Day: May 12, 2017

Mother’s Day And My Hope This Year For All Exceptional Moms

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So it’s time for another Mother’s Day weekend. I am both excited and nervous about it. We have been having challenging times with Michael so I worry about putting too much stress on a day many consider super commercial. Still, I see the positives. Michael’s beautiful artwork is one my early Mother’s Day gifts. Another gift is the maturity I am seeing Michael showcase in initiating play dates, trying to play with friends, and play new kinds of games that they like, and just in general, the way he asks questions and learns about the world we live in through his incredible eye for observation. I am truly awed and amazed by a child who will ask such deep questions about life, death, and everything in between, and then fight with me over having or no having cookies. C’est la vie with children.

I think back to that first Mother’s Day ten years ago, when I was just so happy to be part of this group, the group of Mothers. Back then it was sleepless nights, endless diapers and a very active baby. Fast forward to now and things have certainly changed, but not my love for Michael. Yes, motherhood is exhausting, stressful, beautiful, scary, awesome all in one. I would not have it any other way and could not imagine life without Michael, and without mothering in it. I think of all the milestones that are all the more incredible when he reaches them, when any exceptional child does. You see how smart and capable all children are.

Exceptional Moms, what are some of your highlights with your Exceptional Children? When have they made you most proud? I’d love to hear them! For now, I want to wish each and every one of you out there, Happy Mother’s Day! You are awesome and the job you do daily is incredible. Until next time.

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Dark Nights of the Soul And Exceptional Growth-How To Advocate For Yourself And Your Child

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It is rare I don’t post a blog daily. Very rare. But this has been an unusually stressful week. Michael’s aggressive behavior has steadily been going up over the course of the last six months, and this week things have come to a head on the new behavior plan. The thing is, it is more than any of us expected. It has been hard. Extremely hard on all of us. There has been screaming, tears, and aggression. I have questioned myself as has Dad, where are we going wrong as parents? What needs are not being met? Why is Michael going up against his better interest and not using the tools he has been given, and helped create with his school psychologist? Kids with autism are complex. There is so much going on. I still have to remind myself sometimes that though he is so smart and articulate, there is much he does not understand. There is much he does intentionally to hurt us when he is in pain, but there is much he does not get, even after multiple explanations. Dad and I know this, but it does not make it easy when your child insults and hits you. I have hurled insults back in weak moments. I am not proud of myself. I have always apologized and told him I wasn’t using my strategies to calm down when I said them. He has reminded me he is strong and that I am strong and that we will get stronger together.

I have tried to reinforce he is good, but sometimes makes bad choices. He simply does not know how to use the tools at his disposal. He said to me the other day, “Do it for me. You need to do the calming strategies and I will follow what you are doing Mommy.” I keep telling him no. I can remind him what and where they are. I can show him how to start. But he needs to continue and finish. He is trying to have me enable him. I think it has been fear of growing up as much as the behavior is partly due to puberty. A lot of our fights have centered around him still being a baby and not needing to listen and follow instructions. We have calmly tried to redirect him. Ah, the joys of parenting, and particularly exceptional parenting. Your child exposes you, good or bad, for what you are and helps you become a better version of you if you let them.

More people are being added to “Team Michael”. More to come on it next week. He needs it. We need it. I have reached out to friends, family.  Dad and I need to go out more at night and recharge our batteries. I am soon going away on my yearly spa trek with a dear friend. Parents are not perfect and that is ok. I wanted to share this post especially for other exceptional parents out there who are scared of their child’s aggression and don’t know where to turn. Call up your local hospital or health care center. Tell family and friends. Seek support. Your child is calling out for help. They do not want to live life aggressively anymore than you do. You are their advocate, but first start by being your own. Get support for you. Get sleep. Take a break from your child. Reach out. Help is there. Don’t be ashamed. Your child will only grow stronger from your strength.

Exceptional Parents, how many of you have had some dark nights of the soul with your child? Remember, behavior is a way for your child to communicate. It’s their way of expressing fear, anger, and resentment gone out of control. Once you are able to read the hidden message, they will once again see you as their ally as you always were. Until then, breathe, sleep and be good to yourself. You are doing the best you can, and things will get better. Until next time.

Feeling out of control and ready to explode? Looking for new parenting strategies? Download my FREE EBOOK: “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL PARENTING ANXIETY” at http://www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com/EBOOKS.