“How far can I push her?” I honestly can see in Michael’s clear brown eyes that question so often these days. The other question I see is “Does she still love me?” Yes, that question is there too when he disobeys and then apologizes. We had the most amazing morning yesterday. It was one of those mornings that could have gone very badly, and sometimes has, yet it didn’t. Michael slept in. Then he went straight to the bathroom. When I heard no movement after five minutes I figured he was having a bowel movement, but wanted to check. He’d been known to stall in there sometimes. I would laugh thinking to myself that if he realized he could read in there he wouldn’t come out. Needless to say after two minutes of knocking and gently calling his name asking if he was ok, the door was opened and he told me he wasn’t finished. I thanked him for telling me and let him go back to his business literally. 🙂
When I had seen the time I got his breakfast ready, lunch in his bag, and had even laid out his clothes. I only help like this when he is really behind schedule. He came out and I realized that now he would only have twenty minutes to eat, get dressed, brush his teeth and wait for the bus. Would he do it? I stayed calm and when he would slow down, I gently reminded him that he may miss the bus if he didn’t move. That was enough to get him going. He prefers going in by school bus and not with me. Yesterday he not only was ready on time, he was out five minutes before the bus. A record! And the calm serenity surrounding him was amazing. This was such a welcome surprise. I saw traces of my little boy from the summer, when pressures were less and he was listening more. And he even asked me,
“Mommy, was I listening well? Did I get my three tokens?”
“Yes, you did. And with two more you know what you’ll get after dinner?”
“I will get to watch You Tube videos or do Google Maps.”
“Yes, you do. And I know you will get the last two tokens. I’m so proud of you.”
A minute later the bus came and he got on. It was the first morning in awhile I was relaxed, happy, and I saw he wasn’t nervous going to school. I don’t know if the fact I exercised that morning and was calm myself had something to do with it, or he was calm as Tuesday is his favorite day with dance class and no homework, but it all worked out beautifully.
Exceptional Parents, how do your Exceptional Children test you? Do you notice when they are driven by fear and when they are driven by anger at not feeling in control? As you start connecting with your child and really watching when they are off, you will see the smile of testing in their eyes or the fear of rejection. All of our kids experience this. Just make sure to set clear limits, be there for them to listen when they are ready, and remind them you love them even when they make you angry. Until next time.
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