I love our child psychiatrist as does Michael. I say this not just for the reason that she is kind, compassionate and has a sense of humor, but also because she really has a way of helping parents see their child as they first did when their child was diagnosed, that is, their child is differently wired not ill. I know this deep down in my bones, but sometimes because Michael looks like other kids, has the same desires as other kids and is becoming more and more of a teenager every day, I forget even now. He is not wired like other neuro typical kids, that is, his brain is not wired like theirs. It is not less or greater than, it is different as theirs is from his. This means, signals get crossed when he is communicating to us and us to him. It also means he perceives stress on a whole other level, and that we, as his parents, need to stay as calm as we can as we ride out his storms and guide him when he is doing well.
I fail to stay calm as much as I’d like. I’m getting there day by day, and now when I lose it, (less often thank goodness), I don’t beat myself up that I’m a failure like I used to years ago. I repeat my favorite mantra, “I’m a good Mom having a bad day.” AND I also vow to model patience, calm support for Michael. I was reminded today of how doubly destructive it is when exceptional parents yell at their child when the child is challenging. We had a rough morning at our home. All it does is show them that yelling and reacting gets things moving, the opposite of what we want to teach.
It was humbling to share today that I have lost patience with Michael and can identify my triggers while Dad admitted the same, and hearing that we need to remember that while we have a hard time controlling our anger like a lot of people do, imagine how much more difficult it is for Michael to control his? It also helped me see all Michael’s victories so far in 2018-how far he has come since the fall in handling his emotions and using strategies, how amazing he is being with handling his diabetes, taking new medicine for aggression, as well as working with a new therapy team- an educator and child psychiatrist, as well as his team at school.
Exceptional Parents, are you losing your cool with your Exceptional Child when they have challenging days? Remember, it is normal to get upset. Our kids know exactly how to hit us right in gut for that reaction when they are losing control themselves. The thing is if we model a calm approach to a tantrum or an aggressive act by showing no tolerance yet no overly angry or annoyed reaction, we are showing our child how to self-regulate in the best way possible. It’s also important for us as parents to find tools to help ourselves stay calm if we start losing it frequently- meditation, yoga, exercise, warm baths or massages, talking to friends, can also be great stress releases. Also, as hard as it is, make sure to try and carve out alone time for you to check in how you are feeling. If you are not calm, do the things that can help you stay calm. And if you start losing it with your child, take a deep breath and step back into a happy place in your mind or into another room if you can. Just remember, you are their model for better or worse. They need to know you love them no matter what. 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