Day: August 7, 2018

Summer Balance for Exceptional Kids-Finding Your Way As A Parent

Summer is about half over. How are you faring with your Exceptional Child? I can tell you that even after structuring and planning out summers for 11 years and 8 years since I knew Michael was exceptional, I still learn new things about what he needs and I need every summer. I have the basics down pat. I have a child who needs A LOT of structure so either I am doing the Mom camp trekking from place to place or he goes to camp for a good chunk of the summer. This is costly in financial terms, but in emotional terms, his and mine, camp is a godsend. Of course he has to like it. What I learned is that he needs a camp where he moves a lot. So this summer, it is Sports Camp all around. I tried an arts camp as he loves painting and sculpture, but he got bored with the type of art offered and the limited physical activities were for a younger boy than him. If we structure 5 to 6 weeks with camp, the remaining 3 weeks at home with me is enjoyable. That’s because I am lucky to be home in the summer and do most of the big things around the house I need to do when he is at camp all day. In the last 3 weeks we do family vacation and another round of Mom camp for a week and usually we are all set to go back to school and work.

What will work for you and your child? I have some friends who go to country places. Some friends join a community pool. Some split up 2 weeks here and there with camp, then grandma and grandpa help. It really depends on your child and what they need. Some kids with exceptional brains need more structure than others. Some like to be home. Some like to be out. Every year may be a little different as you and your child are growing. They are growing up, and you are growing older so your energy may change. It’s important, whatever you do over the summer, that you plan out what you think would work best for your child and yourself and family. There’s nothing worse than having a stressful summer, and although kids with autism often have a more difficult time in the summer, there are lots of ways to try and plan out what you can to eliminate stress. Don’t forget as well, to allow for spontaneous times too. This is trickier with kids who often thrive with routine, but introducing a little bit of uncertainty here and there slowly into their lives will help them cope with uncertainty one day as an adult.

Exceptional Parents, how has your summer been so far? If it’s been a rough one due to medical conditions, different expectations or other reasons, don’t beat yourself. Learn what you can from the experience, and you’ll have that much more information to have an easier summer next year. Also, take it one day at a time. There’s still time to make some good memories with your child whatever you decide to do. 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.

When Your Exceptional Child’s Anger Triggers Your Own-Learning How To Heal From Your Own Anger Issues

It’s been hard watching Michael zigzag from anxiety to aggression lately. I know he is coming off of a medication that was helping control much of these emotions, even if it was making other things worse. But what has also been hard as well,  is having to face my own anger and stress in the face of his anger and stress. I have learned that when I am under stress I either cry and retreat or get angry if I am not making myself consciously aware of how I am feeling and handling it in a positive manner. And then comes the guilt that I was not as strong as I could have been for my son. But am I really not strong?

What I’ve started realizing in the past week, is that once again Michael has made me realize what I need to fine tune in my life to be gentler and more patient with myself and others around me. Yes, there are days I fail at this, but there are more days I succeed. I also own up to myself and my family on the days I give in to anger or anxiety. I learn from them and move forward. If I am still stuck, I pray for guidance and I practice gratitude. I count my blessings. I meditate. I remember that tomorrow is another day. I also remember to check in on myself as I would with Michael- are you eating enough? are you sleeping enough? when was the last time you laughed? when was the last time you went out with a friend? Staying grounded in reality is  very important, but finally, if you are someone that is losing your top too often with your child you need to ask yourself these questions and see what you could change to be in a more harmonious place:

  1. Did I count to 5 in my head before responding?
  2. Am I reliving some stress from my childhood experience that was traumatic or stressful?
  3. Am I sleeping enough?
  4. Am I exercising and meditating regularly?
  5. Am I alone for some time each day?

All of these questions help put perspective between us and our child, so that we can respond rationally and calmly. It’s important that we make sure that we take care of ourselves body, mind and soul as best as we can. it’s the only way we can be sure to be truly there for our child when they are in crisis. But don’t forget, if your child is going through a tough time, they will be unpredictable. This means that you as the parent will be facing unpredictable emotions. Be prepared for it. Pace yourself,  and in time, you will figure out what it is you need to do to heal yourself. Then you’ll be able to heal your child as well.

Exceptional Parents, do your Exceptional Children trigger your anger and anxiety? If so, look deep inside yourself for what you need to heal. Don’t feel shame or guilt. Be gentle with yourself, and admit to your child that you too make mistakes and will learn from them too. Healing is about taking things one day at a time until you figure out what you can change to make things flow better. Your child will learn a lot by your example. 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.