Today is day 2 of Spring Break. We have a play date planned in the afternoon and in the morning, our Psycho Educator is coming to the house to chat with Michael about his progress with sleeping training. This has been going very well, other than a night or two of silly behavior. It’s to be expected. 🙂 Still, I am very pleased with his progress. He is growing up.
I also want to get some house organizing work done, particularly in Michael’s bedroom and the play area in the basement. I have increasingly been seeing how Michael has been helpful with some chores, bringing his plate to the sink, preparing his own lunches and snacks, and occasionally putting his clothes away. That one is a challenge still. 🙂 We are working at slowly getting Michael to do more around the house, and realize that Mom and Dad need help keeping the house in order. It is family business, and we all work as a team just like we all work as a team when we are helping him, “Team Michael.” His toys are a mess and it’s time we organize them. There are many he is not even playing with anymore. Time for a purge and a trip to his old preschool to give the gently used toys a good home! Michael also enjoys giving toys to those kids who need it. He likes giving to charities that support kids who don’t have a lot. I often give his old clothes to places like that and that makes us all feel happy that we are making a difference.
Exceptional Parents, how are your children with organizing themselves and helping with chores around house? The confidence I’ve seen in Michael since we have started involving him is amazing. At school he is a little helper as well. It is great. It is helping him grow more as an individual and us as his parents see what he is capable of. Until next time.
So I had another tough afternoon with Michael the other day. And the thing is, I knew it would be a rough afternoon. Neither of us had slept well the night before, and Michael had had a little more homework last week. The afternoon in question, he had asked me if we could do his homework the following morning. I had said no. Our morning are full lately of a lot of stalling techniques and silly things. As Michael puts it, I don’t want to go to school to learn. So, he makes it extra challenging for both of us. Picto schedules have worked, along with Mom waiting outside for bus so Michael could see just how “late” it is. 🙂 I had good techniques, tools and strategies doing these things.
But on this particular afternoon, Michael was the one who had the better strategy. I unfortunately did not listen to him. This was a bad judgement call on my part as the pressure to read correctly, his tiredness and lack of patience coupled with mine led to a BIG fight. After he and I cleaned up the physical and mental debris, I had a chance to think. When are a parent’s instincts wrong? Ninety-nine percent of the time mine are on target with Michael, but I happened to be wrong that afternoon. So, what can a parent do to make sure they are on the right track. Also, when is trusting their child the right strategy. The child usually knows their body well, but then there are times when said child just wants a free ride. So, here’s what I learned from my experience. I hope to spare other parents the stress of what Michael and I went through.
How to Tell When Your Instincts Are Off:
- You as the parent are physically tired: I cannot stress with enough intensity the importance of sleep. Yes, it is hard to get your 7-8 hours of sleep a night, but try. You will have so much more of a positive outlook on your life and be able to help your child with their outlook on life.
- Your child’s request is an honest one with no ulterior motive: I have learned how to read my child over the years. When he is really being honest, he will look at me, no little gleam in his eye and without any hints for extra media, play or other treats, and ask me something like the homework request. It’s then that I know he is telling the truth. The thing is, I need to listen next time. I am telling other parents out there to do the same thing.
- You have no patience left due to work, personal or other stresses: This is a biggie also. I was having a tough work day, had not been working out and my stress level was through the roof. You as a parent need to know when you have reached your personal tolerance limit, and not take on more than you can handle if you can help it. I wished I’d listened to my own advice a few days ago.
So Exceptional Parents, what’s your secret to avoiding misreading your child? What have you learned from misreading non verbal (or even verbal) cues? As a parent, it is imperative that you not only learn from your mistakes, but you show your child you are learning by telling them. “Mommy, Daddy made a mistake. Next time we’ll do it that way.” This is what is working more and more for me as a parent and for Michael. Good luck with troubleshooting the emotional waters of exceptional parenthood, and I wish you only home runs and no strikes! Until next time.