Things have been getting a whole better between Michael, me and Dad. That is, Michael has been learning to manage his anger, frustration and emotions much better, and finally seeing that Dad and I are the good guys, so to speak. With puberty as well as his other challenges, he was forgetting that just because we sometimes have an issue understanding what he means, it does not mean we are not trying to see his point of view or understand him. We all lost sight of that for awhile. Michael has also learned that he has to learn to see things through our eyes, in other words, that Mom and Dad can see things differently than he does.
The books we have been reading and the therapists we have been working with have helped us see this. The other things that have worked for us though, have boiled down to parenting instincts. That is, as parents we have learned to trust ourselves more with what we know of our child and how he will react. This has helped us in times of overreaction on Michael’s and out part.
So, on this note, I would like to share with everyone what we have learned to do if you want to jive with your Exceptional Child:
1) Do not force them to see the world as you do: No, why, because I said so! This kind of thinking does not compute for exceptional kids, and really, for any child, it is insulting. They deserve a logical explanation for why you are saying no or putting in restrictions. It is usually for their safety anyway.
2) Spend designated time when you are ONLY with them: Put aside a specific amount of time that is only for your child, and no one or nothing else. Exceptional Kids often have self-esteem issues and need to be reminded that they are special to you. When they feel loved and cherished, trust me, you will see less behaviors.
3) Find an activity that only you can do with them: If you find an activity that you and your child do together to bond, it is the best thing. It is another version of that special family time and they will look forward to that with you.
4) Tell them you love them and mean it: I know it sounds corny, and for some children who have a more difficult time with receptive and expressive language, many parents would probably say, they may not understand me. Trust me on this. If you feel the love in your body and regularly hug, show affection by facial expression and body language as well as words, your child will know they are loved. This will make a HUGE difference in their communication style.
5) Find the right combination of therapy/medication/and extra curricular activities/hobbies that make your child come alive: Once the other elements are in place, finding the right balance of physical, psychological and spiritual nourishment is what will help your child grow into the amazing little person they are. Be patient. This is the hardest step, and with time, you will see the real gem, your child, is emerging.
Exceptional Parents, are you feeling lost with your Exceptional Child in any area at the moment? Are you feeling as if you are not reaching them? Remember, help them feel safe. Help them feel they are loved and cherished. Love them for who they are, not what you (or others), think they should be. They will recognize this and be able to find their ground within themselves after that. 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.