As I was cooking homemade chicken nuggets with Michael yesterday evening, I was reminded once again by what Temple Grandin, a thriving businesswomen, academic and autistic individual said about helping our kids find their career paths by encouraging them in their interests and hobbies. This is advice really for any parent for any child. But for children with autism, sometimes it is not that obvious if their interests are a little more obscure. It’s easier now with Michael who loves cooking, baking and mapping. Still, whenever I see an interest I will let him know that this is something people can do for a living. It’s planting the seed, if you will. You never know how it will go. Now, whenever Michael cooks or bakes with me, the dish comes out tasting better than when I made it. I kid you not. He enjoys the process too, the preparation of ingredients, the mixing, the cooking and the presentation. Of course, then there is the eating part.
When your child is practicing their hobby they are also excited, in their comfort zone, and relaxed so it is a great time to work on their life skills in other areas. As a parent, you can talk about your own interests and how this has helped you in your life and career. Maybe you are doing a job directly related to your passion, your hobby. Maybe your career is different and you unwind with your hobby. Either way your child gets to see how happy and complete your hobby makes you. It is important for overall balance to find happiness in what you do for a living, or have a sideline that makes you know your purpose that much more fully. Plus, as a bonus you get to bond with your child and build on your closeness. Words are not necessary when they and you are in the zone. Time passes in a relatively relaxed way.
Exceptional Parents, what are your child’s interests? As strange or obscure as they may seem to onlookers, this can be encouraged in them as a possible future career or a hobby that could help them meet others like them. They can build social connections, friendships, and learn and grow as a parent. As you would encourage them in everything else, build on their interests. What you will have in return is child that will grow more comfortable in their own skin. 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.