As I have been writing over the last little while, listening harmoniously is a skill that is coming with more difficulty for Michael these days, and sometimes for his parents too. 🙂 I have caught myself a few times contradicting what I really meant to say to him, making communication tense between us. I am being careful now to watch what I say, and how I say it. I also am representing things in a simple manner, going back to drawing it out or having him draw things out if that makes it easier, and keeping things basic.
His father and I have also introduced “The Elf on the Shelf” as being the reporter who goes back to Santa. Frankly, I find him a little creepy. He actually looks like he is watching me, and I never did like puppets. I always thought they would come to life like some crazy Chucky doll from those horror films and eat me, but once again, I digress. 🙂 Michael and Dad love little Buddy the Elf, (as Michael has named him), and he is working to help Michael understand consequences. At school they have a similar elf in place.
This got me thinking about this time of year and the importance of listening, really listening, to what our loved ones are saying to us with their words and body language. Sometimes we’re so busy listening to get things, we don’t really listen on the important level beneath the surface, the level of the soul. It’s a crazy time of year for all of us, the excitement of preparation can make us feel happy at first as parents, then with our children becoming overstimulated, we end up going in the same direction. I know from personal experience. This is the time of year I worry I may be on the way to becoming an alcoholic some days to deal with the extra tension. 🙂 But all jokes aside, as Exceptional Parents we do take on more at this time of the year. I for one this year am learning to pace myself, do less of the bustling around, and feel more of the emotions, good and bad, to know when I am not listening to those around me, to myself and to the signs my body is telling me to SLOW DOWN.
Exceptional Parents, how do you listen at this time of year to those around you, and not just for the privilege of getting gifts? Are your heart and soul in it, or are you going through the motions? I hope that while you are modeling Elves and Santa to your Exceptional Children to hold them accountable, you are also holding yourself accountable to being present for family and friends with body, mind and spirit. After all, that is what the holidays are really about. Until next time.