I have been so proud of Michael’s independence over the last month. He has learned how to handle himself on walks and bike rides alone. He is learning more about managing his diabetes. He now has his own phone line in order to call us if he will be late or in an emergency. He called three times so far, to tell us that he would be a little late coming home once, and another time to ask Dad and I a question during the day. He also has data and is not abusing it. Finally, today was a big day in our house. Michael got his own key to the front door! I have noticed how he is keeping better track of his things, and is ready for the responsibility of letting himself into the house should he come home from school before I get home from work. He has done some dry runs with me in letting himself in. The next step is I will be away at a store and he will need to call me. We will be practicing that later this week and next.
These have been the victories. There have also been challenges. Controlling his anxiety and angry outbursts, mostly verbal but occasionally physical ones, have been harder. The good thing is that these episodes have been getting shorter-lived and he gains control of himself faster. There has been awareness too of him messing up and he is doing reparations. It’s not easy for either of us when this happens, but I remind myself of the progress and remind Michael too. Dad and I encourage that, stay calm when there are the difficult moments, and so far we are all moving into a better place because of it.
It is sometimes easier to get caught up in the negatives, and not look for how far your child has come. Some weeks there are more negative events than positive ones and it is hard to stay calm. Just remember, every experience your child has, good or bad, is an experience where they can learn what to keep repeating or else what to avoid doing in the future. The same goes for you, their parent and caregiver.
Exceptional Parents, how do you handle the up and down moments or days with your Exceptional Child? Do you take the attitude that things are not happening to you or them but FOR you or them? If not, it’s time now to start. Once you see how having a growth mindset for yourself and your child will help you both move towards improving rough areas in your family, things will start to get better. Until next time.