live in the moment: You cannot successfully parent an exceptional child and not go with the flow. This is really true of parenting any child, but with an exceptional one you will have so many curve balls thrown at you that you need to choose to swim in the tide. This will only make you stronger as a parent and person.
  5. They push you to change yourself for the better: This is pretty much true for all parents again. If you can’t be your best self, you won’t be your best parenting self. In helping our kids achieve milestones that many may say are impossible, we start to see that there is much we can do that we thought was impossible as well. We learn to never give up as we have told them.

 

Exceptional Parents, what life lessons have your Exceptional Children taught you? How much have you grown since becoming their parent? It’s so true that as parents we raise our children while they are raising us. Never for a moment doubt your power, or theirs, to make an impact on the world and on other families. Remember, parent and child, we are all here to do great things. 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.

What Happens When Life Throws Curve Balls- How A Stressful Morning Gave Me Fresh Parenting Ideas

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This week we had two difficult mornings where Michael missed the bus and I had to drive him into school. It was due to long evenings when he went to bed late, and then was dragging his feet in the morning. But I was frustrated that even with a set bedtime routine, Dad and I being available to help Michael with his anxiety, a good behavior and medical help, Michael still finds a way to push the envelope in the bedtime/ wake up schedule. With each passing day, I see how puberty is very much at work. However, I also am learning how when I lose my cool, aka get angry and yell that my morning routine is thrown out the window,  that I can learn to be that zen Mom who channels peace and serenity when she is feeling anything but, so at least Michael sees that he won’t get a rise from me when things don’t go as planned.  And that is the other thing I have learned.  When things don’t go the way I have planned, I can either grin and bear it or scream and rage against the universe. I have learned that the raging against the universe will only bring more pain and stress into a world that is already afflicted enough, but will also make me feel worse and not open to learning from the experience.

This morning, I realized I could learn from the experience how to handle when things don’t go according to plan. I also used the occurrence to teach Michael how he could turn things around to have easier mornings. As I was cleaning the snow off the car and getting ready to take Michael into school and he was inside getting dressed after the bus had passed, I got an idea for Michael to write down minute by minute his evening and morning routine in his phone. Now, this phone is an old one of his Dad’s that has no internet connection or ability to use as a phone. It acts as a watch, and recently for Michael to write things down in the notes section- places he wants to go, things he wants to do. He loved my idea when I told him. So while I rushed to get myself ready to go to work and make my lunch, Michael wrote out his morning and bedtime routine so that he is rested and making the bus on time. Who would have thought this would have occurred to me? But after I finished cursing my lot, I realized- what can I learn from this? Then I got the idea of how Michael could make his life easier by having a schedule that he designed on a device that he is comfortable viewing it on. And then, things turned around for the better.

Exceptional Parents, have you ever had a morning start roughly or a rough patch that you thought could not be turned around? If we look at what we can learn from a negative experience, there is always something positive that can come out of  it. Remember, breathe. Make the best of what has happened and know that when you do that, you will see what you can learn from the experience to make things better in the future for you and your child. 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.

 

Fine Tuning Behavior Strategies For Your Exceptional Child-What Works And What Doesn’t

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Self-control is challenging for a lot of people, exceptional and not. But there is something so difficult for exceptional kids to wrap their heads around, and that is the ability to control their emotions- fear, anger, anxiety without having any type of negative outbursts or behaviors. If they do not find healthy ways to control their inner compass, their life will be a constant seesaw of emotions and they will not be happy or balanced individuals. This is why it is so important for parents to help their children learn how to self-regulate and control their emotions. With exceptional kids, the problem is usually compounded by the fact that what worked to help them control their emotions when they were small does not work as they get older. Therapies that helped them may not have the same effect either. This is why it usually falls to parents as the primary advocate for their child as well as their caregiver, to experiment with different behavior strategies to help their child regulate.

Like with everything, there is a lot of trial and error involved. Maybe deep breathing worked and now it’s yoga. Maybe taking a walk helps or jumping on a trampoline. Maybe writing down or art therapy can help them. All of these are great ideas, but what it comes down to in the end is talking to you child and seeing what they like and do not like. This way it becomes a process of elimination. Michael has always been very quick to say yeah or nay to something. If he is unsure, he will try it once and then give me his answer. All our kids have their own way of letting us know when something is working or not. Of course, ideally one should try out different ways to help with behavior and talk to our children about it BEFORE a meltdown happens. This way, they have strategies in place.  However, as long as the discussion is happening once in a while, kids will know they have options when things become crazy.

What not to do is to wing it in the moment. Kids with high emotional needs have even more anxiety if they do not feel they have options. That is why it is important to always be on the lookout for good strategies and talking to your kids about them.

Exceptional Parents, what works for you and your Exceptional Children as tools for calming down? I’d love to hear from you. Remember, this is not a final art, and there will always be tweaking involved. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and teach your child to do the same. This is what will help them be successful in handling their moods and handling life. 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