So lately I have not been the most patient of Moms. I hear the little voice in my head telling me to give Michael a break when he is anxious, going slow, testing the boundaries. He is dealing with his autism and new diabetes diagnosis and is doing very well, all things considered. Now this does not mean he is not trying to get away with not listening etc as he was doing last year, but still, he deserves a break for his courage and positive attitude. So why am I short tempered and annoyed sometimes in the presence of anxiety and defiance combined? I guess because I too am going through some growing pains and have my good and bad moments when I can handle anxiety and defiance better than at other times.
Some days are a breeze, and other days when I am greeted by worries about what will happen in four days and let’s solve the problem right now the second I get off the bus, I’m not so good. Yesterday afternoon was one of those afternoons. I was tired. It had been a busy day at work. The house was a mess. And Michael got off the bus and wanted to know how things would work when we started going to church as a family. He wanted to know before snack, before washing up for snack, and right off the bus. I made the mistake of bringing up a karate class that would conflict with our previous mass time and didn’t he want to try that class before deciding it was not for him? No, he said he did not want to go back. This is the second activity he has quit this month. The first one we understood. There were no kids his age, the ones that were there were more advanced. But for the karate class which is also adapted, he didn’t even want to give it a chance. After fifteen minutes he announced he was ready to leave. Dad did give him that option and regrets it. His reason? It was too noisy, it was boring. He didn’t like the stretching and warmup. Why can’t he do what he wants? I saw red. I told him you have to wait and see. You need to follow the direction of the coaches or teachers. It can’t always be one on one doing what you want.
Then, I started feeling sorry for myself. If more activities did not work, I would be looking at having him bored at home wanting to go on walks, to parks, and malls all weekend long. When would I get all the work done in the house? What about my down time? He needs to be busy, but makes excuses when things don’t go exactly his way. He even admitted. I don’t need to try. You did not pay as they are giving me a chance to see if I like it. We’ve been had. Right at that moment I knew it was not muscle weakness from his diabetes, but his attitude that was causing him to give up. I announced I needed to be alone and catch up on housework and we would not be trying new activities until he changed his quitting attitude. Then I retreated to the bedroom to fold clothes and cry. I felt so overwhelmed as a Mom. Dad and I are trying so hard to introduce him to new things, but as he gets older he is afraid to venture into the unknown. He is not afraid to use his autism as a crutch which we are preventing him from doing, and also I’m worried he will do the same with diabetes. What can we do? I realized first of all, I needed to get my patience back for my child. I was exhausted myself having gone to bed late two nights in a row. I could not wave a magic wand and fix his anxiety like when he was a a baby. We needed to both sit down and talk when we were calm. Later on that evening, we did and we had a nice conversation. I realized I had to be firm and calm about trying new things and understanding Michael’s limits. He also had to come out of his shell and try new things. We would need to meet in the middle slowly.
Exceptional Parents, have you come to an impasse with your Exceptional Child and their limits, testing and fears? How did you climb over that mountain? Chances are, the first thing you did or will do, is realize your own limits in that moment. Be honest with your child that this is something you need to think about. Then, when you are both calm and able to see the other one’s side, see how you can compromise and each have a voice. Respect goes a long way. And remember the love you have for your child. That will also take you a long way towards finding a solution. 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.