The last few days I have been counting my blessings for team Michael. They truly see what an incredible boy he is. They have said he is smart, kind, funny and thoughtful. They see his true challenges in self-regulating and have gotten me to reconnect with him on his good points and on how to motivate him again-with rewards, both verbal and material to work for, and they have (as have family and friends in the past), showed me who I am fighting for- the incredible little boy that is Michael who forever changed my life and what I thought a so-called disability is. I now know better. I see that the only thing that is different about Michael is the way his brain is wired, so different from mine and his Dad’s that we are both either perplexed by him, blown away by him, or a combination of both. What I have been reminded of through Michael’s educator and psychiatrist lately, is to value the amazing little human being that he is. We are so proud of him!
Don’t get me wrong. I think Dad and I have been pretty much doing this all along, but as parents there have been dark nights of the soul, nights when we wonder, are we really doing right by him? Are we raising a future honorable, upstanding citizen or one who will end up on the other side of the law? Yes, with Michael hitting puberty there has been so much anger, so much testing against authority, that Dad and I have worried. He is moving away from our value system, the one we have shown him since childhood saying his friends don’t believe or practice that. However, in recent days I am seeing what is his value system over what he is emulating from friends. It is now even more important than ever before for his father and I to talk about when we are proud of him, when he needs to adjust his attitude and to emulate proper behavior ourselves. Our little boy is there doing good and making positive choices. I want to continue to show him I believe in him.
Tonight right before dinner he had some free time before he did his dinner insulin injection. What did he choose to do? He chose to make the Valentine’s candy bags for his friends. And yes, buying the candies was his initiative! The day before was a PED DAY for Michael. He chose to find time in his day to make Valentine cards for his classmates. I had a super proud Mommy moment, and saw the little boy who is still there inside the angst ridden tween I see more and more these days. This little boy was, as his team reminded me, kind, funny, smart and a good kid and person. I felt so happy and proud of Michael. I told him. And I was glad to see that Dad and I were doing something right. We had to be, to have Michael making good choices when given the chance.
Exceptional Parents, what team members do you have on your child’s team? Do they resonate with your family values and with who your child is as a person? Do they like and want what is best for your child? If not, keep looking. You will know you have found good support for your child and yourself if the therapists and other educators or professionals mirror back the beauty that is your child to you. Sometimes we all need to reminded how incredible our kids are, (and we are) as their parents. Remember, it takes a village to raise a child. Go in search of your village, and don’t be afraid to keep looking if the values are not the same as your family’s. 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.