When things are rough at home, it is sometimes hard for me to remember to praise the good moments I have with Michael. Those good moments though do happen, and often enough, if I look for them. That is why I have a new phrase that I use with Michael, even when we’ve had those rough weeks. That phrase is the following: Where is the Michael I like seeing, the one who listens, stays calms and tells me how he feels? or when he has listened, Now this is the Michael I like to see! It has helped Michael a lot to hear these words. It will either keep good behavior on target, or help him change his trajectory. It’s something I keep in mind during the tough weeks.
I also am learning how to praise the positive in myself, and when I am not at my best, I openly practice my strategies on how to get in a better head space by deep breathing, retreating to a quiet corner of the house to close my eyes and do a quiet meditation or reflection, or even just journal a bit. I find this process is helping Michael handle things better as well. This evening he was stressed and upset about something that happened at school. He had been behaving inappropriately, and as we usually do in our house, there are consequences for that. Those consequences were the loss of the rest of audio visual time as he was making bad video choices, then due to swearing and disrespect towards us I told him no bedtime story and massage. He needed to calm down, and when he was ready he could talk to us. After much fanfare, he did some deep breathing, looked at some strategies we had written down, and proceeded to calm down. When he was calm I heard him talking to Dad about how sad he was about something that had happened at school. Then I was in my office taking a breather from the emotional night. He came downstairs to find me. I had just been about to go upstairs and ask him if he wanted to talk.
He told me about how upset he was to have been separated from a friend in school in the classroom due to being silly with him. He said he hated school, something I had never heard him say! I asked him if he thought it was appropriate to be silly with his friend when the teacher asked him not to. He said no, but he was still really angry. I told him he needed to learn to handle anger and any feelings it brought up. Life was about getting along peacefully with those around us, and learning to handle stress and anxiety. We had a long chat about this, and he not only calmed down, but apologized for his behavior. He said he would try harder to listen the next night to get his story and massage. I forgave him. We hugged. And after Dad did his insulin injection for the night, I went after he finished watching his meditation video and put on his relaxation music, to hug him and say goodnight. I said a short prayer and left.
I made sure to praise the good things of the day and talk about the fun things we would do the next day which happens to be a PED DAY that I am home with him. I truly believe in the importance of praising the good. The more we do that , the more we encourage that in our children. It’s the same principle with us.
Exceptional Parents, do you comment on when your Exceptional Child is behaving and making good choices or only speak about the negative times? It is ok if you forget. We are all guilty of addressing only the negative. It seems to stand out more in our minds. But remember, by harnessing the positive in your child, you will bring out more of that behavior. Most kids want to do good, but don’t know how. Show them. If you need other tools and professionals’ help get that help. Your child has a gift to offer the world. The only way they will be able to bring that forward is if they learn to let their own light shine. You are there to help them light it. Until next time.
I am a writer, speaker and parent coach. I blog about how my exceptional son with autism and type 1 diabetes is raising me to a better human being and exceptional mom. My mission is to empower other exceptional parents to trust in their parenting instinct while letting their exceptional child open their eyes to all that is possible! For more information on my coaching services and to download a copy of my FREE EBOOK “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” see my website, http://www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com.