Category: Mother and son time

Beautiful Moments of Purity in Exceptional Parenting And How To Savor Them

When they say you blink and your child is no longer the little boy or girl that they once were, they are not kidding. I used to think that this would not apply to Michael as he was different from the beginning with his challenges, but this could not be further from the truth. Michael, the little boy, began to disappear two years ago, right around the time that puberty started to kick in. Type 1 Diabetes followed in its wake, and the little boy he was had to grow up real fast. He did, and so did his Mama. I had to be strong for him, as I knew he would have his moments when he would be scared, as is normal for any kid going through big changes.

Now, in the wake of the cute little boy who used to think his Mom and Dad could do no wrong was this surly little teenager who, yes, was rebelling. I was both relieved and worried. How did I parent this new creature? As I said in a previous post, I thought I had until thirteen or fourteen to worry about puberty and rebellion. Still, I adjusted to the “new Michael.” He’s actually pretty cool. I dig his music, a lot of the pop rock, rap and hip hop that I like. We have had interesting conversations about religion, life and other subjects under the sun. But the other afternoon something else extraordinary happened. I had a glimpse in the the “old Michael” and a flashback to a time of innocence when he was small.

It happened when he came to spontaneously give me a hug and smelled my neck. My throat constricted for a second. I thought I was going to cry. You see, Michael used to do this when he was a baby and I was cuddling him in my arms or when I was comforting him if he was scared. It took me back  to all those years when he was little and I was his world. In that moment, I missed the little man that was my Michael, but was reminded that deep down inside that little boy was still there, and would always be there needing my support, love and strength to continue to help him grow into the incredible little man he is becoming.

I have never been one to mourn time passing with Michael. I used to be shocked when other Moms around me would say things like, “I’m so sad, my baby is growing up. He’ll be a teenager soon.” etc.  I was so happy that Michael was progressing, pushing away from me towards independence. With each day, I become less worried about him coping in the world due to this, though he needs to be able to regulate anxiety and anger. But this small gesture, him smelling my neck, led me to feel as well that I missed my little boy, the one who hugged me deeply, sat on my lap and loved to have me read stories to him or read to me, the one who sought my opinion over his friends’ all the time. I know it is normal that he is pushing away on these fronts, but until this moment occurred I had thought I had lost my little boy forever. Worse, I did not even know I was missing him. Then, I realized that I was missing that little guy and it was normal to be. I also realized that the little boy would always be in there. I also realized I needed to enjoy those moments as I do his moments of independence. My little and big boy both need me and that is fine.

Exceptional Parents, have you ever caught glimpses of your Exceptional Child’s past innocence and realized how much you missed it even as they have progressed? It is a mix of emotions that then occur, and both are correct to feel. The important thing is to enjoy every time and age with your Exceptional Child, and know that no matter what, they will always remember the precious moments they share with you and what those moments mean. Until next time .

Feeling overwhelmed as an Exceptional Parent? Don’t know where to turn for tips, and ways to survive and thrive during the whole journey? You are not alone. I have walked and continue to walk this path myself. As a writer, speaker, parent coach and Mom to a son with Autism, ADHD, and Type 1 Diabetes,  I can help you through all the twists and turns that parenting an exceptional child require, while keeping your sense of humor intact, your sense of self and relationships intact, and helping you see that not only are you raising your exceptional child, but they are raising you to be the best human being you can be. You are each other’s advocates for a better world. For more information on my coaching packages, contact me at http://www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com.  

 

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7 Ways To Regroup When You Lose Your Stuff As An Exceptional Parent

This morning was one of those mornings I wished I could press rewind to the moment Michael woke up. I wished I would have said and done things differently from the start when Michael woke up late, started dilly dallying, getting caught up in small details which we did not have time for. I wished I had not been triggered by his anxiety and anger to unburden all my anger and self-pity that I had been bottling up all week as we repeated a bad morning routine which did not seem to be changing any time soon. I also wished, both silently and loud, that someone else would ring the doorbell and take over for me. This woman would be a calm Buddha Mom which  I am striving to be. She would look like the calm Buddha Parent Coach  I am when I work with kids and parents who I am not related to. She would gently take me by the hand and tell me to breathe.

After when Michael and I  had both calmed down, apologized and left for camp, I realized that this bad morning had been a blessing and a huge wake up call as to what I needed to change in my parenting style. Yes, Michael needs to continue making changes as to how he handles stress and anger. He is actually doing better and each day incorporating the strategies he is learning through the anxiety exercises our Educator gave us. But I also have to learn new strategies to cope with my stress and anger as a Mom. As a professional, I know what to do to keep myself calm and in control. I would avoid doing all the things I did this morning as a rule, no matter how angry I was on the inside. But when it’s your child the walls come crumbling down much easier as that there is no child better equipped to push your buttons than your own flesh and blood.

I came away from this morning’s difficulties, realizing that not only do I have to be Buddha Mom as I am Buddha Professional in my work, BUT I need to anticipate that my child, on purpose or simply due to me being Mom and him knowing he can throw all his difficulties at me at once,  will give me multiple challenges, and I need to be in shape to handle them calmly, predictably and compassionately. As always though,  my philosophy is taking a bad experience and seeing what positive thing I can learn as the take away. The take away in this case is 7 ways Exceptional Parents can regroup when they lose their stuff with their Exceptional Child and learn to do for future stressful encounters.

  1.  Breathe and Take 5 : It’s important to remember to breathe then take 5 seconds before responding to anything negative or stressful your child says, whether intentional or not.
  2. Deal With Your Own Daily Stress and Anger: You need to make sure that any anger or stress you feel towards your child or others is handled at the end of each day. Don’t let this pile up.
  3. Exercise, Yoga and Meditate: This is important to do to handle stress in advance, but do it after too. Your body will thank you.
  4. Forgive Yourself: This is a toughie for a lot of Moms who feel they have to be perfect.   You don’t. You are human. You will do and say things you regret. Apologize, forgive and learn from it.
  5. Talk To Your Child About What They Can Learn: If your child is able to have this discussion, talk to them about what they can learn from yours and their mistakes.
  6. Make Sure To Give Them And You A Clean Slate:  Make sure that once the fight is over, there is no more lingering anger, fear or resentment. Start over.
  7. Talk To Other Exceptional Parents: Talking to other parents, either friends or parents in support groups, can help you remember that you are not the first parent to lose it with your child nor will you be the last. Again, it’s ok. You are a human being.

Exceptional Parents, how long did it take you to forgive yourself when you have lost your stuff with your Exceptional Child? Remember, we all have moments we regret, but these moments and experiences are what shape us into stronger more resilient parents and human beings. Sometimes the best way to grow is through these challenging times. You and your child can use that as a stepping stone and move forward into easier terrain from then on. 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 “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” see my website, http://www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com.

 

The Importance Of Being Ready To Answer Soul Searching Questions From Your Exceptional Child

“Mommy, do you have any fears? What about Daddy?” This question came at bedtime on Sunday night, after a very long and challenging day of sensory struggles, anxiety and some aggression issues. Michael is starting to piece things together, but they are still hard days. Weekends are the toughest.

“Yes, honey of course I am. I am afraid of not being able to give you all you need, your health, mine and others in the family. But I do what I can to stay positive, put my faith in God to lead the way, and remember my strategies to help me.”

We then talked about what Dad was afraid of as well as other people in the family, that is, Michael named the fears. He knew and remembered and was sympathetic. Then he talked about his own fears.

“I’m afraid of watching videos that scare me and about someone breaking in the house and hurting me.”
“You close the video if it upsets you, and no one will come into this house and hurt you. You are safe honey.  Daddy and I love you. God loves you.”
“I am safe Mommy.”
“Yes.”
This is part of the problem lately. Michael has developed so many fears about safety, as well as other fears. But the fact that he was ready to talk about this so in-depth with me and share, made me happy, even if it was not at the best time of the day for me. See, at nine o’clock my day is winding down. I wanted to do the usual goodnight prayers and cuddles with Michael that we usually did, and go and have some much needed Mom time. This was especially true a few days ago, when we had spent the whole together for what I call “Mom Camp,” the week before Michael actually starts real camp. Yet I realized, this is what being a Mom is all about. It’s about seizing and taking the time in the moments your child opens up to you, to let them talk, share their fears, and reassure them that you are there.

We had another such moment at dinner the other night when we had to rush off somewhere after dinner. This was the night Michael decided to have a spiritual discussion about heaven and hell, literally. He asked me questions about what is heaven like? what is hell like? how do we know there is a heaven/hell? do we come back again after we die? Fascinating topics. I was blown away by how much he had been listening when I talked about spirituality in the past, and also quite shocked that he was that interested. Again, I was looking at the clock thinking, now, now you want to talk about this? But I said to myself, your kid needs to talk. You talk. You listen. It is so important we let our children know their concerns are important to us, and it is in these moments that the difficulties we face with them will be strengthened. We will see what an impact we can have as a caregiver and role model for them.

Exceptional Parents, how many times have your Exceptional Children shocked you with questions and statements when you least expected it? Have you worried that you were not up for the challenges, too tired, don’t have the answers. Remember, trust your heart. You have what your child needs, your love, your wisdom. And they will also reciprocate and mirror back to you their love and wisdom. It is in the moments we least expect to see miracles in our children that we often do. 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 “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” see my website, http://www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com.

 

Riding The Highs And Lows Of Exceptional Parenthood

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My life is not boring. This is my opening joke to most people I meet if  I hear them complain they are bored and that life is not exciting. I will add for effect, “Oh my life is exciting. I never know what curve ball my son is going to throw at me next.” Sometimes this is meant to be funny, sometimes not. Regardless, in all moments I love Michael very much. I also remind myself that life is not boring for him and is exciting, sometimes overly exciting. His nervous system can go into warp speed sometimes, and at other times he regulates well. It makes for quite the family life.

Today was a calm morning, afternoon and I was told evening. I was out at my weekly writing workshop, and though Michael was up waiting for me when I came home, he did reasonably well with Dad. I was happy to hear this. Every victory is celebrated, particularly as there has been lots of tension between the two lately. Michael also realized today when his energy and silliness was through the roof, that rather than lose his reward, he would self-regulate by going out in the yard and playing soccer. I was so proud he recognized what he had to do. There was also a healthy use of deep breathing to handle anger when he got upset. This is excellent as there have been other days when things did not go well and self-regulation only happened AFTER an aggressive act.

Dad and I are also learning to use our strategies to handle our highs and lows living as exceptional parents. My writing workshops, workouts,  and outings with friends are my respites and ways to recharge so that I can keep my anger, fear and frustration in check. These things help me ride out the tough moments as a Mom when I want to run for the hills and not look back. I am realizing how important self-care is every day, as well as having a sense of humor, especially when times are rough. It does not mean laughing at your child or situation, but it means seeing the joy in the beautiful moments when they use their strategies, open up about their feelings, hug you, and share their dreams. It also means enjoying the beauty of a sunrise, the quiet pitter patter of rain falling, the purring cat at your feet, or a wonderful song on the radio.

Some days it is all too much. I worry, am I doing enough as Michael’s Mom to give him opportunities to socialize, learn, laugh, move? What therapies does he really need and which ones can we wait on? Finally I worry, will I make it on this rocky road to see him to adulthood and not lose my sense of humor, sense of self, and also importantly, my belief in what he is capable of? Some days are so hard. One day many many years ago when Michael first started having aggressive behaviors and the tools that worked did not work any longer, I shared with my mother how frustrated and scared I was.  I said, “I can’t do this anymore. He needs another mother.” She sympathized, but reminded me he was my son and I could not stop fighting for him. I realized she had misunderstood my worry. I then clarified. I was scared I was the wrong Mom for Michael. I told her he needed a Mom who was patient, calm, strong. I was anxious. I lost my temper and patience. She said that every Mom got angry, lost patience and was anxious. She said I was strong, stronger than I knew. I had believe in me and my love for him. She was right. I prayed many times to God then, and since then, to give me the strength to continue fighting the good fight. I also pray now that I continue to learn ways to take care of me so that I can remain strong, positive and tell Michael that I will always be there for him, no matter what.

So I’ve realized that the way to survive the tough days and coast through the easy ones are the same. Take care of myself by doing the things that fill me with joy. This will help me encourage Michael to find the things that fill him with joy. He has lost so much happiness over the course of the last two years. Puberty, Type 1 Diabetes and more complex anxieties and attention issues have caused his self-esteem to plummet. He is questioning his religious beliefs, friendships and his father’s and my love. We are telling him daily that he is smart, loved, and that we all believe in him. Seeing us, his parents, doing the things that we love, is helping him find the road back to doing the things he used to love and finding new loves.

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Even on the days when harsh words and actions occur, I can honestly say to myself Michael’s potential for greatness is there and is growing. It is painful that he could lose his future if troublesome behaviors are not under control. Dad and I worry if we are doing enough to get him back on the right track. Judging by the progression that is happening though, I think he and we are well on our way to living life a little easier among the chaos of exceptional family life.

Exceptional Parents, how do you ride out the highs and lows of your exceptional family life? Just remember, self-care for you goes a long way to giving you strength to be there for your child in every way. Also, even at their most difficult, always see the child behind the behavior. That is who is trying to come out and needs your help to grapple with fear, anger and uncertainty. 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 “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” see my website, http://www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com

Patience, Patience and More Patience- 5 Ways Our Exceptional Kids Can Learn This Lesson and Teach It To Us Too

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Today for the millionth time in the day I thought to myself how many times Michael teaches me patience and how to hold on to the better part of myself. He does this by, you got it folks, testing me left, right and center. It’s the same with all children, and some adults for that matter. Most people have their issues to work through, and some when they see they can get a rise out of you, well, they do their best to get that rise. Kids who are exceptional are not only capable of this, but often seek it out due to low thresholds of tolerance for stress, sensory issues or just not really understanding the social cues of the neuro typical world. I often remind myself, and have been lucky to have been reminded of this with the professionals who have worked and work with our family, that Michael and kids like him are wired differently from birth. The way they view our world, is through their lens, similarly to how we from the neuro typical world view their world from the inside out. “Do you see me? Do you really see me?” becomes the mantra for how both of us perceive each other. However, with respect, true respect for our differences, strengths and weaknesses, we can help one another so much.

Every day, even on the days I have felt like a failure as a Mom, Michael has shown me how courageous I am and how courageous he is. Michael has pushed us both out to sea and found an island for us to live on. On this island, the sky is the limit as I know it will be for Michael. . The two of us are adventurers in this sea of life, as I think all parents of all children are. However, what is important to hold on to is how our kids will help us build patience when we feel we can’t go on. In what ways will they do this? Here are some of those ways:

1) They will make us face our fears: Exceptional kids have to face their fears and in doing so, they push us exceptional parents to face our fears too. Over and over I have had to face what has been uncomfortable for me to face and you know what, it has helped me grow and become stronger. The same will happen for you!

2) You will learn to see EVERY child as an individual: Every parent of every child knows their child is an individual before anything else. But sometimes all of this gets lost when we are busy fighting with them to finish their homework, be polite like so and so, listen like so and so. Of course, it is important that all our children follow rules and learn to get along in the world, but if we don’t hone who they are as individuals and patiently wait to see what they will make of that, we are not doing them or ourselves any favors.

3) They will help you learn what your triggers are: Oh yeah on that. Little kids know what set us off, and if we can figure out what kind of people push our buttons, we are truly ahead of the game as parents and human beings. Michael has shown me how to go to find my happy place, go to it, and how to help him find his way to his, or at least give him the map to do so.

4) You will have oodles of energy to handle other people’s issues in your life thanks to your child: I cannot say enough how overall Michael has helped me learn to help and commiserate with many other adults and children around me and have patience for them. I always say, like Michael, like me, these people struggle to find patience. Let me be someone who helps them along the way.

5) If you let them, your child will let you learn to laugh at the craziness of life: This was a hard one for me several times in my life, but as I become more experienced as a Mom and Michael grows up, I feel that life with an Exceptional Child, can be an adventure where there are lots of laughs and craziness in a good way, if we let those feelings in. It is not always easy or possible, but Michael is showing me more that I need to learn to laugh at the craziness of life in order to be able to move forward.

 

Exceptional Parents, how has your Exceptional Child taught you patience? Remember, one day at a time will help you focus on all your child is and all you are in order to be your best and strongest. You are both in this adventure for a reason. Until next time.

 

 

 

 

Gratitude In The Face Of Struggle-More Teachings From My Exceptional Child

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Michael and I have had our our hard times an our easy times. We have laughed and cried together. And boy, have we grown. I have seen how much Michael has grown up in the last year, and me too. Well actually, I am still growing, learning about how to be a better more patient Mom, love myself more as an individual and let things go. Letting things go has always been hard for me. It is still challenging as I can be a little on the obsessive side, but Michael has shown me over the years that sometimes you have to ride things out. Worrying does you no good. Letting go means letting go of the control we think we have over every part of our life. We don’t have that. We can control many times in ourselves. But we can’t control other people. We can control how we react to what other people say or do and realize that life tests us in many ways to help us become stronger.

Our family has had its first gastro virus in about five years. We have been fortunate to avoid it for a long time, and this year, Michael’s first year with diabetes, is the year it came into the house. Dad and I were scared as we were warned that it could become dangerous, but thanks to our terrific team at our local Children’s Hospital, Michael is slowly recovering. When it hit, we were so scared, but I decided to put into practice gratitude. What? How can a person be grateful for sickness. Well, you can look at the fact that Michael had his parents here to take care of him, a good team of doctors, and though we all had it, it was milder than some of the other times this family went through this particular virus. I was also grateful for a Snow Day today, which meant Michael will not be missing as much school as he normally would, and I am grateful that I too was home today from work and able to heal.

Keeping a gratitude journal is showing me again to be happy and grateful for the little things. They are what matter in the end. We can always learn from something and become stronger for it. The conflicts I’ve had with Michael lately as well as helping him handle sickness, have taught me as much about patience and growth as they have Michael. He is a very calm and patient little sick person, but there were times today when he was panicky and scared. It’s only normal. From the patience I’ve learned as a Mom and towards myself, I was able to talk and reassure him that all would be well soon. It’s not always easy to be grateful when things take a downturn, but life is all about getting back up on your feet and trying again. Michael’s positive attitude today, even while sick, reminded me of how blessings can be viewed in a bigger way.

Exceptional Parents, what struggles with your child are you grateful for? Remember, these struggles are what make them and you stronger human beings and grow in your relationships, all of them. So next time you have a bad or rough day with your child, remember to ask yourself what can you learn from this and take away as a lesson? Be gentle with yourself and them. 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 “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” see my website, http://www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com.

When Patience Runs Out-How To See Things From Your Exceptional Child’s View

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So lately I have not been the most patient of Moms. I hear the little voice in my head telling me to give Michael a break when he is anxious, going slow, testing the boundaries. He is dealing with his autism and new diabetes diagnosis and is doing very well, all things considered. Now this does not mean he is not trying to get away with not listening etc as he was doing last year, but still, he deserves a break for his courage and positive attitude. So why am I short tempered and annoyed sometimes in the presence of anxiety and defiance combined? I guess because I too am going through some growing pains and have my good and bad moments when I can handle anxiety and defiance better than at other times.

Some days are a breeze, and other days when I am greeted by worries about what will happen in four days and let’s solve the problem right now the second I get off the bus, I’m not so good. Yesterday afternoon was one of those afternoons. I was tired. It had been a busy day at work. The house was a mess. And Michael got off the bus and wanted to know how things would work when we started going to church as a family. He wanted to know before snack, before washing up for snack, and right off the bus. I made the mistake of bringing up a karate class that would conflict with our previous mass time and didn’t he want to try that class before deciding it was not for him? No, he said he did not want to go back. This is the second activity he has quit this month. The first one we understood. There were no kids his age, the ones that were there were more advanced. But for the karate class which is also adapted, he didn’t even want to give it a chance. After fifteen minutes he announced he was ready to leave. Dad did give him that option and regrets it. His reason? It was too noisy, it was boring.  He didn’t like the stretching and warmup. Why can’t he do what he wants? I saw red. I told him you have to wait and see. You need to follow the direction of the coaches or teachers. It can’t always be one on one doing what you want.

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Then, I started feeling sorry for myself. If more activities did not work, I would be looking at having him bored at home wanting to go on walks, to parks, and malls all weekend long.  When would I get all the work done in the house? What about my down time? He needs to be busy, but makes excuses when things don’t go exactly his way. He even admitted. I don’t need to try. You did not pay as they are giving me a chance to see if I like it. We’ve been had. Right at that moment I knew it was not muscle weakness from his diabetes, but his attitude that was causing him to give up. I announced I needed to be alone and catch up on housework and we would not be trying new activities until he changed his quitting attitude. Then I retreated to the bedroom to  fold clothes and cry.  I felt so overwhelmed as a Mom. Dad and I are trying so hard to introduce him to new things, but as he gets older he is afraid to venture into the unknown. He is not afraid to use his autism as a crutch which we are preventing him from doing, and also I’m worried he will do the same with diabetes. What can we do? I realized first of all, I needed to get my patience back for my child. I was exhausted myself having gone to bed late two nights in a row. I could not wave a magic wand and fix his anxiety like when he was a a baby. We needed to both sit down and talk when we were calm. Later on that evening, we did and we had a nice conversation. I realized I had to be firm and calm about trying new things and understanding Michael’s limits. He also had to come out of his shell and try new things. We would need to meet in the middle slowly.

Exceptional Parents, have you come to an impasse with your Exceptional Child and their limits, testing and fears? How did you climb over that mountain? Chances are, the first thing you did or will do, is realize your own limits in that moment. Be honest with your child that this is something you need to think about. Then, when you are both calm and able to see the other one’s side, see how you can compromise and each have a voice. Respect goes a long way. And remember the love you have for your child. That will also take you a long way towards finding a solution. Until next time.

I am a writer, speaker and parent coach whose son with autism and Type 1 Diabetes has shown me a whole new way to see the world and embrace the joy of the moment! I believe in empowering parents to trust their own instincts when it comes to their children, and in helping them parent with love, respect and confidence towards their child.

For more information on my coaching services, see my website: www.creatingexceptionalparentingg.com, and for a free 30 minute exploration/consultation session contact me at joanne@creatingexceptionalparenting.com. Also to receive a copy of my FREE E-BOOK “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” click on www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com/EBOOKS.

 

 

7 Ways to Handle Exceptional Anger-Yours and Your Child’s

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In every parent/child relationship there will be moments of anger, frustration and loss of control. I know this all too well. Put a little bit of pressure with school being back on, add in poor coping mechanisms with stress, and stir in some unexpected life circumstances, and anger can quickly escalate, both yours and your child’s. How can we as parents set a good example for our exceptional kids? First of all, it’s important that as parents we look to what methods we are using to reign in our anger and frustration. If we don’t have good coping mechanisms, we won’t be able to show our children how to handle their frustrations. And sometimes even if we do handle anger well ourselves, until our kids find what works for them they will struggle with handling their inner emotions.

What works for most people? It’s basically a combination of common sense techniques along with what fits their particular personality type and how their body metabolizes stress. Here are 7 ways to handle Exceptional Family Anger:

  1.  Counting up or down from 10 or more: Counting has a calming and distracting effect on the brain. This is a good way to help our body and brain handle stress in a productive way.
  2. Walking: Walking inside or outside can calm the brain. By being in motion it gives the body something to do and stretches those muscles that are feeling so stressed.
  3. Have a sheet of tips that work for you: This is especially helpful for your Exceptional Child to have a list of strategies, but even for Mom or Dad, having their strategies written on a cue card which can be taken everywhere can help avoid that memory blank that occurs when we forget what to do.
  4. Talk about your feelings: This again works for all ages. Knowing that you have someone compassionate to vent and unload on, will make a big difference in how you handle anger and the stress it produces.
  5. Deep breathing, yoga or meditation: There are lots of short guided meditations for adults that can really help with stress relief. There are great yoga and meditation mantras that can help kids handle stress better too. If the family can do it together, that’s even better!
  6. Cool/Calm down corners for all: It’s great if when Mom and Dad get upset, they model that they go calm/cool down in a room, corner or somewhere not too far away. If they cannot physically leave child, the cool/calm down corner can be in one’s head. A parent can picture a relaxing scene where they could retreat to and teach their child to do the same.
  7. Seek help to handle our emotions: There is never any shame to seek help to learn to handle our feelings, no matter what age we are. We should never be afraid to talk to our children about how handling anger properly can be a family affair. Sometimes attending therapy together is necessary, other times individually then applying what the therapist says is best suited for us and for our child to do.

Exceptional Parents, how do you handle your anger? How does your Exceptional Child handle their anger? Are you using techniques that truly work for your character or that of your child’s? There are many different techniques that work for different people. The trick is knowing your personality and which one is the right fit for you, just as you will get to know which fit is right for your child. Until next time.

 

I am a writer, speaker and parent coach whose son with autism and Type 1 Diabetes has shown me a whole new way to see the world and embrace the joy of the moment! I believe in empowering parents to trust their own instincts when it comes to their children, and in helping them parent with love, respect and confidence towards their child.

For more information on my coaching services, see my website: www.creatingexceptionalparentingg.com, and for a free 30 minute exploration/consultation session contact me at joanne@creatingexceptionalparenting.com. Also to receive a copy of my FREE E-BOOK “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” click on www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com/EBOOKS.

 

Venturing Into the Unknown- Making Lemonade Out Of Lemons

Every day our child teaches us something if we let them and are open to learning. This week is what I like to call “Mom Camp” Week. It is busier than ever, requires a lot of juggling of my schedule, can be a little bit on the stressful side, but in the end, is a lot of fun. It is fun because Michael is home with me and we get to do Mom/son activities together. I learn so much of where he is at, and well, we go on adventures together. An adventure with Michael can be as simple as the regular route we take to the park we are going to is blocked due to construction, and Michael verbally tells me a great alternate route to take to it. It can also be a fun pool game I make up on the spot due to Michael not being able to go underwater because of a sore lip. What started out as a problem becomes a very fun and silly afternoon swimming.

Another day we had a little problem that quickly escalated. The pool we went to (we pool hop as we are not members anywhere), did not have the snack bar open. Michael really wanted a snack and had to wait. At first, he was not happy.  He really wanted his snack. I told him he’d have to wait and take a chance. We’d paid and we came here to swim after all. He grumbled and complained. I reminded him of the story of the two sisters- one who complained all the time, and the other who made the best of things, that my mother had told me as a young girl. I also spoke to him about the expression that when you got lemons in life, you made lemonade. He laughed. He agreed to come into the pool, and wouldn’t you know it, at that moment the snack bar opened. Lesson learned for Mom too. I had been starting to get angry and lose my temper that he was being ungrateful. We both had an awakening to living in the moment and enjoying what came our way.

The important lesson here is that our Exceptional Kids, like all kids, can teach us how to become more open, more fun, more in the moment if we let them. I have also learned, and am still learning, how to practice more self-care for myself during the time Michael is home full-time with me. I used to try and do ten thousand things with him, get resentful that I was exhausted, and burn out really badly then bemoan the fact that he was not in summer camp. I realize now that unless he wanted that, there is no reason not to enjoy our time home together if it is structured, both with mother/son time, alone time for him and I, and down time. As Michael gets older he is learning the value of this, and it is also easier to go out in public with him. He understands that I have to get home to cook, clean, work. He is really good about the fact I work from home writing, editing and coaching. He understands that Mom’s job hours are flexible which makes for some juggling, but we all work around them. I also remind myself to juggle responsibly so I don’t neglect my work, my health and my family. There are times things slide more in one direction than another. No human being is perfect, but I right the balance and move on.

Exceptional Parents, how many moments do you miss of venturing into the unknown with your Exceptional Child? How many times are you scared to try it as you don’t know where it will lead? Are you afraid how your child will handle it? Are you afraid of how you will handle it? Don’t be afraid. Take a chance. Go on an adventure. Be open to whatever life throws your way. Make the best of a situation that is not going well and turn it around as best as you can. If not, chalk it down to an experience and a lesson learned. Remember, each time you try something new with your child,  do not be afraid to tune into their vibe and interest. It is an opportunity to bridge the gap between their world and yours. Until next time.

I am a writer, speaker and parent coach whose son with autism has shown me a whole new way to see the world and embrace the joy of the moment! I believe in empowering parents to trust their own instincts when it comes to their children, and in helping them parent with love, respect and confidence towards their child.

For more information on my coaching services, see my website: www.creatingexceptionalparentingg.com, and for a free 30 minute exploration/consultation session contact me at joanne@creatingexceptionalparenting.com. Also to receive a copy of my FREE E-BOOK “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” click on www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com/EBOOKS.

 

Mom Camp Begins-How To Have As Stress-Free A Time With Your Exceptional Child As Possible

kids playing.jpeg

So today is the day. It is the day that Michael will be home with me alone for two straight weeks. It’s not a lot compared to some families whose children don’t go to camp, I know. Still, for us, for me, with an extremely active and anxious kid, keeping him busy during these two weeks is anything but relaxing, though I enjoy our time together. It’s become an art over the years, and I think we’re pretty much at the point now that Michael and I know each other well, he knows and understands I still need time in the day for my writing and editing jobs as well as for my personal health and housework, and time to take him places and truly enjoy spending time with him. It’s a balance for both of us and we have our ups and downs. I have found that having a system is our best bet. What is our system for having fun and staying sane at home during our mother/son bonding time? Here is the system that works for our family:

  1. Write It All Down: We have a dry erase board where we write out the activities we will be doing outdoors with rain substitutes too, of course. Michael now writes it out on our dry erase list and calendar and enjoys this planning phase.
  2. Have Rewards For Your Child: Yes, rewards for good listening; staying calm, using strategies. All of that works for Michael and I, and helps him stay motivated to behave for both of us.
  3. Repeat To Your Child You Are Happy They Are Home: I must confess there are times I feel less than enthusiastic about this. Hey, I’m human and need my space, but as he has gotten older, he is learning how to make his own fun at home and it is fun playing sports with him, swimming with him, and going out with him. I build up excitement about his time home with me by talking about the cool things we will do and trying to put some variety into the day. He loves that.
  4. Schedule Play Dates With Other Kids If You Can: This is hard as everyone has a different summer schedule, but try and schedule in a few play dates with friends to spice things up if possible. We will be doing one this week and others in two weeks hopefully, near the tail end of our family vacation.
  5. Have Fun Home Time Built-In Or Outside-Home Time: Both of these are harder if your kid is a homebody who does not want to go out or a jet-setter who never wants to stay home. Parents have their work cut out for them, but slowly they can introduce a half day spent home or out to get their child used to something different.

Most kids respond well to some sort of structure. As long as there is some flexibility in activities, a parent who knows her child well will usually not go wrong. As long as your child is getting some fresh air, exercise as well as time at home to chill out, you and they are off to a good start on your time alone together.

Exceptional Parents, how do you survive times in the summer when the kids are with you all day for a fixed period of time?  What tips have you offered friends? The thing is there is not one system that works perfectly for every child. What I have used is a general one that works for most exceptional kids, but as your child’s parent you know them best and know what will keep them stimulated, happy and as relaxed as possible. It’s also important that you as Mom and Dad, find time to recharge your parental batteries, especially when they are home. Whether it’s squeezing in a workout, taking time for pleasure reading or talking to and seeing other adults when your child is with another adult, doing this will keep your batteries charged and you calm ready to handle anything. So, trust in balance for you and your child.  Until next time.

 

I am a writer, speaker and parent coach whose son with autism has shown me a whole new way to see the world and embrace the joy of the moment! I believe in empowering parents to trust their own instincts when it comes to their children, and in helping them parent with love, respect and confidence towards their child.

For more information on my coaching services, see my website: www.creatingexceptionalparentingg.com, and for a free 30 minute exploration/consultation session contact me at joanne@creatingexceptionalparenting.com. Also to receive a copy of my FREE E-BOOK “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” click on www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com/EBOOKS