Ah battles. Battles with your Exceptional Child are not fun parts of parenthood, but they are realistic all the same, just as they are for parents of neuro typically developing kids. Let’s face it, parenthood is not for the faint of heart! Every age and stage has its own set of challenges. Our family is currently on the brink of puberty, so all of Michael’s challenges that go along with autism and diabetes are now embroiled in the midst of puberty. Yikes for him and for us. Still, our family is learning how to handle this and what battles to pick, that is, where we compromise on doing something that Michael does not want to budge on, and where we insist that it’s our way or the highway. There are still some things that are non-negotiable, like safety issues, issues around health and well-being like sleeping enough, eating enough and medication. There are others that we let him have a say in. Some days I feel frustrated as it seems he is nitpicking about everything in his routine, but usually I see that when we let him have some power and control, it helps him feel calmer and more confident, and as parents Dad and I get a chance to introduce him to more responsibility.
Battles about bedtime, homework and showering or skipping showering are the latest power grounds. I find that when we have a schedule outlined and discuss it in advance, this helps tremendously with everyone’s stress level. Testing will still occur, but I make sure to remain calm or as calm as I can be, so that I send the message to Michael that might does not make right. Staying calm, rational and loving will get him (and all of us) farther in life than anything else. It is not always easy, but the best thing parents can do is decide in advance, what is worth going to battle for. Things like respect, kindness, and self-regulation are important skills for our kids to be able to be happy and lead productive lives. The more we show them how to be their best selves, the less power struggles there will eventually be. They will have nothing left to rebel against.
Exceptional Parents, what are some of the battles you’ve had to pick with your Exceptional Children to have peace and teach them to be happier and healthier? Remember, you know you are on the right track with your child and family if the stress level in the family goes down, and the learning curve for your child goes up. This means they will begin to have more flexibility and growth in other areas of their life. 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.