It’s the simple things that make exceptional parenting, and any kind of parenting work. I was reminded of this on Saturday afternoon at one of Michael’s friends’ birthday parties. It was a BBQ and Pool Party. Michael, Dad and I had a wonderful time, and not just for the obvious reasons, but also because it reminded me how wonderful it is to have people in all our life that “get” what raising a special needs child is all about. A few times at the beginning I did need to be reminded not to shadow Michael in the house. I have been doing this since he was a baby and used to touch things or go into people’s bedrooms. Now, his worst offense is eating a bowl of chips, but still old habits die hard, as they say. Once I truly relaxed, ate, talked with the adults while the kids swam, it was great. I thought to myself how important it is in parenting to know you have friends who have your back. We talked about our kids, the joys, the challenges, our experiences of summer camp and future family holidays. We made plans to see one another again soon, and talked wistfully how soon school would be starting. Before we knew it, it would be the beginning of another school year.
A lot of parents do not have their community. Family may not be as accepting of their child, and friends who have neuro typical children may not understand at all, or feel uncomfortable. I am lucky on all fronts that everyone in our immediate circle gets it, but even with that, happy other special families to get together with makes us realize even when we feel most alone as I did several months ago, deep down inside I knew that I had my ladies out there waiting to help, lend an ear, or let me cry on their shoulder. It’s so important for parents to find a community online and in person if they can, so they can handle many of the extra stresses that come with exceptional parenting. Whenever I meet an exceptional parent, I make sure to tell them what was told to me. “You are a great Mom/Dad. I can see how much you love your child. Your child is a great and will do wonderful things.” We all need to be reminded that we are doing the best we can, and that someone has our back. I have also been lucky enough to have friends who, both by their words and example, reminded me to practice better self-care, to go out some evenings, and to laugh at the craziness sometimes. I am eternally grateful for these reminders and also try and tell parents to take care of themselves, first individually, then in their partnerships and friendships, so that they can be strong and advocate in the very best way possible for their children.
Exceptional Parents, do you have people, a community, who has your back? If not, it’s time to find that community. They will help keep you strong when you feel at your weakest. They will encourage you in your progress with yourself and your child, and they will remind you that, in spite of all the uncertainty out there, there are people who care, who get it, and who can laugh along with you at the craziness of it all. Until next time.
I am a writer, speaker and parent coach whose son with autism has shown me a whole new way to see the world and embrace the joy of the moment! I believe in empowering parents to trust their own instincts when it comes to their children, and in helping them parent with love, respect and confidence towards their child.
For more information on my coaching services, see my website: www.creatingexceptionalparentingg.com, and for a free 30 minute exploration/consultation session contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also to receive a copy of my FREE E-BOOK “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” click on www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com/EBOOKS.