Day: October 26, 2016

What This Exceptional Mom Learned When She Underestimated Her Exceptional Child

So yesterday morning Michael did it again. What, you ask? He surprised me big time, and made me feel like a fool for underestimating his ability to listen and follow rules. My child has always been quick to get ready in the morning. But never never would I have thought with ten minutes to go until his school bus came, would my child have been able in pajamas to finish breakfast, get dressed, and brush teeth by the time the bus arrived a short time later. He not only did it and was just finishing a quick pee, but when I raced in upset to tell the bus had arrived, even managed to tell me he’d be right out. Of course, I hadn’t heard that. I was having a stressful morning and thinking the worst, that this would once again be a morning we would fight about him being ready etc. He would have made the bus wait an extra five minutes tops. But I sent the bus away. When I came back inside, there stood a fully dressed and shocked Michael that I hadn’t given him a chance.

I was ashamed of myself for thinking my child couldn’t be ready on time, but I had also told Michael that in future, he needed to be ready waiting outside with me on the driveway when the bus came. On the drive into school we talked about how rude it is to make people wait. We both learned a lesson about trust, communication, and waiting. It was surprising and impressive to me that I could have this discussion with my little guy, and then I remembered, Joanne, he is a smart and creative little boy. If you stay calm and explain things to him he will get it. Don’t be afraid to trust him. Don’t be afraid to trust your instincts as his Mom. That was the problem. Lately I have been so stressed with work, home, parenting, and trying to do it all so darn well and perfectly. Nothing is perfect, including life. As parents, we need to let go, coast a while, be patient with our kids and ourselves. If work isn’t going how we want it to, pray, breathe and stay positive. Open ourselves up to better things and better things will happen. It’s the same with parenting. We need to open ourselves up to our kids, be patient and kind, and  really see what they need. Chances are they will reflect that positive vibe back to us.

Exceptional Parents, when have you last underestimated your child’s ability to deal with stress? Remember, they are only as strong as you give them credit for, and they will surprise you if you give them the benefit of the doubt. How do you feel when you are given the benefit of the doubt? Your child deserves that and more. None of us is perfect. We need to learn from our mistakes and not be afraid to move forward from there. Until next time.

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Keeping Busy Versus Over Stimulation-6 Ways Parents Can Plan Out A Reasonable PED Day

Yesterday was another PED DAY. Michael was thrilled that he was home from school and looking forward to his day off. For me, it was great to have him home, and we enjoyed doing stuff together, but it was, as usual, about finding the balance in not overdoing activity and becoming overstimulated. This is a tricky one for Michael and me. Yesterday we crossed the line on over stimulation. At the end of the day, I  realized I had scheduled too much for him. It’s hard for him these days as there is so much nervous energy, and I know if we under plan the day then there are fights due to boredom and under stimulation.

I sat back last night, and as usual when we have challenges in the later part of the day, thought of how can I best address this for the future? What can I learn and share with parents so we all can see when we are crossing the line of busy into over stimulation? Here are 6  ways parents can plan out a reasonable PED DAY:

  1. Structure the day reasonably according to your child’s temperament: A reasonable day for one child may be one place where the child stays for the day. Another child may need two places, in the am and one in the pm. Believe it or not, mine likes three to four places as he in constantly moving and learning, and having a change of environment. He can do two, one in the am, and one in the pm to break up his day, but they need to be VERY engaging. Go with your child’s flow.
  2. Make sure child (and you) are rested: Having a good night’s sleep for both of you is mandatory to being able to function at your best and have fun.
  3. Give them breaks between activities: This is where I went wrong yesterday. Even us veteran Exceptional parents make those mistakes. He went to a park and to run some errands in the am, but then had an hour lunch break to prepare for the afternoon. In the pm though, he went from one busy place to another. Next time, transition break.
  4. Make sure to limit sugar: On PED DAYS it’s not that it is junk food mayhem, but let’s face it, friends come over and Moms will put out the cookies and goodies, myself included. It’s important we make sure our kids don’t have too much sugar, juice, and anything that can add to the hyperactivity.
  5. Offer a reward system for good listening: We are still using tokens and they work for most of the time. There are lots of options available. You need to find what works for you.
  6. Give your child focused attention to talk about what is happening: It’s important on PED DAYS to also have some quiet talking time. Michael and I had a little bit at the beginning and end of the day, though I may have had less patience at the end of the day to see what the bedtime stalling was signalling; the stress of back to school the next day. Try to pace yourself better too to be able to handle the after dinner/homework/bedtime battles.


Exceptional Parents, what do you do on PED DAYS to keep your Exceptional Children busy? Are they in childcare, with other caregivers, or with you? There are lots of options available. The most important thing to remember is to structure their days so they feel excited, calm, and will have a fun and successful day. There will be ups and downs. Celebrate the ups and learn from the downs. Remember, look for signs of your child having fun and being over the top, and let them guide you in how you can make further adjustments. They are raising you as much as you are raising them! Until next time.


Tired of anxiety controlling you and your child? Download my FREE EBOOK “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY”