I used to not understand the boundary between Michael and I when he was little. Most Moms blur the lines at this age. After all, you are busy doing everything for your child from dusk till dawn. Then they start to meet the typical milestones and gradually grow away from you. With exceptional kids, this does not happen right away. The milestones take longer to come. The needs from you are greater as you guide them. Boundaries suffer, until one day you realized, you forgot where you end and they begin.
Then, a funny thing happens. On the road to exceptional parenting, you start to see your child begin to meet the milestones. You see through the fights and challenges you face together, that you need to make space for you, as much for your personal health as your child’s. When I started telling Michael what I needed and when I needed it, I gave him permission to ask the same of me. He now knows, unless it is an emergency, Mom needs her 30 minutes in the morning for coffee, meditation and yoga. He now knows Mom needs her writer groups, outings with friends, and nature walks as well as other forms of exercise to fell whole.
Michael has also learned how to ask for alone time from me. He has spelled out his boundaries for time in his room, time with his music, talking to friends, bike rides or walks alone. We negotiate and respect each other’s space, and the days when things fall apart and we fight, we have both learned to go back to our respective corners, regroup and try again to talk and move forward. Michael has taught me how to fight for myself in a way I never had to before. He has taught me to value who I am before I can teach him to value himself the same way. Our kids are here to teach us to stop, smell the roses, and find that special sparks that lights us up as much as we are there to teach them the same thing.
Exceptional Parents, how has your Exceptional Child helped you define your personal boundaries with them and others? If you are still trying to be and do all for them, remember, you need to nurture yourself, your passions, and your adult relationships. By doing so, you will be a better guide for your child in how they need to conduct their life in a healthy way. You will also be teaching them how to say no to others who may try to infringe on their personal space. Until next time.