Every parent of every child has had moments of regret. They have had moments when they over reacted to something their child said or did, or someone else said or did. They have failed their child in some way due to not knowing what exactly they needed to do in that moment. Every parent out there has also been a less than stellar example of how to stay calm in a moment of stress or after a day of stress. Sometimes several things bring out our demons. Sometimes it is one last straw that brings us down. No matter, the result is an angry screaming adult who is out of control, when our child needs us to model control. But what ends up happening is that our demons are not being handled daily, hourly and the stress builds up. How can we fix something like this? It’s called daily changes, small daily changes, where we acknowledge our strengths and weaknesses and where we need help to control anxiety, anger, fear or all of the above.
I have been having a rough and stressful month intersperced with good moments. Self-care has not been too prioritized and my body and mind have been feeling it. That was why the other day when Michael screamed at me for something irrelevant that I lost it. I was tired after a long day at work. The kitchen was a mess. I had come home to a note from a neighbor complaining about how godawful our yard looks, and I just saw red in all capitals. What was the universe trying to teach me, I remember asking myself. The answer took a while to come. When it finally did, I realized. The universe was trying to remind me to be more patient with myself, with others. And how would I do this? It would be by practicing gratitude for the blessings I had. Michael for all his anxiety and stressing is a kid who lives in the moment mostly. He loves people. He loves Google Maps. He loves music. He loves cooking and baking. He enjoys life. He has even found ways to make his daily injections tolerable. He asks to have the radio on and was bragging to his grandfather about how he gets to choose the injection site each time. Wow! As much as I sometimes say my kid is too over the top (what did I expect, I was like that too as a child), I admire how he faces fear like a champion, stares it down, pulls up his undies and gets on with life. Whenever I have a moment of self-pity that comes up, I remind myself what Michael faces daily, hourly and weekly. It’s ok to give in for a little bit. But then it is time to get on with the business of living.
Our demons can also tell us interesting things about ourselves. For instance my frustration when Michael screams is about not having control over my kid. Control is one of my big hangups and one I am learning to relinquish. Therapy, lots of past and continued soul and spiritual work is helping me do that. I also don’t like when people don’t approve of me or criticize me. I’ve gotten better at reminding myself that as long as I am ok with me, it does not matter what others think, but doing it is something different. I have to take baby steps in that direction, but have come very far from where I was ten years ago.
Exceptional Parents, how do you face your inner fears? Have you ever thought to look to your exceptional child and how well they move in the world in spite of the many challenges they face? You can do it. You can overcome your fears about yourself, about parenting, and about what others think. Look to how strong your child is. You have had something to do with that. Transfer that energy back to you, set the example for your child and then the two of you can move forward with confidence. 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 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.