It’s been a little bit of a whirlwind this summer as Michael learns to use his strategies to handle his anxieties while also trying to play Mom and Dad off each other. While we are happy he has made some intellectual ground, manipulation towards anyone is not a good thing. We both know we do Michael no favors if we let him think he can manipulate due to fear and anger. Dad and I don’t have a lot of time to talk, as a lot of parents don’t in this day and age, even those of neuro typical children. Exceptional children have the added element that in some areas they are a little behind, so the parent who underestimates them thinks that they do not know what is going on. Truly, I tell you that they are superior in more ways than behind, so never think your child is not manipulative in some way. This will help you help them more.
You love them. And believe it or not they love you too in their own way. But it is hard and frustrating to handle negotiations and other issues. So for those looking for new tricks to be on the same page as their partner for dealing with challenging behaviors in their children, here are my 5 suggestions:
- Set a time of day when you can talk uninterrupted: This is easier said than done, I know. We tried the other day EARLY am and had a little visitor come into our bedroom and start the day.:) So we are back to the drawing board. Even if it’s a 5 min briefing make sure you how to respond when your child tests you with a firm, loving hand.
- Use the SODA formula for interacting with your child: I’ve talked about this before in my blog. (www.healyourlife.com). I have this up on the cork board in our kitchen .Even Michael practices it now.
Great ways to see behaviors for what they are. You can only tackle something when you are calm and centered yourself.
3. Text each other strategies: Oh yes, this is Michael’s Dad and I. It is hard to talk around a child that senses, knows and seems to see everything. We are thrilled about this, but it makes it hard to touch base. Texting is our best bet, just be careful when they start to read like mine. He tried to read a text I sent to Dad the other day before I gently told him, “sorry hon, that’s private.”
4. Schedule parent meetings camouflaged as dates: Yes, I know it is hard enough to have date nights, but you may need to schedule a few working lunches/dinners to talk about how to handle issues with your child .The alternative is the child playing the parents off each other and stress in the house. A no win situation for all.
5. Involve a Psycho Educator, Psychologist or someone outside to help you and your partner: Make sure to tell your child (if they are worried and threatened), the truth that this person is part of their team, as I have said to my son. (Team Michael, Team Joanne for me etc. ). This person is helping Mommy/Daddy to understand you and ourselves better so we can all live happier.
Exceptional Parents, what strategies do you and your partners use to discipline and handle challenging issues with your child? I would love to hear what has worked and what has not. The most important thing to realize though as with everything concerning your child and family, you go with how you are all most comfortable living, and make sure everyone is on the same page rule wise in your household. It is the only way to grow together and be a happier Exceptional Family unit. Until next time.