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.