I had two really good long walks with Michael lately. He loves to ask questions and talk about life on our walks as I’ve mentioned before. It’s also given me a chance to see him de-stressed and open up about his frustrations. It’s hard for him, and it’s hard for me as his Mom to see how much control he needs to exert over everything and everyone. It is exhausting. He has had some good moments this summer and last, but we have yet to find the perfect summer formula for him to have the right mix of friends, stimulation and activity that he craves at camp and outside. I wish so many times for this one area only that he was born in another time, when kids on the street got together, played in parks, made up their own games, and their own structure. He sadly told me last night he wished so too. I told him that didn’t exist. It was camp or he would have to play at home by himself while I worked.
Michael’s big issue, “I don’t want to follow the group. I want to do my own thing. I want to make my own rules.” And I tell him, that is what summer camp is. It is a structured, safe place for kids to play with other kids. And they are all the same. He has to follow the rules and order whether he likes it or not. He doesn’t and then I get the behaviors at home that he can’t show at camp. I told him that he must never keep things in, but he has to use his strategies to cope with stress. His Dad and I are there to listen to him, but he then needs to take care of his emotions on his own. He has to try and focus on the positive things. After all, life is not all negative.
Exceptional Parents, what works for your Exceptional Child in the summer to keep their balance? Do they like camp or do they prefer being home with a sitter, you, or grandma and grandpa? What have you found to be best for them and you? We are still trying to find the balance in our family, though a formula of six weeks of camp and three weeks home full time has worked for Dad and I. By week five Michael is tired. Remember as a parent that you are doing your best, and always keep an open mind with your child. Until next time.