I don’t know how long this will last nor will I question it. I am just glad that Michael is connecting listening to us and having good things happen to him again. Yes, before he would listen temporarily in order to get his tokens for audio visual or other things, but now I sense a real change in him. He is listening for distant rewards, like a McDonald’s Happy Meal in February to get another Sing figurine ,and long term listening to get a much coveted surprise over Spring Break almost a month and a half away. I worry about his continual “collecting of toys” and not wanting to play with them, but he also understands that he needs to work on doing chores to get his toys. He also is exploring interests other than navigating like video games and looking online on how to cook certain foods.
“The only reason I am sweeping the floor and helping in the house Mommy is to get my money and buy my toys.” He had the hysterical audacity to tell me the other day.
“Well, I am paying you to do this, but you are also learning about hard work Michael. We all need to pitch in to keep the house clean.”
“Because you and Daddy work?
I am proud at how he is drawing those comparisons and not afraid to work hard. He is also understanding more and more that when I need to work I can’t be disturbed in the late afternoons. Eventually, he will need an after-school program again some if not most days, but so far he is starting to adjust to changes in his routine, like staying home after school as Mom has to work longer hours. There has been less fighting, hitting and aggression. He will often say, “I am mad but I am not going to hit you Mommy.” I commend him for taking the higher road and encourage him to find healthy outlets for his anger. When he has caught me say the occasional swear word, it has been so funny to hear him correct me to use better language. It is wonderful to see him growing and the silly and negative behavior disappearing. I see how desperately he needs structure, guidelines and releases for sensory tensions. It is a work in progress, but we are getting there.
I also think what is working is Dad and I have finally found the formula of praise and showing him a good example to follow. He is beginning to see how when he listens, we pay attention and the good that comes of it. Being so busy, Dad and I forgot to touch base with him on that. It is important as a parent to cheer when your child succeeds. I also have started telling him, at least once a day if not multiple times, how much I love him. It is important for him to hear and me to say. He knows he is special to us as we are to him. There are times I don’t like how he is behaving, but I love him as a person.
Exceptional Parents, how good are your Exceptional Children at listening to you? When do you notice they challenge you most or least? What has worked for you? We have all made mistakes. That’s ok. We can learn from them, teach our kids and ourselves better, and be gentle with our words, our manners, and our language. Children will gravitate to that in a heartbeat and parents will often see a decrease in behaviors. Until next time.
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