Living in a world that is hard on the body and brain is not easy for exceptional kids, any exceptional kids. It takes its toll on their physical and mental selves, and sometimes when parents’ nerves are frayed from the daily struggle of life, they do not get much sympathy. A word, a facial expression, a tone of voice can be misinterpreted. Our kids have challenges interpreting social cues. This happens so much with Michael, particularly lately when he is feeling stressed. He will think I am angry or upset, when really I am tired. I will have to tell him or he will escalate in anger thinking I am angry. He is getting better at asking me if I am mad before jumping to conclusions. That is a good thing now, but it can still be hit and miss.
I have noticed that most of the time when he is feeling irritated or jumping to conclusions is when he is feeling lonely. He will get upset that I am not showing him attention or seem distracted, because he is feeling lost and does not know the next steps to take. Sometimes Michael may even take my genuine business for not wanting to be with him or help him out. I have had to explain that no, that is no the case. He is the most important thing in my life, but that I have other things I may have to attend to that are important as he loves his father and I, but has his things.
Self-esteem and self-worth are tied up in one for our kids. It is so important as parents that we show them how we value them as whole individuals, inside and out, no matter what else is going on. Obviously, we do not tolerate rude behavior. We need to teach them boundaries. But the most important thing to remember, is that we show them that they are worthy to us, and teach them to value us and others around them the same way. We show them how to show love and how to give love. We remind them with tough love that they have strategies to calm down with, as well as good and bad choices. We encourage them to choose the good ones. Mostly, we remind them that we are there always.
Exceptional Parents, how do you interact with your Exceptional Child? Do you really see them and do you know that that is all they want when they are acting out? Remember, they may not know how to get your attention for love in any other way. That is why regular bonding, talking and showing them interest will go a long way to having them see your love of them for who they are. It will also diminish the behaviors in most cases. Until next time.