So to say that lately I have doubting myself as an Exceptional Mom is the understatement of the year. Michael’s aggression and anxiety have both been building up since the Spring, and he wasn’t feeling good about himself. I know that I am a good Mom doing all I can, yet I felt that I must be missing something about my child, or he wouldn’t feel the need to act out, right? Well, actually right and wrong. Part of why an exceptional child, any child, acts out is due to not having sufficient boundaries in place between parent and child. Various reasons are to blame, lack of confidence, communication, exhaustion, burnout, on both sides. But the other reason is completely due to the child’s character. Yes parents, even though are kids have challenges, it does not mean that they cannot control themselves or learn how to. It also does not mean that they can choose to misbehave as it nets them attention or other things. It means they need to learn positive ways to listen as it has a positive outcome.
I have learned so much from the team we are working with now to help Michael, as well as the teams we have had in the past. Michael’s team at school each year has taught me so much. But yet, my input is also valuable to his present and past teams. One thing that has always been a constant with all the therapists we have worked with who help Michael, is that they sought my input and Dad’s as much as giving their own. This was huge for me at the beginning when I didn’t trust myself at all as a parent. And in the last year, when I still trusted myself yet was feeling vulnerable and depressed due to many therapy and therapeutic failures, they reminded me what a hard job being a parent is, and that it was important they get to know my child based on my feedback.
In the form of charts, exercises, emails and meetings, I have introduced and brought Michael live and center to his therapists offices. They have in turn thanked me for my input and showed me therapeutic measures and medications that have worked in general, and tried their best to tweak these measures to fit Michael and help him. There have been successes. There have been failures. But we continue on. Michael is the bravest of all of us. He is so willing to try new things, to get help. He wants to change the bad behavior and replace it with good. He is working hard as are we, and Dad and I praise him for this and always tell him how much we love him. It’s not always easy. What do we do to continue tapping into our parenting power? Here are 5 things:
- Make sure you are rested and get therapy if you need it: A tired parent will not focus and function well. Take care of your overall health.
- Read up on therapies and medications that therapists talk about: Don’t be afraid to ask for articles or read up on what your therapists recommend for your child. Do your own research too.
- Have fun with your child: Take the time to go the park, play, have fun with your child. This will recharge both of you in your relationship to see how much you get each other.
- Explore meditation and getting quiet: Explore mindfulness as a way to connect with who you are. This will help you build confidence to trust your instincts. Also exercise as a stress release.
- Talk to your child: Ask your child about their feelings and communicate positively with them in any way. If they can talk or communicate in some other way, ask them how they are feeling and get to know the real them. Otherwise, observe them as only a parent can. You will see things others will miss. Trust me on this!
Exceptional Parents, how many times have you thought that you don’t really understand your child at all and experts know better? We’ve all been there. Know this. Experts can give you great resources, sites to look at, and tools. Experts can support you and your child in ways no one else can. But you as the parent know instinctively what will and will not work for your child. Even if you are wrong, you usually know what to try next. Don’t ever doubt that your love and ability to learn more about your child will not be enough. It will. And the professionals that are worth yours and your child’s time, are the ones that put you at the top of the list as consultants in your child’s therapy plan. Remember, the team that helps your child succeed starts with them and you as the top experts. 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.