“Mommy, why are you mad? Why are you raising your voice? Are you upset at me?”
Michael has been my best temperament gauge for as long back as I can remember. Most of the time, though he has a hard time with complex emotions like sadness, worry and fear (in others), he has seen through my best defenses in the past when I was trying to pretend it was “all good.” It wasn’t. He has seen through my subterfuge, and forced me, for the better, to make positive changes to how I see change and unpredictability. And, like a wise teacher at his school said, “you can still turn it around.” She said this to the kids when they were having a rough day and the class was in an uproar. She also said it for the benefit of herself too, I’m sure. She said it to remind herself that no matter how stressed or worried you are, you can still turn things around. So, in honor of those words, here are 5 Ways My Exceptional Child Has Taught Me To Turn Things Around:
- Have a few minutes each morning of quiet contemplation: This is crucial. Crucial. Even if you are super late with everything (oversleeping, late start, etc.) take a few minutes to breathe, check in with yourself on how you are feeling before tackling the day.
- Make time for prayer, meditation or writing in a gratitude journal: This does not mean praying, meditating or writing for an hour if you can’t in one time frame. Little pockets of time where you say short prayers. There are great short meditations you can do online, and as for the gratitude journal, one or two lines will do. It’s all to remind you on what counts.
- When upset, try and see yourself for the outside and laugh: Yes, I know this sounds insane, but laugh at yourself. We all are a little silly and get carried away sometimes with the little things. I also remind myself, “will this matter in five years or even less?” I immediately calm down.
- What is God/The Universe/Life teaching me? This is so true. Things happen sometimes and we are meant to learn from them, become stronger and wiser. We don’t always feel it. It’s ok. You’re a human being. So ask yourself the next time, if I am having trouble at work, maybe it means I need to ask for help, I am feeling depressed at home, I need to reach out to people in my community, social groups, volunteer etc. I keep getting sick, what changes do I need to make in my body to get healthy? etc.
- The image of the glass half full/half empty: I love this saying. Yesterday Michael and I had a fight at the local pool. I got angry at him for not listening to the lifeguard. Really, he did not understand what she was saying. It was a receptive processing thing. When I realized that, I felt bad and apologized. When we looked back at the day, I told him I remembered the good times we had at the pool, not the the misunderstanding.
So there you have it. There are lots of ways to build the “turn it around” mentality into your day to day routine. Michael, like most of our children, has helped me see things more clearly and for the better so I can continue to teach him.
Exceptional Parents, how do your Exceptional Children help you turn things around for the better? How have they been your teachers? You know they are when we realize we need to model our behavior to show them the right way to act in society and in their lives. So watch your child for signs that they are picking up how to be more positive, resilient and don’t be afraid to be so yourself. The whole family will benefit from a more positive outlook. Until next time.