So all things considered, back to school has gone well. Michael continues to amaze me with how well he is adjusting to his diabetes diagnosis. He takes the injections like a champ, is handling changes to food regimes well .The only thing is that he continues to test me Mom to the utmost. This happens usually during the injection process, but in other small areas too. He is sensing my stress- with my work, with him, with finding time for my personal and professional writing, for my lack of me time. All of it. Our kids are so psychic at sensing when we are exhausted, at wits’ ends, and overwhelmed by life and they test us more. Today, I made a concerted effort to stay calmer and it worked for most of the afternoon and evening. There was one big fight, and then it was finished. What is Michael teaching me? He is teaching me to pace myself. I have been meditating as usual in the am, but due to work, Michael’s injection schedule and my own nerves, the quality has not been the same. How can I fix this? I know now. It is by reprioritizing how to practice my own self-care, inside and out. All kids respond to an adult who is present centered or not. We owe it to them to be comfortable in our own skin. So here are the 5 ways I learned to handle those “testing” moments:
- Do not erupt with anger: Man, this is hard. It feels good to let the anger out, but then you have to face the long hard fact of why you are yelling as loud or louder thann your child. You are not taking care of “you.” I learn every fall that I need to get back in the routine of ‘Self Care” and that is what I will do.
- See it from your child’s viewpoint: A lot of times we end up feeling sorry for ourselves as parents and caretakers that we forget to see things through our children’s eyes. They are scared, nervous, overwhelmed too. We need to see the WHY behind the behavior instead of just the behavior.
- Is your child scared?: I have noticed that Michael will be harsher with me when he is scared. I am the “safe haven”. In reacting negatively to me it is his way to see what will I do. I have learned to respond consistently with a consequence for negative behavior and positive behavior. This has helped how he has reacted.
- Are they upset at school?: I learned this the hard way last year, when Michael was bottling a lot of anger and stress at school and bringing it home. I began trying to teach him how to learn to self-regulate and handle his emotions. It was not easy, but at least we both know where to go.
- Are you in control of your parental emotions?: When was the last time you had a good cry, laugh or time away to recharge in some way? If you can’t remember, Mom/Dad it’s time you had your “getaway” to recharge. For my part I have been OVERREACTING more than necessary to things this week due to extra stress I have been carrying around. I realize I need to exercise and get some time alone to have fun. That means no housecleaning or working parents. This is hard for all of us to do, but if we are successful at recharging and showing our child a good example of anger management, we need to do it.
Exceptional Parents, how are you handling “testing” behaviors from your Exceptional Child? Do you over or under react? Are you taking care of “you” at the same time as taking care of your child? If you have not been successful at self-care, don’t worry. Tomorrow is another day. Take out your day planner. Make sure to pencil in “you time” as well as time with friends and family. Also, cut your child some slack. It is not easy living in the world with the issues they face every day. You are both exceptional for a reason. Take a deep breath, and know that from every experience good and bad, lessons will be learned. Until next time.
I am a writer, speaker and parent coach whose son with autism and Type 1 Diabetes 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 email@example.com. Also to receive a copy of my FREE E-BOOK “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” click on www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com/EBOOKS.