So the one thing that I keep noticing this week is how Michael and I communicate for better or worse. It was even pointed out by our Eductor last night, who commended us when we listened to each other, and reminded us about taking time to Stop and Think before we say certain words that could cause hurt or anger to come out. Also, as is the way of the Universe, the great ADHD book I am reading on Mindful Parenting is talking about this very thing in the chapter I started reading today. It made me think. What are some of the most effective ways to communicate with an exceptional child whose brain is challenged by many things? Here is what I came up with and what is working for me and my son:
1) Be Honest About How You Are Feeling: It’s important for us as adults to listen to how we are feeling on the inside. Are we tired? Stressed? Angry? Calm? Happy? This will effect how we respond to our child in a given moment.
2)Stop and Think Before You Speak: This is one of the most important ones. If we are upset as parents, we can easily escalate an already tense situation. Similarly if we are staying quiet until we calm down, we de-escalate a situation and it improves.
3) Remember Difficult Emotions Are Not A Difficult Child: This is a tough one. A lot of parents get so wrapped up in the behavior, we may forget that our child is having a hard time and not being hard on purpose. They are making a bad choice, and are NOT bad kids. Keeping that in mind, we tackle the behavior problem first.
4) When Everyone Is Calm, Brainstorm For New Strategies: After the storm, the sun comes out. Same thing with a fight. When you and your child have made up and/or your child is calm, you can brainstorm with them new strategies to help them self-regulate better the next time.
5) Reach Out For Help For Yourself- Read Books, Articles, Talk to Other Individuals Who Are Exceptional, Parents, Professionals: Look for information to better understand your child and what they are going through. Incorporate all of what you learn into best techniques that can help your child. Depending on their age, you can enlist their help too in finding more strategies that work.
Exceptional Parents, what best practices do you use to communicate with your Exceptional Child clearly? If it is working, great. If not, don’t be afraid to tweak it with some of the suggestions here or whatever else you may learn along the way. Our children are constantly changing, so we must adapt to what works for them. In the end, as long as we stay calm, level and focused, we will do things that are in everyone’s best interest for harmony. Until next time.