The last two days have been like Heaven. Michael was at his grandparents’ house all day on Monday while I worked (he had a PED DAY) and he came back positive and cooperative. He listened well to me and did great with his Dad at bedtime while I had a night out doing one of my favorite things, nursing a cup of coffee in a favorite bookstore and FINALLY spending a long ago given gift card from the holidays. What a wonderful change from the last month of hardship for all of us! And now we are on the brink of something else new. Tomorrow more people will be added to “Team Michael” as we officially embark on the next leg of helping Michael learn to control his anxiety and get to the root of what else could be giving him challenges. We are starting an official assessment looking at Michael’s anxiety to see whether this is in part, some of the other reasons for many of Michael’s challenges. It will not be easy on Michael or us, b but thankfully he is excited to navigate to the building and is happy that we are looking into ways to help him learn to listen better and figure out how best to help him. As he is social, I know he will do well talking with new people and with Dad and I there he will know he is not alone. I am proud of him and of us, for finally, after much worrying and agonizing, having the courage to take this step. We could learn any number of things over the next little while, but I for one am tired of living life afraid of what else is going on in Michael’s brain that we can’t help him with. What other things are we maybe not getting in our own frustration that could unlock the key of how best to help him be at his best all the time with us and everyone else?
You see, Michael has been as frustrated with us as we have been with him. It must be hard for him having parents who may not get him all the time. I have seen sometimes too late, how I overreacted or underreacted to what he did or said. I am learning. I was also recently reminded gently by another professional in relation to Michael to state things simply, and quite frankly, not talk too much. I had to laugh. That is so much like me. I talk A LOT. I talk way too much at my kid sometimes. The funny thing is, when I am working with children and other adults I have learned the art of not saying much and just being with the children and adults. I have learned to let them speak, feel, be. That is why I have had no issues with bonds and frustrations there. But alas, like most parents, I will sometimes forget with my own child to do the same thing. It was a great reminder. It was also great to get a parenting break last night. Browsing for 2 hours in a bookstore and then enjoying a cup of coffee was like a mini vacation for me. I remembered how down time, personal time is so important for the parent to keep their equilibrium, their memory of who and what they are and were before kids, and in some ways, who they are now.
Exceptional Parents, what are your challenges now with your Exceptional Children? What are you not seeing due to fear of being right or wrong about further diagnoses or not? It’s time to face that fear slowly but surely. Be strong by taking care of you, and then take the next step of being strong for your child. They need you to believe and love them no matter what they do, with boundaries, rules, and consistency. Your child wants to know what to expect and you need to show them that there are consequences for actions, but that love, respect and patience go a long way. Until next time.