I don’t know what to tackle first. There is his insistence on being right, his worrying over the future, and his putting his foot down on what he wants to do and does not want to do. It is so frustrating as this is also my list and my issues too. It is hard as a parent. You have to pick your battles, stay firm, give in, and at other times, walk a tightrope somewhere in between with your child. Any child. And an exceptional child is just exceptionally challenging at times like these. We had many fun moments yesterday, but this week there have been many more testing moments, angry moments, and moments where Michael, I could tell, was seeing how far he could push before I gave in. I pretty much stayed firm, but there have been some activities I have had to remove from his schedule. They have been academic ones, as the pressures in school have been proving to be too stressful for him lately. I feel like I have failed as a Mom. I have failed to hear him and listen to what he needed, choosing instead to challenge him. But see that’s the thing. That is what worked in the past. My little boy is changing. He is growing up and I have to be ready for some surprises. Though it has been hard, I am coming to terms too with the fact I cannot control all circumstances, all things, all life. I have to admit defeat and errors where I have made them and carry on. That’s what I tell other parents to do. Forgive yourself and move on. It is hard for me to do though. However, I am finally starting to do it.
I am so glad that he is able to communicate so well with me about his feelings of stress with school performance (though he is doing amazing), his anxiety over pleasing the “stimming lady” (I think she represents adults all around him that he is trying to please), and I can see how even when he is engaged in pleasurable activities, the ability to control, predict and anticipate everything come into play everywhere. He is such a smart kid. He is so happy and full of life in so many ways, yet I see his suffering, his anxiety, and his insecurities. I don’t know how to reassure him he is enough. I tell him. I show him by hugging, kissing and laughing with him. But due to my own busy schedule, there have been times I think I have failed him. I have failed to give him the security, patience and support he needed as I have been tired, busy, stressed myself. I am re-emphasizing self-care again in my repertoire so I refill my own bucket. Love and support are a two way street, but they are ones that are difficult and challenging to follow when both parties are exhausted and at their wits’ ends.
Exceptional Parents, how do you weather your child’s storms and anxieties while staying sane yourself? If you have lost your temper and patience once in awhile, that’s ok. So have I. So have all of us. The important thing is to remember how by taking care of your needs, physically, mentally and spiritually, you will be able to show your child how best they can have balance in these areas. They need to learn to take care of their inner stresses before they can balance their outer feelings. Until next time .
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