As a writer and someone whose learning style is very visual, I have always gotten so much from books- fiction and non-fiction alike. As I reached adulthood and realized I had a lot of questions that needed answering about my spirituality, anxiety and other issues, I turned to spiritual and self-help books along with my usual fiction fare. Then, when I became a parent and had so many questions about motherhood, I relied on a lot of great parenting articles and books out there. This did not change when Michael was diagnosed with autism. In fact, though I gradually learned that I was the one who had to put all the information of how to raise him and bring out his best light as well as be his advocate, books helped light the way for me as much as my family and his amazing educational team did. There were so many that have influenced me.
Today, I would like to share the titles of two that are helping me and Dad on our next journey of co-parenting Michael- that is, in his our journey of helping him handle ADHD, ODD, along with autism and his diabetes, and all the mood swings that puberty is enhancing. I don’t believe that any one theory will hold all the answers for a parent. It is rather ideas in books, people you talk to, professionals, and of course, using your own parenting instinct to say that you feel this is working or that is not. It is so important though, for parents to be open to trying new things with their child when old things are not working. We are there now with Michael. Some tried and true things are helping tremendously. Others are no longer working. Then, there are the things that are no longer working. This is why when a Mom friend recommends a therapy, book or practitioner, I always try it. You never know.
On that note, here are the two books I am highly recommending to parents whose children are struggling with ODD and ADHD, behavior issues, aggression, and who are suffering (along with their parents) through rough times. “The Everything Parent’s Guide To The Defiant Child” by Jesse Jayne Rutherford and Kathleen Nickerson, PHD. It gives a great outline of how to build up your relationship with your child so that trust can be established again. Another amazing one that I am still reading is “The Explosive Child” by Ross W. Greene, Ph.D. I’d heard about this one for years and it had been on my reading list, but in the busyness of life, I had forgotten about it. Then, when things came to a very intense head this fall, a Mom friend had recommended it. I am so glad she did. The author, Dr. Greene, describes real life cases of families (both parents and children) struggling with a loved one who has anxiety and aggression, and how new methods of parenting and looking at one’s child and how they handle life’s stresses can have a big impact. I think so many parents can and will see a lot of their child’s struggles as well as the parents’ in reading this book. They will also get great ideas that they can start to implement in their parenting structure.
Regardless, in the end, it’s about knowing that even on your toughest day you are not alone as a parent handling a difficult child. Your child is also not the only difficult child struggling. What I always remember is all Michael’s promise and the beauty he brings into my life and the world. I want that beauty to continue to unfold, and not have any of his issues hold him back. On my darkest days as a parent or on his as a child, I always remember. Tomorrow is another day. As parents, we must never give up. Keep digging and seeing our child’s potential and teach them ways to believe in themselves and start again.
Exceptional Parents, what’s on your reading list of favorite parenting books? Do you have any books that have helped you feel empowered as a parent as much as they have helped your child? Remember, you will not have all the answers in raising your child. No parent does. That is why keeping your eyes and ears open to what others around you are recommending they’ve tried, is a good tool to use in your parenting toolbox. In the end, you will narrow down what works and what doesn’t for your family. Just don’t be afraid to go out of your comfort zone, and especially branch out if things are not working. You owe that much to your child and to whatever gift they will bring into the world as they get older. 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.