Ah, the school/work rush and the desire for some Bailey’s to be added in that crucial second cup of coffee. There. I’ve said it. Now the rest of the Moms and Dads out there don’t have to feel guilty for having that same thought from time to time. I had several mornings when I had this thought, before I realized Michael’s and my early morning school routine needed some tweaking. The trick was what did I need to do. Originally, I would get up a little earlier than Michael and do my meditation and yoga. This had helped put me in a better frame of mind to handle some of the morning stress. However, when Michael started getting up earlier due to better sleeping at night (a good thing on that end), there went my early morning stretches and stillness. Even the cat who would normally wait to be fed started meowing and demanding her food right away. Sigh. So the new calmer Michael and I sat down to come up with a routine which didn’t end in fights, threats and me wanting to turn to alcohol before noon, obviously not a solution at any time. 🙂
What resulted was some pictogram stick figures that I drew, but that Michael had equal value in creating, within reason of course. We talked about limits for playing, when he would eat, get dressed, and what behavior was proper and what was not. I also recently added the token system to our routine. As well, our Psycho Educator had gently reminded me that I may have inadvertently been complicating his life more than necessary by giving too much choice or open ended answers to questions when he needed definite yes’s or no’s. Now that we have established definite boundaries, things are working well. When we need to tweak again, I plan to remind myself of this conversation.
What this has taught me is not only to trust my own mother’s gut, but also to trust my child’s gut, and see what it is that he needs from me at a given moment.What is my child’s behavior telling/teaching me? And the negative behaviors are quite telling. It is your child talking to you in sometimes the only way he/she knows how. They are scared, overwhelmed, tired and don’t know what to do. So they act out. As parents, we are tired, feeling helpless and blow. It is the human response, but it doesn’t help long term. What does help is looking below the surface and seeing what you can change in yourself to be more patient and see what is happening. After you have done that, how can you and your child figure out a way to be on the same page together? And believe me parents, it is possible with foresight and patience.
Exceptional Parents, how often do you have to tweak your household routines? Also, how have you had to alter your self-care rituals so that you can look beneath the surface with a sharper eye? I now do my meditation and yoga after the bus pulls away from the curb, and my body has adjusted to the wait. Good luck with the changes you bring in, and remember, getting frustrated with our kids is bound to happen. But getting stuck in a rut is something that you and your Exceptional Child can alter. Until next time.