Things have actually been getting better at home with Michael. He is less aggressive and better able to express himself to me. Then there are the precious moments. The ones that take my breath away, like when he cooks an amazing meal, performs a song for us, or tackles something scary and succeeds. These give me hope for him that he will do the things he says he wants to do. What is harder for me to understand, and where I still have some ways to go, are with his impulsivity. I know this is part of his attention issues and temperament. He really can’t help some of the things he does, but it’s hard for me to control my frustration all the same. That is why remembering, “he would do better if he could” is becoming my motto.
I’m still new as a parent to understanding ADHD and ADHD issues. Anxiety I get a little more. I saw Michael’s anxiety from birth, and it was not a stretch to see that he got it from his Dad and I who are both anxious people. We have learned strategies over the years to manage it, and are trying to help Michael find his strategies, the strategies that will work for him. Sometimes he finds them quick enough, but most of the time he acts before thinking. The other day he accidentally broke a lamp. Another time he was rushing to put his lunch away in the fridge. He makes his lunch on his own for awhile now and I was super proud, but then in rushing he knocked something down. He will not always see it needs to be picked up when it does. But what worries me the most, are the verbal and mental overreactions when people upset him. If it’s us, he will yell out loud threats, if it’s other people, the threats are internalized. He is learning how to breathe first and calm down before reacting, but again this is challenging.
I am trying to learn how his brain works in this regard, so I can be more understanding too. After school today he was all over the map with anxiety and overreating when I did not answer him right away, and I was doing my best to stay calm. I did not fool Michael. He asked me at one point,
“Are you being firm or loving now Mommy?”
He knows the difference when I am truly happy with his behavior and when I have to buckle down because he is not using his strategies.
“I am being a little bit of both Michael. You know I love you, but I want to see you using your strategies. If you need my help, ask me.”
The rest of the late afternoon early evening went well with me. He is learning slowly how to ask for help, how to control his emotions, and I, for one, am learning to cut him some slack when he does mess up with not controlling himself. After all, I’m still learning how to control myself on how to parent my multi-faceted child.
Exceptional Parents, how good are you with your child’s impulsive actions and your own? For many of us, before we can help our children handle their emotions, we’ve got to learn to handle our own reactions to their emotional outbursts. Once you can do that, show them you love them wholly for who they are, then you and your child are on the way to better understanding impulse control. 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.