Exceptional Feelings of Control and Powerlessness- The Struggle and the Triumphs




Michael does not like feeling out of control and struggling. He also does not like not knowing what is happening and will often worry about things in advance unless it is planned out in his little book. I am noticing that he is having more success at controlling his emotions more and more, but on the days he can’t, he will obviously strike out physically or say that this needs to happen or he will hit someone. We are always reminding him to use his strategies to handle stress, and he is working with the school psychologist on different things he will be using to handle his feelings.


I feel bad how he worries about things happening three, four or more days in advance. His technique for writing it down in his little Minion workbook is a good one. The only problem is sometimes he will wake up worrying about what will happen on the weekend, and instead of concentrating on getting ready for school, he will start writing in his book. We often have to redirect him to do that later in the day. Sequencing and the general order of things are challenging. Still, I am encouraged as I watch him express his fears more openly, and even when he is angry he will often say, “I want to do this, but I know I can’t or X won’t happen.” It’s a constant push and pull of emotions, his and ours, as we try to help support him and help him find appropriate strategies to handle his feelings of powerlessness and feelings of control, both when it is appropriate to be in control and when it is not appropriate to exercise those feelings.


Exceptional Parents, how do your Exceptional Children navigate their emotions for better or worse? What positive changes have you seen? What negative? It’s important to remember that we can learn from all our children’s behavior, teach them to remember the positive and use it, and to learn from the negative and not do it again. We also need to learn from our own positive and negative ways of dealing with stress. This way we are better equipped to help our children along their path. Until next time.

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