Here we are. The day has arrived. It’s back to school today. The summer months pass by so quickly, and each year I find I learn new things about myself and Michael. I learn what we are both made of, and what we both still need to learn about the other one. I have gotten into the groove of organizing his school stuff, and this year like last year Michael helped me as well. I usually have all his clothes labeled reasonably on time or at least within the first week back. 🙂 What is harder is navigating the stresses and strains that occur during the first week, and even first few weeks back at school. Michael is a good teacher though, and I am learning how to read him better in the last week before school starts. That is always a tough week and this year was no exception.
I even anticipated the stress that would come the week before school. I nearly made the week before losing my temper, but then again, I’m human. After Michael and I made up over some fights we had, I explained to Michael about how important it is to use our strategies to handle our anger. I got mad at him and myself, but I immediately started to implement my strategies of going off alone to breathe, calm down, and refocus. I am encouraging Michael to go back to his drawing board and find new strategies that work for him too. This is difficult as he is not able to do this on his own yet, and I don’t want to be telling him what to do all the time. That leads to more anxiety and stress for both of us.
What I am also slowly learning as an exceptional parent to an exceptional child, is just how much guidance I need to give, and how much more I need to step back, let him make mistakes and learn from them. This is hard for any parent, but watching your exceptional child struggle with anger, aggression and stress in general can be heartbreaking for all. We are making progress in that he is talking to me about how he feels. Even if it occurs after a meltdown or fight, that is progress. It is not easy, but then neither is any kind of parenting. I take comfort knowing that every day I learn a little more about my strength as Michael does about his. I also take comfort that my community of exceptional parents is going through the very same thing as I write this, and will have their ups and downs with their child over the course of the next month as children adjust to the new school year.
Exceptional Parents, what have you learned about “back to school” from your Exceptional Children? Are they still teaching you as much as you are teaching them? If so, that’s great. None of us knows everything, and as long as we give our children and ourselves the space we need to make mistakes, learn from them, and grow, we are all on the right path to understanding each other better. Wishing all of you and your children a great back to school! Until next time.
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