Lately with Michael it’s been good at home. It’s been really going well. Michael has been adjusting to a new medication and it has been helping him learn to self-regulate better. When he couldn’t, he has also been more vocal in asking for help in finding strategies to calm down, and he has been calmer, more receptive to new ideas, and, dare I say it, more flexible in general. Medication and new behavior strategies are at the top of our list of things that have been helping. Another thing that has been working in my opinion though, has been how Dad and I have been praising more of Michael’s positive moments too. This has been fun all around, and it has given us hope that even at stressful times, a positive time is right around the corner.
How can parents find the positive moments with their Exceptional Child? Here are 5 ways that are currently working for our family:
1) Be in a positive frame of mind yourself: This is easier said than done. But when a parent is feeling good about themselves and their life and decisions, it is a lot easier to see that in their child.
2) Look at what they are good at: No matter what your child can and cannot do, your child, every child, is good at something. Find what your child is good at encourage that. In most cases, the child’s ability will only get better because of that.
3) Catch them doing good things and behaving well in the moment: This is challenging for a lot of parents, but if we look close enough, we will find moments when our child is behaving well and making positive choices. If we encourage and praise them when they do that, we can reasonably expect more of that behavior.
4) Talk with your child about how they feel when they make good choices: Most of our kids want to make good choices. If they don’t, it is due to self-regulation difficulties, misunderstandings, or acting out for attention that they are craving and may not get for doing good things. Talk with your child how they feel when you or other adults are happy with them. How do you they feel about themselves? In most cases, they will eventually make a positive connection between their good behavior and good consequences.
Exceptional Parents, how do you bring out the positive behavior in your child? Are you having difficulty in this area? If you are, don’t be discouraged. Just remember, your child wants to make good choices and have you be proud of them as well as be proud of themselves. Your job is to downplay the negative moments and accentuate the positive moments. When they make bad choices, gently but firmly correct them, and show them the way to better choices. And of course, when they make positive choices, praise them, get excited and tell them over and over again that this is the person you know they are deep down inside. Also, remember to tell them this is the person you want to see again and many times over again. 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.