Not again, I thought to myself as Michael lost control and broke yet something else. These were the same words that went through my head over the course of the last few weeks when I was hit, sweared at, insulted and had to physically hold the door so my child would stay in his “cool down” room in order to teach him there are rules to follow and a safe place to go to calm down. It’s hard. As things have started improving with Michael listening to his Dad and I, he has also been understandably rebelling against the more strict consistent rules we have been putting in. When he has been angry he has repeatedly said, “I want you to go back to being the same Mommy and Daddy as before that gave chances when I didn’t listen.” We have reminded him that he is capable of listening without chances as he is old enough to know right from wrong. This is why we have made these changes, as somewhere along the way Michael has forgotten about our authority as his parents.
I have also learned as hard as it is to get through this latest stage with Michael, that I am strong, capable and that Michael needs me to guide him in making some hard decisions, which means listening even when he does not like what he hears. It also means consistency in how Dad and I handle Michael’s aggression and testing, and our own reactions to it. Considering the stress we have all been under, I think everyone has been doing great. Michael is still excelling at school (thank God), and Dad and I are doing our best to take time for ourselves. How are with doing this, you may ask? We are doing what feels good for us. Sometimes it is personal quiet time. Sometimes it is workout time. Sometimes it is sleeping in a little on the weekends (that one is hard), and sometimes it is by just taking some time ask for space, going out with friends, and curling up with a good book and movie. Whatever Exceptional Parents do, it has to be something that makes them feel calm, collected and balanced. They will need to be strong for what lies ahead to help their Exceptional Child.
Exceptional Parents, what do you do to keep your sanity and remember to laugh? Yes, there are still moments when we can laugh with our children. I have those when Michael navigates to a new place, shows me an award he earned at school or I hear him reading perfectly. Hold on to the positive. Take a deep breath through the negative. And know that you are growing as strong as you child is, riding out the storms with them. Until next time.