So today Michael announced to his father and I that when he would be an adult and a father one day, he would decide all the rules his kids would follow and they would listen. He added that he would take them to his favorite places, and that they would like it. As you can imagine, his father and I smiled and stifled our laughter. I even added that I looked forward to seeing that day. Michael smiled confidently at us. He was so sure that things would be easier in that utopian future when he would be fully in charge of everything.
As funny as it was though, it got me thinking. Isn’t that what I had thought becoming an adult meant when I was his age? I too decided that I would have full autonomy over my life, myself and my choices, as well as my future children. All the mistakes my parents made with me, forget about it! I would be a different kind of parent. I would yell and my kids would say how high. I would be the perfect career woman and balance family and job with no stress at all. Yes, it appears that my ability to write fiction started back in my childhood too! 🙂
What this conversation made me realize is how kids in general view growing up, whether they are exceptional or not. I think for Michael his feelings of powerlessness are a little higher than neuro typical children’s fears, and his lack of control over things in his life are constant battlegrounds with him lately. He will fight about where we are going, what route we are taking, when he wants to buy things or stay home. I get that he feels powerless over things. I did too at that age and later on as well. As a matter of fact, it has only been in the last few years that I have found peace in letting go of control in some areas of my life. In doing that, I have found an inner peace that wasn’t there previously. I have also seen that I do have control in other areas of my life, for example in what kind of job I want to do and in who I want to remain in my life. I learned this only in my mid thirties though, and continue to remind myself of this today in my forties. Michael helped me see how long this journey took for me, and the ways I took to get there. In time, I hope in time to show him the little things he can do each day to get closer to being comfortable with himself as he grows up.
Where are you feeling powerless today, Exceptional Moms? Where do you feel that you need to step in and make the rules? At the same time, where do you need to step back and let those around you guide your actions for better? Where do you need to let go of control? These are important questions to answer. For only when answering them, can we instruct our children about true freedom of choice in their lives, as well as what rules are in place for their own safety, well-being and healthy development. Until next time.