So as I’ve mentioned a few times already, the last two weeks, and particularly this week, has been a challenging one for Michael, Dad and I. Lots of anxiety and anger coming out of Michael. A lot of conflict and difficult with self-regulation too. But, I have also had some great conversations with him about using strategies, helping himself to calm down and think before acting, and today, two times, he surprised me at the beginning of this long Easter weekend. Can anyone guess what the surprise was? He said, not once but two times, I miss you when you are not home Mommy and I like spending time with you. Ahhh. Just when I’ve had a day where everything I asked Michael elicited a surly or angry response, so much so I would jokingly say to myself when he was quiet in his room several times today, Shh, Joanne.Don’t wake the beast.
I will be going to church this evening for Good Friday, and this is when Michael said what he said. He also shocked me by asking if he could come with me to church. I told him, of course, but reminded him that he would need to behave. He has not been coming with me to church as he is in full rebellion about his spiritual beliefs at the moment, but the fact that he expressed interest in coming (it is the youth of our church putting on the Passion Play), filled me with hope that he is thinking about things and wondering about other paths, no matter what he decides to do in the end. He also asked me about Heaven today, and if I thought he would go there. He was worried due to his angry and aggressive behavior. Of course I told him that God forgives and that he should never be worried that he is not loved. He said, good, I want to go where you and Daddy are going. This would have been beautiful any weekend, but this long Easter weekend is especially touching as I know he is struggling a lot in puberty now and with figuring out who he is. Dad and I are always talking to him, showing him we are there to help guide him through anything, but the teen years are trying ones. His reaching out even through the hard moments in the last week, shows me my little big boy and how he is forging ahead to make sense of his world on his own, making sure that no matter what, we are still there for him.
Michael has also asked quite a few times this week if I am proud of him, after he did something well. I told him I was, and know he can make good choices. This reminded me that I needed to catch him being good more often so to re-affirm a positive message and bonding with him, not just on holiday weekends. He needs reassurance Dad and I are always there for him and helping him learn and grow in a positive way.
Exceptional Parents, in hard times do you still remember to catch your Exceptional Child making good choices? If not, it’s never too late to start. They will gravitate to making better choices if they receive positive affirmation. The thing is, even when they are pushing you away, they still need and want you in their life. They need you to be strong enough to say I am not going anywhere. I love you and will always fight for you. They need to know you treasure them as much as they treasure you. Wishing you all a Happy Easter long weekend!