There are light and dark moments in exceptional parenthood. I have had and continue to have both those types of moments with Michael, and I know he does with me. Sometimes we are both so frustrated with each other. We do not get something the other one is saying. But yesterday afternoon was one of the “light” moments. Michael came off the bus beaming, excited about some new homework, math homework where he gets to be a “detective” and reading homework where he gets to read to me.
“Mommy, I need to read for ten minutes each day, and this reading is fun ’cause I choose the book to read.”
“I can’t wait to hear you read honey.” I was so excited to see him excited about learning. He is very good about doing his homework now, but will moan and groan like a teenager about homework usually.
He choose a Franklin the Turtle story, one of his favorites. I know he can read. He’s a beginner, but can sound out all the syllables now and is getting more and more confident. It’s the same with writing. Still, I was so surprised to hear how fluently he read. I felt my eyes tearing up as they usually do at these moments, the light moments, when Michael surprises me with what he can do. He is so capable, smart and I remember the fears I had about him not talking, not reading, not learning. All unfounded now, though he is undoubtedly learning at his own pace. But then again, all our kids do to some extent. I was so proud watching and hearing him work so hard.
There are many ways I am seeing now that point me to Michael’s maturation from baby to little boy to older boy. These ways are visible in most of our Exceptional Children if we look for them, and I believe it’s important we always look for them as they become the torch we carry in darker times. Remember, Exceptional Parents, our children look to us for their cues and worth. Have a look at these and see if you can’t find the memorable things your children do:
5 Ways to Know If Your Exceptional Child is Maturing:
- Pulling away from parents toward independence: This one of the first things I noticed with Michael. He wanted to do more things for himself and got mad if I try to help. A sure fire positive sign that he is growing up!
- Negotiation for rewards and understanding of consequences: When your child can do this, you are up the creek without a paddle so to speak, but it is like lying. It is not something you are thrilled about, but you can see they are aware and know about their limits and yours. These are all important skills in growing up.
- Life skills improvements and desire to learn: When they want responsibility with chores, want to drive a car one day, and are eager to try new things, you can see that they are happy and optimistic about the future. Encourage them by trying new things.
- Talking about their future life as an adult, either with a job, marriage and family: These things show me how far Michael has come, and other kids who talk about their future in this way also show their maturation. Yes, he has a lot to learn to become fully independent, but though he has anxiety, he is letting others show him the way as someone will do when they feel confident.
- Dealing with challenging emotions in a healthy way: This is a biggie for me. He will do deep breathing before he hits and if he forgets and slaps me, will immediately apologize and say, “that was wrong.” It’s a relief when you see your child internalizes the proper way to behave in society and is changing their way of handling hard emotions.
All Exceptional Children will realize these goals, some or all, at different times, but you need to continue to see the light, especially in times of darkness, so that your family can move forward to bring out the best in each other. I treasure and take a snapshot of the moments like this, and hold on to it as proof that each day, Michael and I are learning more about how to help each other be the best mother and son we can. Until next time .