So we survived another Halloween at our house. Michael had a blast at school and did relatively well at home with Dad and I. Still, there were instances of not listening, being impulsive, hyperactive and fights and tears that we thought we were past now. It occurred to me tonight when it was all over though, that we needed to structure how these special days unfolded, especially now that we have diabetes to contend with. A little routine with expectations on paper as well as going over rules in advance is something that Dad and I will opt for next year so that things are more clear. Michael knows what to do, but gets muddled when he is overstimulated. We also are harried and stressed in anticipation of the evening. And this year, I was both excited for and dreading Halloween due to his new diabetes diagnosis. It has changed our previous life completely. Things like carb counting, sugar levels and such are now part of our daily vocabulary. Before, it would just be “don’t eat too much chocolate. It’s not good for you.” I know every holiday, especially for this first year, will be like this for me. But I do not let Michael know I am nervous on the inside. I am also learning how to take it in stride. We are all adjusting to two diagnoses, and possibly three as ADHD is again being raised as a third condition. We will see.
What I learned tonight is that Michael is doing the best that he can with what he has got. I also learned that Michael really needs boundaries, a schedule and scripts for much of what plays out on special nights. When things are not clear he tries to overcompensate by taking over as his anxiety goes sky high. I am finally seeing just how to nip this in the bud for future holidays and help him learn how to regulate and find his own solutions. He enjoyed trick or treating with his friend, and in the end it all worked out.
Exceptional Parents, how do you handle over stimulation with your kids? What are your tricks of the trade? The important thing is to go with your child’s flow and personality. See what works to help them understand how things are going to unfold. Also, it is imperative to have an exit plan if the child cannot handle the environment anymore. Parents have to follow up with what they say. Your child will learn to respect you and themselves if they have these boundaries. 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 living in 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 on their own exceptional parenting journey.
For more information on my coaching services, for a FREE 30 min consultation, and to receive a copy of my FREE E-BOOK “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY,” see my website: www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com.