Going with Michael on any so-called mundane or ordinary outing is anything but ordinary. He will always pick up something I would never have seen or thought to comment on. It will either by about the directions we took to get there, one of his favorite things, or pointing out a landmark I hadn’t noticed. He will also observe the people around him and make comments on what they are doing or thinking. I can see that he is trying to figure out human emotion. The hard part is that Dad and I have to teach him to do this quietly as people do not like being commented about out loud. Still, as with everything, Michael gives us a new perspective on how we look at things and see the world.
He also will make his own little twist on how we play certain games and though there are moments where he asks lots of questions, there are also beginning to be moments when he just likes to have quiet time on our long walks or at home. He will tell me when he needs to be alone and when he needs company. He is intense in all manners of the word. We had some tough moments over the course of the last few days as Michael adjusted to being back home from being away for our very first family overnight trip. But now I can see he is settling in, enjoying his last few days of summer holiday, helping me with chores like groceries, laundry and dishes, and mentally preparing for school next week.
Even at some really tough moments over the last few days, Michael is still teaching me. He is teaching me about my own capacity for handling stress, change, challenges of any kind, and how to come forward and admit when I have failed and succeeded in handling them. Yes, I have had words and reactions I have wanted to take back. I have also tried to remember when I have responded well to stress and given Michael a good example to handle his own anxieties and anger. I have reminded him of using his strategies, of also using words instead of yelling to communicate how he feels, and to not be afraid of anger. I spent too many years making this mistake. Anger is just another emotion that we need to be able to express properly, just like happiness, joy, creativity and sadness. Michael and I are learning it together.
Exceptional Parents, what do you learn from your Exceptional Children? How have they taught you about handling emotions, transitions and your own loves and fears? That is what is so important to remember about exceptional parenting or really even any parenting. Our kids are teaching us as much as we are teaching them about love, life and growth. Be the good example and when you’re not, don’t be afraid to admit that you are learning too and explore along together. Until next time.
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