Category: intuition

Exceptional Handling of Life’s Challenges-How My Exceptional Son And I Learn From Eachother

“Mommy, you don’t have to call the nurse to tell her to do my lunchtime injection. The needle on my pen is too tight. Here, let me replace it and the NPH pen will work.”

These were the words that came out of Michael’s mouth on Tuesday morning when we were on our usual race against the clock to do his two diabetes injections, so he does not need to do a lunchtime injection, have him eat his breakfast, get dressed and make the bus. He’d gotten a later start that morning and was his usual talkative self IN SPITE of the fact that we had about ten less minutes than usual. I, remaining calm on the outside, was a little stressed on the inside, and when stressed on the inside, my technical dexterity is the first thing to go. Hence, me thinking this injection pen had malfunctioned when it had not. It had happened legitimately in the past, so I wasn’t totally crazy. Still, something told me to trust him, oh yeah, it was the voice that said, Michael is cool with handling his diabetes, way cooler than you. You worry a lot about this and tense up. Well, as you can imagine I was right to listen to that voice. Michael fixed the pen, I gave him his two injections as usual, and away we went with the morning. What did this incident teach me? I need to be able to tune into Michael’s strong areas and grow stronger in my weaker areas.

Diabetes is something I have come to expect is part of Michael’s and our life. I kind of had no choice, but I don’t like it. Not one bit. I also am someone who is a tad squeamish about blood, needles, (giving needles and seeing them given), and argh, there is all that number crunching when calculating carbs at every meal. As a word person, numbers is SO not my thing. ūüôā This is my challenge as a parent and individual, and though I have risen to it, it has been tough. Michael, on the other hand, has excelled in handling his diabetes. It has been implementing new ways to handle emotions, deal with ADHD and anxiety that have been his more challenging areas. He has often turned to me for support with that part of his life, and here I can advise him. I have seen tremendous improvements in how he handles his emotions and responses to them. I’d like to think just like him watching him calmly take charge of diabetes management, he can see me calmly taking charge of showing him how to manage his emotional regulation. He has often asked me, “Help me Mommy. What do I do?” Over time, we have found ways to help him manage his emotions. There is still a lot of tweaking involved, on his and my part, but I can see him listening, really listening to what I have to say and following through with it. I have done the same thing when he has taken the wheel and showed his responsibility towards managing diabetes. His next exciting venture-learning how to do his own injections. As he has taken charge of controlling aggression and outbursts, Dad and I have told him that we will show him how to do his own injections very soon.¬† All he needs to do is demonstrate the same calm, collected behavior on a regular basis. Then, we know he will be ready.

Exceptional Parents, what have you learned from your Exceptional Child and what have they learned from you? Remember, you are both constantly in a teaching/learning mode together. As you begin to pay attention, you’ll see your child’s life lessons become yours and vice versa. It’s important to help support each other and overcome personal weaknesses as well as celebrating individual strengths. This will strengthen your child’s confidence and yours. Until next time.

Are you the parent of an Exceptional Child struggling with how best to handle challenging behavior? Are you worried about development, anxiety, or doubting your abilities to help your child become the best they can be? I can help you find your confidence as a parent again. For more information about my journey and coaching programs, check out my website: http://www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com. Let me help personalize tools that will help your Exceptional family thrive! 

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Stepping Back and Getting Clear On What You And Your Exceptional Child Need Now

Our weekends have been getting progressively better, though there is still aggression, frustration and anxiety as Michael continues to hone in on his ability to control how he feels and what he does to us and himself. Regardless off how frustrated and overwhelmed I sometimes feel, I am proud as I see him making progress slowly in so many areas. Some days are better than others. Some days I am more tolerant and stronger than on other days too. And on some days when I feel like throwing in the towel completely, I find myself suddenly knowing exactly what direction I need to take. I call this my spirit talking to me. Prayer and meditation have made this voice very strong, and when I can’t hear it, I get quiet, physically and mentally so I can hear it more clearly. This weekend I heard it when it said we needed to take Michael off a medication he is on. I have been wanting to do this for awhile, but was worried. This medication originally helped so much with aggression, and what if things got much worse if he went off it? I did not like the side effects of it, and the new me has decided she will not fear the unknown. The only way to see what worked, medication and therapy and frankly life-wise, is to try and risk failure. And what is so bad about failure anyway I found myself thinking this weekend? It really means we are alive and human. Mistakes make us grow stronger. They make us appreciate the good times. Just like when we are sick we appreciate being healthy. You get the drift.

This summer has been another summer of growth for Michael and our family, and not just in terms of his health and challenges. Dad and I are being pushed to make personal changes too, as well as changes in our marriage, and in what we can expect from one another as each lets the other one grow. There have been LOTS of growing pains. There have been lots of moments when I have felt angry and said, why is it so hard? But, at other times, things have gone so smoothly, so easily. Decisions like taking Michael off his medication is so far going well. Encouraging Michael to join another soccer league has been a success. Pushing myself to clean out the junk, literal and figurative in my home, mind and heart, is helping me to see myself for who I am now, and what I want to change or improve upon, no excuses, no self-pity. We all have our crosses to bear as a good friend once said to me. She is so right. I am often awed by people who do not let life’s stresses and strains make them bitter. I decided five years ago to devote myself to becoming one of those¬† people. Those closest to me say I am. And when I start to stray from those good intentions, family and friends help me find my way back.

Now that I am back, wow! What a difference it makes being my body. What a difference it makes in how I treat myself, advocate for my son, and treat those around me. Even on hard days, I see my negative emotions for what they are-transient and temporary. I recognize exhaustion, self-pity and anger as things that I haven’t addressed and so I do and make the necessary changes. As a exceptional parent, I have been able to make positive changes and relate to Michael in a calm and loving way, due to operating from my soul upwards. Parenting with your gut is not easy work, but as long as you take care of you, remember the beauty and uniqueness of your child, and stay positive no mattter what, your heart and soul will guide your mind to the right place, people, and therapies for your child.

Exceptional Parents, are you feeling stuck wondering how to help your Exceptional Child through a rough time? Are you personally feeling stuck? As hard as it is, step back and look inside of yourself. How are you feeling? Are you tired, angry or scared? Before you can help and hear your child’s cry for help, you need to hear your own soul’s cry for help and heal yourself. You will know you are on the right track when your thoughts about life are more positive, you practice gratitude in even the most challenging times, and you admit when you are overwhelmed. Meditate, pray, exercise, reach out to others. Get counselling. Do what you need to do so you can get back in the flow of your life and give your Exceptional Child what they most need now-hope and love from the most important person in their life-their parent. 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 ‚Äú5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY‚ÄĚ see my website, http://www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com.

Mother/Son Bonding And How Change Can Bring Exceptional Families Closer

It is the morning that¬†Michael heads out to winter camp with his school for two nights and three days. It is his second year going and he is so excited as am I! Last year we were all “nervous excited”. Dad and I knew he would enjoy the time with friends, activities, but worried about his sleeping regime. At home that was still a major challenge last year. But this year his sleeping is going relatively well, he knows what to expect at camp as do Dad and I, and Dad and I have even scheduled in a little late afternoon spa and dinner getaway this year. It is more relaxing all around already due to the familiarity of everything for all of us. What has also been surprising is Michael’s affectionate attitude towards Dad and I the last few days. He has been listening better. He has been calmer. And he was so happy that I was postponing my writing work until after he went to bed to have quality time with him. He said as much.

I think even when we are there for our children in concrete ways, they sense if we are not present spiritually and mentally with them as we are physically. Many children act out in order to get attention from us as they feel like we are tolerating them, when really it is just the opposite. Parents are overwhelmed by so much these days. They barely have the fuel to keep going and often are exhausted. But their kids need to know they matter at the top of the list. I have started showing Michael this in many ways, by taking care to talk to him, spend time hugging and cuddling, and reminding him that he is the top over everything else. In whatever way it works, most parents need to know their child and how to remind them that they matter above all else, particularly before a big change like sleep away camp, a big event at school, or something else that matters.

Exceptional Parents, how do you show your Exceptional Child that they are top in your books? How do you make “special time” with them? It is important to verbally reinforce it with them, and then physically deliver. Stop looking at your phone every five seconds. Guilty of that one myself as charged. When kids feel you are connected to them on every level, they will not act out and test at all or as much. They will know that you, their parent, are there to help them through the next hurdle. Until next time.

How My Exceptional Son Sees Spirituality, Life, and The World

Wow! What a weekend on many levels. First of all, I started a wicked sinus cold on Thursday which sort of came to a head on Saturday, but I didn’t let it stop me from doing the clean up in my house. I had plans of grocery shopping, cleaning out my home office (LONG overdue), and laundry. ¬†In spite of maxing up on Tylenol Cold Medicine, it was a productive weekend. It was also an amazing weekend with Michael as far as long talks, questions, and bonding went. He had some issues with Dad and was particularly sensory on both days (weather getting colder), but they managed in the end. The amazing discussions with me were about life and spirituality. After another tough few weeks of managing behaviors, it was a welcome break.

He surprised me by being up super early on Saturday, which does occasionally happen but has not in awhile. I’d had my coffee and my lemon water and was about to start my meditation when I heard his door open down the hall. I was greeted with a big smile and a good morning. I asked him if he was ready for breakfast soon and he surprised me with a yes, then told me he would go to stim and listen to the radio (basically rocking on our couch as he listens to his favorite pop music station) while I made his pancakes. ¬†He went to the washroom, but when he came back, instead of heading into the living room, he came back to the kitchen, and sat down in one of the chairs and began to talk to me while I worked.

He began to talked about how happy he was the house was getting cleaned up and we were renovating our bathroom. He also asked about money as he’d overheard a bill discussion Dad and I had had. This was the perfect lead in for me to gently bring up that a good way for me to¬†have more time to make money, would be to have more work time availability open to me if he went to an after-school program a few days a week. The bus would bring him there and I would pick him up a little later. ¬†I prepared myself for anger or crying, but Michael surprised me by being interested to try. I had been thinking about an after-school program for Michael for a few months already. He always needed to go places. We had this beautiful mature discussion about work, money, how families could share chores and make the most of their time together on the weekend. I was so proud of his maturity.

The next surprise came Sunday evening at dinner. We were all eating when Michael randomly asked his father if he believed in God and prayed.  Michael does not like to talk about God and religion, and even went through a phase where he was being negative just to spite me. Dad answered that yes he believes in God, but he leaves the praying to me for everyone. Then Michael answered that he does not believe in God or in going to church. I took a chance and calmly corrected him telling him that I know church is hard for him as he is bored, but that I know he believes in God. He looked surprised. I reminded Michael how he asked me to put his rosary in the car next to mine so he would feel God there. I also reminded him how he admitted he sometimes prayed to God and that God is everywhere.

“Is God here right now Mommy listening to us talk?”

“Yes, Michael. God is always here and listening. He is always there for you.”

“I keep my rosary by my bed Mommy so I know God is there. I don’t feel alone.”

It warmed my heart as I know praying has given him so much comfort since he was little. I am happy to see his beliefs coming back. Once again, he amazed me with his maturity and the discussion we had.

Exceptional Parents, what eye opening moments have you had with your Exceptional Children? I’ll bet each day there are many times¬†that they take your breath away with their take on life, and their wise beyond their years answers. Hold on to these moments. They are the ones your child needs to remember to move forward in growth, love, and security and you along with them. Until next time.

I¬†am a writer and parent coach¬†at “Exceptional Parenting/Exceptional Balance.” I¬†am passionate¬†about empowering parents to trust their own instinct when¬†raising their exceptional children with autism, and remembering that parenthood is as much a journey for us as childhood is for our children. You can follow me on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and GooglePlus. For more information on my parent coaching programs, and to book a FREE 30 Minute Consultation, see my website: http://www.exceptionalparenting.net.¬†

One of the hardest and most stressful times of the year for special needs families is fast approaching. Are you and your exceptional family ready? Do you need new strategies to cope with anxiety? Download my FREE EBOOK on ‚Äú5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY‚ÄĚ http://www.exceptionalparenting.net/EBOOKS

Endings, Beginnings And Seeing The Right Path With My Exceptional Child

What a weekend! I don’t think we have had such an amazing weekend as a family like this in about a month. Saturday’s beautiful fall sunshine weather just added to my joy, the joy of being with Michael outside in the park. I watched him play serenely on all the park equipment, and then play quietly on the grass with his Skylander figurines, a new interest.

“There are no more picnic tables Mommy. Did the city put them away?”

“Yes, winter is coming. Enjoy today. We are getting snow on Monday.”

A small smile plays on his lips. “I’m so excited. Will we be able to go sledding?”

I laugh. “There won’t be that much snow. But it’s good you have your new snow pants.”

He runs off to play. I sit down in the grass and feel lighter than I have in a long while. Michael’s challenging behaviors had started up again last week. I think I figured out what the problem was. He had another loose tooth that came out Friday afternoon. The beginning of the week had been so hard for both of us. Then I remembered a few weeks previously there had been pain with the other tooth too. He was feeling calm again. The pain was gone. I knew this was not the only reason. I had also been making sure to really be present for him. I had been turning off my phone and listening, and most importantly, feeling calm around Michael by practicing self-care. I had made sure to go back to my weekly exercise along with meditation and yoga. I had all that much more to give him even if I’d had a busy work day. It’s so important for parents to take care of themselves so they can be there for their kids.

I witnessed a calmer and more mature son this weekend. He was feeling good.¬†He was rested. He knew his limits, and he asked calmly for what he wanted to do. I even had some extra beautiful surprises. He bonded with his Dad in a way I haven’t seen for quite a while. It’s been strained between them due to stress on both their parts. But as Dad has gotten back into his self-care, the two of them spent a beautiful Sunday. They went to shopping centers, out to lunch, a tennis lesson, and a holiday craft bazaar. The child that came home was not the son of the last few weeks who was stressed, anxious, fighting. He was clearly happy to have had time with his Dad and thrilled to tell me all about his day. It was so nice to see my little guy so happy.

Pain can do a lot to all of us. It can make us think and act crazy. I was reminded this weekend of something I read in a book a long while ago about children and behavior. It is important to always see if there is a physical cause for behaviors or outbursts. The child could be overtired or in physical discomfort in a way that we had not thought of. It works the same for us adults, though we usually can hold it together better. I had forgotten this life lesson, and was so happy that Michael reminded me of it by showing me the truly wonderful little boy he is when he too is feeling balanced and good inside.

Exceptional Parents, how many times have you missed the real culprit behind your child’s challenging behaviors? How many times have you been so stressed trying to help your child, that you forgot to be calm around them and not join their chaos? We’ve all made these mistakes. No one is perfect. The important thing is not only to be keen observers when we see our child on the right path, but¬†also to be a keen observer when we see ourselves on that right path. Until next time.

Tired of anxiety controlling you and your child? Download my FREE EBOOK ‚Äú5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY‚ÄĚ http://www.exceptionalparenting.net/EBOOKS

 

Autism Is A Gift That You Help Your Child Unleash

I was warned that one day Michael would catch up on many of his milestones. I was even told that he would zip through developmental stages, and start to catch up to peers. I was told the process could be accelerated. I knew this logically, but emotionally on weeks when my little genius is driving me crazy like this week, it is harder to take. Yes, there I said it! And that means a lot. As a writer and artist as well as a parent coach, it takes a lot for me to say that another human being is driving me crazy when, well, ask my friends, I’m pretty crazy myself. But you see, that’s what I love about me. I love that I don’t adhere to someone else’s definition of happiness. I love that I don’t ¬†try to fit in and be something I am not anymore. I did that for twenty odd years. It led me to two depressions, ¬†self-hatred, and caused to try to live someone else’s version of what my life should be. Like many people, I found out that I was not only my¬†own worst enemy, but also my own prisoner and ¬†only I could¬†unlock the door to my cell. What a relief to be out in the open now.

This is truly the artist in me speaking. I also love how I am seeing that it is when I think outside the box, when I color outside the lines in my own life, that true beauty and happiness is found. I feel I am truly being me, and I’d like to think, I can help others be truly them, as parents to their exceptional children and as individuals. Michael is the one who finally freed me completely. My writing and poetry started the process, and is basically what kept me sane in those twenty years. Michael completed the project and continues to help me see I am on the right path. His inner beauty, his light, shines through on all the darkness in the world. ¬†I know it is hard soul work parenting a child, any child. One who has autism means that as a parent we need to do extra soul work, and be extra gentle on ourselves. Only then can we give our children what they need to grow.

Exceptional Parents, are you both amazed and frustrated by your Exceptional Children on some¬†days? Do you sometimes scream to the heavens, why me? I can’t do this! I can’t be the parent he/she needs. They are amazing and they need someone stronger, better, wiser. ¬†Well, guess what parents. You are the right parent. You know your child, for better or worse, and you know what they need when they need it. Take a break once in awhile to recharge your batteries. Step away from parenting to see more clearly. Ask for help and support. But never give up on your child or yourself. They have ¬†amazing potential, all of our children, and your job is to discover that potential and help unleash it on the world. But first parents, you need to find your own potential, your own light. You have it. And when you find it, you will see how it¬†will get you through the rough times and you and your child will persevere. Until next time.

5 Ways to Bridge the Gap Between Challenging Behaviors and Testing Limits With Your Exceptional Child

So the latest stage Michael is at is kind of a cool one, yet difficult at the same time. As I mentioned before, he is testing us with pushing the limits on things his Dad and I ask him to do. Yesterday afternoon, a heated battle was waged concerning wearing a winter coat out in the park as it was sunny (though chilly), then another battle was waged on the tennis court and pool grounds. Michael ends up doing amazing during tennis games and swimming one on one with his instructor, but does not like the rules he has to follow in these games or when Dad and I ask him to do something. It is not that he has no control. We understand how anxious he is and that he needs to be in control of many things. So we have given him these opportunities to be in control. He is old enough to choose his own clothes, lunch items (within reason), parks he wants to go to as long as not too far away, and bedtime routine is flexible to a certain degree if we start on time. Still, we have come to this power struggle. He has SO MUCH stress and worry. And when we ask him he just keeps saying that he wants to make the rules and decide.

Dad and I have repeatedly told him that even adults have to follow rules in society, at jobs, with family, with friends, but at times it is still frustrating for all of us to grapple with this. I am now trying something completely different from tokens and rewards, at least for a little while. I want Michael to tell me and his Dad what he is feeling. I am asking him to use his words to explain to us, and to be calm doing it. I remind him of his options to calm down; breathing, rocking chair, kids yoga, swing, sitting on couch, crying. He is better able to cope after a good cry and I always encourage crying so he can get his feelings out. Sometimes, I get annoyed and frustrated myself and will tell him stop crying. But yesterday, after a fight in the park he rightfully called me on it saying, “but you told me crying is good to get my feelings out.” So, I backtracked and told him to cry on the park bench and not on the see-saw where he was. As always, he is smart and observant.

So what ways can a parent find the line between control for the child and nipping challenging behaviors in the bud?

  1. Look at the child’s overall well-being: If the child is happy for the most part, you need to clamp down a little more tightly on the rebellion. If they are feeling a little lost though, it’s a good idea to take a tiny step back and see why? Are they sleeping enough? Do they have pain or are they coming down with something? Are they scared about something at school? I am at this stage with Michael where I am looking to bridge the gap that has arisen between our closeness since school began.
  2. Don’t be afraid of child and stay calm no matter what: This is a toughie, and one I am still mastering, but is so important. No matter what cues a parent has misread, it is mandatory that they not fear the child and that the limit they put out stays as a limit no matter what. The child needs to know Mom and Dad love them enough to be firm, but also listen to their point of view.
  3. Bond closely with child whenever you can: I am learning that my son misses me even if he is  bigger and says he does not need me. I am looking for ways to make little rituals of time for us where we can reconnect. This is hard to do in a busy household, but mandatory for helping get behaviors under control and bond with your child again.
  4. Tell them you love them, but NOT behavior: I hate when people have said, “you are a bad girl or boy.” It’s the behavior that’s bad, not the child. I correct Michael all the time on this, and remind him that he is always a good person, but that he CHOOSES good or bad behavior.
  5. Continue to model positive coping mechanisms over time: This is so important. I now model to Michael how I regain control; breathing, calm corner in another room, lying down, walking etc. They will emulate in time.

Exceptional Parents, what have you done to show your Exceptional Children that you love them, but expect them to follow rules? It’s a tough place to be, but one which we all have to face as parents of all types of children. Just remember, honesty is the best policy of all, and as long as your child knows you love them, set firm but reasonable boundaries, in time they will come around. Patience is a virtue, and one parents must practice themselves and pass on to their child. Until next time.

Tired of anxiety controlling you and your child? Download my FREE EBOOK ‚Äú5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY‚ÄĚ http://www.exceptionalparenting.net/EBOOKS

How Embracing Failure Has Made Me A Better Mom

child, eyes, face

Failure. Who would ever label that a positive word, but still it can be. Why? Only when we fail and fall down, can we rise and learn from our mistakes, new ways of being and doing. I used to be so hard on myself when I would come up against challenges with Michael in the past. Now, I see that it is not me failing him, but him needing to learn the proper tools to help himself handle failure, obstacles and stress. Life is not easy for him. Life is not easy for any of us. Most of us though know how to regulate our emotions though, and look to others for our cues. For exceptional kids, this is hard. They have a more difficult time relating to people and what people are saying. Still, when I have failed in reaching Michael, or in losing my temper it has shown me something amazing.

It has shown me what I need to work on to be stronger, more compassionate and a better all around human being. It’s not that I am a bad human being when I fail. None of us is. It’s just that I have temporarily lost touch with what I need to be working on, honing my energy in taking better care of my internal compass and inner workings, so I can model that for Michael. And believe me, even though I know what I need to do to keep the balance in my life, I still sometimes fall back into old habits of ruminating, worrying, getting angry when I can’t control anything, all the things I tell Michael to not worry about. I re-learn the lesson the same time I am teaching it Michael. I also learn that it is alright¬†to be vulnerable, ask for help, as well as offer help at the same time. It is alright¬†to be human and to teach Michael the same thing.

child, childhood, family

While I have been finding new ways to reach Michael and keep my own spirits strong while navigating new challenges with him, I have also had the privilege of supporting other Moms in their journey. And a privilege it is. While I help them, they help me. Just as while I help Michael, he helps me. And we all heal. We heal from the need to be perfect, untouchable, fearless. We are all afraid sometimes. We are all brave at other times. Life is a roller coaster. You can choose to ride it in full glory and brace yourself as best you can with the ups and downs, enjoying the ups and knowing you’ll figure out how to handle the downs when you get there. Or, you can choose to not ride it, fearing the downs only. As each day goes by, I know I will sometimes have down times, stressful times, times when I feel weak. But I know it is temporary and will pass. The up times are coming, and I will have what I need by then to coast beautifully. This is what I now teach Michael too.

Exceptional Parents, how often do you fail as parents, as human beings? If it’s often, that’s good. It means you are human. It means you are trying. It means you will find the tools if you search and look in your heart for them. They are there. As we tell our children, they are perfect in their imperfections and so are we. So don’t worry. Treat your failure as a gift. Let it take you to new heights and help you overcome hardship. Let yourself and your child soar. Until next time.

 

Feeling stressed about special needs parenting? You are not alone. Download my FREE EBOOK on “5 WAYS TO MANAGE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” here: http://www.exceptionalparenting.site88.net.¬†

Staying Calm in the Eye of A Tantrum-My Exceptional Lesson from My Son

boy, child, cute

It’s been a tough month for Michael and I. We’ve both been adjusting to him being back at school, in routine, with homework. At school, Michael is calm, listens and pushes down his emotions. When¬†I’m boiling pasta for dinner, if¬†I forget and leave the lid on the pot, the water boils over and makes a big mess. This is similar to what Michael does when he is upset, and doesn’t let his emotions out or find strategies to handle them.¬†I have had a hard time finding his latest triggers, and the anxiety with doing things “right” has gotten worse. He is hard on himself when he doesn’t do things perfectly, things don’t go exactly as planned, and this is manifested by the “stimming lady” as he calls her, who tells him he has to do it over and over until he gets it right. With the help of the school psychologist, I am slowly seeing that the stimming lady is essentially a representation of all the adults in his life that make him perform and who Michael feels he is letting down when he does not understand something. Now that it is becoming more clear, I am trying to tell Michael how proud I am of him and give him ways to cope when he makes mistakes. I don’t want him beating himself up and making things worse.

 

blonde, girl, golden

Another thing I am learning is how to truly stay calm myself in the eyes of the storm, which in this case is Michael’s tantrum. They are being defused more easily when I do this, and the few times I have lost my own temper and his anger flared, I would quickly remove myself from the situation. After I thought about what led up to the outburst, what words I could have chosen differently, how much sleep he had etc, I always came back to the same thing. I need to stay calm myself. I need to keep my voice level. I need to not betray how angry I feel, how powerless I feel to see Michael losing control and suffering over handling difficult emotions. And why must I do this? Because I am learning when I am the calm, it reflects back to Michael eventually. He sees I trust him. He becomes calm. He learns he has control.

Exceptional Parents, when your children are upset how do you both comfort and let them find their place in the storm of a tantrum? Anxiety and anger management are just that. It is about being there for your child as co-pilot of the ship, but letting them, the captain, determine the course, for better or worse. That is the challenging part. But the worst thing to do is rush in and save them each time. They need to learn, as we do, that saving themselves will teach resilience, strength of character, and ability to trust their own instincts. . That is what they do for us after all, guide us in trusting our parental instincts. Until next time.

 

Feeling stressed about special needs parenting? You are not alone. Download my FREE EBOOK on “5 WAYS TO MANAGE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” here: http://www.exceptionalparenting.site88.net.¬†

 

 

Where My Exceptional Child Leads Me I Go

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My life is nothing short of boring. I think I have spoken before in this blog how many years ago, more than I care to imagine now, I was feeling restless and bored in my life. It was way before Michael was born, way before I saw how important writing was to who I am, and I, humble human, asked God to please challenge me and show me the path to a life of meaning, which despite a good marriage, a loving family and friends and health, I did not feel I had. Yep. I said to challenge me. I asked for it. And the next thing I usually say is that God and the Universe has not stopped challenging me since I requested that all those years ago. Sometimes, on particularly “meaningful” days I have been known to scowl and talk upwards, “Ok, enough. Stop laughing.” But I digress. In many ways, I have grown up so much. From doing many jobs and seeing that none satisfied me. From moving out of my hometown and learning what I was made of, for better or worse, and then from spectacularly crashing from two burnouts until I finally remembered, “Oh yeah. I asked for challenges. Now, I need to be strong and ask for help to get through them.”

That’s the thing. God and the Universe never give you something you can’t handle at some point. Even in my darkest moments of despair when I was crying holed up somewhere and I would pray fervently, “God, I can’t do this. I can’t be strong anymore. Get someone else.” I would always hear what I imagined was a sigh, but a patient one. And the answer was always the same, “Yes, you can. You were made to overcome whatever challenges you have.” And dang it, I knew I was, but challenges and unexpected adventures are so scary. What if you fail? What if you upset people? What if you lose stability? Michael has taught me that none of this really matters in the end. Of course¬†we all need to follow rules, have stability of some sort to pay bills and have a routine. But, all the people pleasing, all the time worrying about what others think instead of feeling life, trying new things, going on adventures. I’d been missing out, and Michael has showed me, and continues to show me more and more, how important it is to go on crazy adventures.

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The other day we went to a new park that he had seen driving in the car. On the way back to the car, he discovered another mini park that was too small for him to play in, but my little guy insisted on going on the equipment. He bumped his head, got annoyed, but then said, “it’s ok Mommy. I wanted to try. Let’s go back to the car now.” We ended up going back to the car from a totally different direction. Michael and I together navigated back. He is rubbing off on me. ūüôā I never would have done something like this prior to Michael’s birth. Ask my close friends. I tend to go to the same places, the same restaurants, but now Michael is shaking me out of my comfort zone. I have been reborn, and my new self, my exceptional mom self, is not afraid. I have Michael to guide me as he has me to guide him.

Exceptional Parents, how many crazy adventures have you gone on with your Exceptional Children? ¬†Our kids naturally draw attention to themselves because they are different, and are not afraid of being so. This is a good thing if channeled properly. Don’t be afraid to go along with them for the ride, wherever it leads. Until next time.

 

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