So last night was the Parent/Teacher Interviews at Michael’s school. As always, it was as much a learning experience for me as it was for Michael. I was happy and it was a positive experience, in spite of the testing he is doing at home. I heard once again thankfully, how well Michael is progressing in reading, writing and math. He is starting to grasp the basic concepts, and as his teacher told me, is able to understand what is expected from him in with work and in holding a conversation. He is kind to others in the class and has many friends. It is a dream come true for this Mom. He is also holding it together very well in school. His body is regulated and he is able to sit and focus and learn. The anxiety he holds is released at home, and for that I am grateful. I am also grateful that he is working with the school psychologist on a program to help him handle his anger triggers and learn to respond appropriately at home as he does in school to stress.
At home he will react inappropriately using vulgar words, will laugh at things that are not funny, and will be aggressive at times when he hears things from me that he does not “like” as he says. I and his Dad will tell him that is ok to not like it, but that he needs to respond in a respectful and calm way. It is all to test us, and to test the newfound independence he is exploring as he enters the double digit years soon. As one professional put it, he is experimenting with his physical and mental agility, and on how far he can go in asserting himself and his opinion. I am told by lots of other parents with children on and off the spectrum that this is perfectly normal, but that we need to show him boundaries. At the same time, what I have been reading is that anxiety and anger come out in times of fear. We are not teachers and professionals, but I think he still wants to please us and worries that he fails us when he makes mistakes. Though it is not always easy, Dad and I are trying to slow down, be there for him by sitting and talking to him, and tell him we love him just as he is because we do, of course. We don’t love the negative behavior, but we love him. And I truly believe when the parent is calm, the child will become calm. This is something I remind myself of every day. If I am not calm and able to show that, my child will not be calm.
Exceptional Parents, what feelings do Parent/Teacher Interviews bring out in you; worry, excitement, dread? It’s normal to be concerned about your child’s full development, but remember it’s ok if the child takes two steps ahead in one area, and falls behind in another. Life is about that back and forth for all of us. Just remember, to ask questions, seek support, and most of all, just love your child, love them for who they are and accept where they are. You can both work from there on other issues. Until next time.
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