Being the parent of an Exceptional Child never has a dull moment, good or bad. Michael is no exception to this rule. Whether at his most highly anxious state or at this funniest state making us laugh, he has taught his Dad and I how to be more patient, handle stress better and more open to what is possible to accomplish in a day and in a lifetime. We have learned how to be more patient, forgive ourselves for our shortcomings and get stronger, and we have learned to see the world through his eyes, eyes that do not see things the same way. We take for granted certain social norms that people learn. We also take for granted how colors, sensations and other things feel. Michael and kids like him take all off this and throw it up in the air and say, “here’s how I see it.” I see the grass or dirt as something to squeeze. I see the leaves on the tree in such detail, I can count the veins and tell you. For children who are not able to explain in a language that we understand, many times still do see it. Once we give them PECS or a laptop, they blow us away with how much they have always understood and can communicate. They also teach us about noise and how it affects them and us. But most important of all, is their quirky way of seeing super intense details of something and pointing it out to us getting parents and others to see what they consider to be happiness.
Michael has done this and more for me and his Dad. Here are 5 ways he and kids like him open the rest of us up to seeing the world in a better way:
- Their sensory preferences: Sometimes these are a little weird. Michael likes to squeeze things. He particularly loves big squeeze hugs and squeezing legs and burying his face in my neck. Going unchecked this can become dangerous, but what he reminds me of is how important physical affection is and how to show it appropriately to others more often. We are teaching this to one another now.
- Live in the moment: It’s important to take things one step, one day at a time to learn and grow. Also, you always have a chance tomorrow to do better. Michael has helped me learn that.
- Slow down and appreciate the people/things you have: Kids who are exceptional find our world even more chaotic than us. They need to slow it down and break it into chunks to get through it. This reminds us to take time to do that too to be more productive and calmer.
- Fight for what you love no matter what: Michael has taught me to be fearless and fight for him no matter what. I was always someone who wanted to stay in the background and not be noticed, in spite of my writing and love of public singing. I was afraid to stand up for myself. Michael forced me out of my shell to advocate for him. I have learned to advocate for me as a result.
- Having a sense of humor: Some kids are funnier than others like some adults. But a sense of humor is mandatory to get through parenting. Exceptional kids, whether intentionally or not, make us laugh. We need to admit this. And it’s by laughter that we relax and can learn to see their milestones in their own time, not make comparisons, and love our child like we love ourselves.
Exceptional Parents, how have your Exceptional Children changed your life? Yes, there are the stresses and struggles we all face as parents. Sometimes we feel we are drowning in them. Then we have such an amazing day with our child and we catch a glimpse of their beautiful soul and spirit and it transforms us. Their journey and ours is not perfect. But let it be what it is, enjoy the good moments, soldier on with support during the rough ones, and remember, our kids are here to teach us as we are to teach them. Until next time .
Are you and your Exceptional Family experiencing Spring Fever anxiety? Are you in need of new strategies to help live life calmer? Download my FREE EBOOK: “5 WAYS TO MANAGE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” http://www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com/EBOOKS.