Category: play

Letting Your Inner Self Shine Through-What Exceptional Kids Teach Us

facepaint.jpegSo Michael is at the point in his development that he wants to learn to play with toys or games, but does not know where to start. He has asked his teacher in the past and me to show him. I feel so proud that he wants to learn to do something that does not come easy. He is an imaginative child. He has written some simple, short stories about his imaginary friend and our cat going on adventures. Yes, he is quirky! And he has some figurines left from his previous toy purge and he is looking for ways to play with them. It is tricky for him. He has imagination, but it does not work like everyone else’s. This is an advantage as he comes up with new ideas and new ways to see the world. But it also makes it harder for him to see how the rest of us play and interact. It’s kind of like when I have to show him not to run up to someone he knows and start talking to them if they are talking to someone else already, it’s knowing him how to be himself in a world that is not like him, where a lot of people kind of fit the same mold.

What is so cool about Michael and kids like him though, is that he really does not care what others think. This is the flip side. Sure it’s due to the way his brain is wired, but it’s refreshing and humbling for me as his Mom to walk by his side. Last Friday he had pajama day at his camp. They also did face painting. I decided that we would pick up pizza for dinner and after camp Michael would come with me. I told him we could go home briefly to remove the face paint and for him to change. He told me no, that it didn’t bother him to go into the store in his pajamas with face paint. Wow. I don’t think I could have done that even now. It took me until my early forties to really stop caring what people thought. Michael, knows this lesson at ten. I think it is autism’s gift to him and to all people like him. As they operate the way the rest of the world does, they have their own moral code, and show us, it’s not bad. It actually can be fun if you let yourself think and live outside the box. This is truly neurodiversity, and it’s important that while parents teach their child to fit in, they must also help the world understand that it is a beautiful thing to stand out.

Exceptional Parents, when was the last time you saw your Exceptional Child’s eccentricity as one of their gifts? Remember, you can show them skills, like play skills, but in turn they have lots they can show you, like how to be true to who you are inside and  not be afraid to let your own inner quirkiness shine through. With the two of you showing the other what it’s like on the “other side”, you can both learn and grow together. 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.

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How to Handle Anxiety And Sensory Issues in an Older Child

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This week has been an interesting week with Michael. Well, pretty much every week is interesting. Some weeks are more challenging than others, good and bad. Last week was a good week overall, but I did notice a lot of anxiety in Michael. The good thing is he is learning to express himself better and talk about his feelings. The bad thing is that the same measures that used to work (offering him sensory massages, pillows to squeeze and showing him his exercise ball) don’t always work. He will sometimes actively fight me on even trying these techniques. This is what I am calling the curse of the tween hormones, with a touch of autism. I add the last part for a little bit of humor to get us through the tougher moments when Michael is pretty arguing with us about everything. This morning it was when he would do his chores so he could accumulate money to buy his next toy. Weekends are tough as the structure changes, and though it has been nice taking a break from extracurricular activities, Dad and I now he needs them again. The brain break was good, but physically for stress relief and sensory reasons we see how he really needs to move.

It’s tough though, as he is at the age when he does not like challenge. Our school physiotherapist warned us that due to a mild hypotonia, he may not like being physically pushed to go a little farther. But in order for him to get strong and build muscle,  he would need to move as this would help him. When he moves, just like any child, he also burns energy, feels more relaxed and positive, and handles stress and sensory issues better. It’s a tough balance, and one I am slowly learning to navigate as the mother of a tween. In all areas, he is growing up, pushing us away in daytime, and then pulling us closer at night. Sundays he dreads going back to school even though he is doing well. It is the pushing of limits. He wants to play it safe, as we are trying to teach him that only by taking risks can he make progress. I find that by giving him some freedom, I am helping him learn his own power. But then I must remind him, these are your strategies to calm down. Let’s write them on a paper. Let’s look at pictures of the equipment. Now you try what works.

Exceptional parents, what sensory issues/anxieties are your experiencing with your Exceptional Child? Are they close to or at the tween age or younger? You will see your child move through cycles, no matter what age they are. There will be good days and bad days. There will be victories and setbacks. The most important thing you can do is remind your child that though there are rules they have to follow with you and adults around them, they also have a measure of control over their life, their anxiety, and their sensory issues. Praise them when they make a good choice. Calmly redirect when they stumble. And if you need a minute, give yourself a time out to breathe and move forward. Only if you are calm and centered, can you help your child move forward into independence as stress-free as possible. Until next time.

I am a writer and parent coach who is 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. For more information on my parent coaching programs, and to book a FREE 30 Minute Consultation Session, see my website: http://www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com.

SPECIAL OFFER: February is the month of love. We show love to our children, partners and friends But what about to ourselves as parents? Do you know how to practice self-care and truly love the amazing parent and person you are? If you need support in this area of your life, until Feb. 28th I am offering a FREE ONE HOUR one on one coaching session, as well as a second one hour one on one coaching session at 50% off regular price. Give yourself the gift of self-love, and learn some great tools to begin to put your needs first so you can parent in balance. Contact me at joanne@creatingexceptionalparenting.com or 514-827-7175 to book your Skype session. www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com

 

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5 Different Tools to Help Your Exceptional Child With Challenging Emotions

We are pretty much at the mid point of the holidays now. Michael has adjusted somewhat, yet there are still the difficulties with scheduling and knowing what is happening next. We cannot replicate school with the standard visual schedule up on the wall where very little changes, nor do we want to. I used to want to when he was younger. He would suffer so much in those days being away from friends and his routine. Now though, he is happy to be home, well I mean away from school. He doesn’t like staying home, but that is another blog post altogether. 🙂 He is learning how to structure his own free time as well, but what I find difficult sometimes is how to help him learn to handle his stress and anger. He is becoming increasingly annoyed at reading social stories, and insists that a visual schedule at home with times and what we will be doing is for babies and that is not him. At least he still writes down stuff on a calendar! What to do?

I started thinking the other day of what tools I have used that have worked to help Michael and not help him. As a parent and parent coach, I make sure to learn from both. I have found generally, that the techniques below work very well for helping guide you and your child through the challenging times:

  1. Look at what led to the behavior: This works every time. When we look back, we will see a pattern. In EIBI Or ABA, they call this ABC’s: Antecedent, Behavior and Consequence. All parents of children with autism know this well. What was child feeling before the behavior? What behavior resulted from it? And what was the consequence for them? A lot of parents unintentionally respond to negative behavior by giving in to the child, yelling themselves, or by calming child down and not letting the child learn to do it. It’s important to see where we fall in this dynamic.
  2. What worked in the past? What haven’t you tried? This is another good one. Sometimes in the heat of the moment as parents it is hard for us to stay calm and focused. Afterwards, we can look back and remember what worked to help the child the last time?  It’s a good idea to write it down so we have it on paper.
  3. Spending quality one on one time  really listening to child: This is a great preventative measure in most cases to challenging behaviors. It doesn’t mean giving in to their every whim to keep them happy, but being present for your child will help them feel more secure, and less likely to engage in troubling behavior. This needs to be done regularly. Enjoy sharing with them an activity that they love. Michael loves to talk or play tag and hide and seek with me.
  4. Keep snacks and water handy: Sometimes challenging behavior can be headed off at the outset if the child is not hungry or thirsty. If they are regularly being kept busy and are fueled with good food, they will be that much more able to get a grip on their emotions.
  5. Getting enough sleep and rest breaks in the day: This is super challenging for busy active kids, but it is important they have periods of activity and rest. Schedule it in advance, and make the rest period fun. Set them up with a favorite book or movie or video. Be nearby to monitor.

Exceptional Parents, what are some of your best tools for helping your Exceptional Children? Remember, the most important one of all is love and unconditional acceptance of them, in good times and bad. This does not mean condoning bad behavior. This means reminding them that they are capable of holding it together and doing right, and of course, encouraging them and praising them when they do get it right. That will also help move everyone to success. Until next time.

Are you looking to make changes in your special needs parenting life in the New Year? Do you need support on your journey?  am a writer and parent coach who is 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. For more information on my parent coaching programs, and to book a FREE 30 Minute Consultation, see my website: http://www.exceptionalparenting.net.

Want to start the New Year off on the right foot with handling anxiety and stress better? Download my FREE EBOOK on “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” http://www.exceptionalparenting.net/EBOOKS.

 

 

Exceptional Children And Exceptional Patience-5 Ways This Mom is Learning to Stay Calm And Move On

 

This is the time of year that is difficult for most Exceptional Parents and their children. As I’ve blogged before there are lots of things happening that are unpredictable-parties, change of sleep and waking hours, visitors coming in and out, and the routine of school and work being momentarily interrupted. This causes stress to a lot of Exceptional Children who are used to their routines which provide a lot of comfort. If anxiety is high, knowing what to expect next can help, not knowing what or who will come by is a great source of stress, and this can set off all kinds of behaviors and issues. The thing is, it is always best to try not to get the whole family in an uproar in the first place by not having stressful events occur or at least occur less. How do I keep calm and move on modeling a more relaxed way of being to Michael? Here are 5 ways I am learning to do this:

  1. Breathe and stay in the moment: Obvious one I know, but that was always hard in the past when Michael would start escalating. I had a few bad nights with him last week when I forgot this, so I now I remind myself every morning to do this when I am calm, usually after prayer and morning meditation.
  2. Don’t react to obvious button pushers: All kids will test and try things; swearing, spitting, spilling things, hitting. Calmly with no eye contact ask them to stop, clean up, and remind them of negative repercussions if they don’t listen.
  3. Model the behavior you want them to imitate:  A direct no hitting, no slapping and warning of walking away if child continues, is the way to go. This is hard, but stay strong. The behavior gets worse before it gets better as the child will see how far they can go.
  4. Be mindful of what you say and how you say it: Our children are so perceptive. We not only have to watch our choice of words, i.e. no swearing,  our tone, but also how we say things.  For example, the other day I accidentally chipped some paint off of a wall in our house while cleaning it. I said to Dad, “oh well, we need to paint it anyway.” Michael turned it around the next time he punched a wall when angry  and we told him not to do that. He responded: “It’s ok Mommy. It’s an old wall. It needs to get fixed.”  I corrected him and reminded myself that intentionally or not, kids misinterpret.
  5. Have fun with your child even with the ups and downs: This is challenging. There have been days I have wished I did not have to defuse situations. I have wished I could  call someone up last minute and say, “here’s all yours for the day!” But there are good moments in between. Lots of them. I savor these, and I know when he senses trust Michael relaxes and lets loose in a positive way.

Exceptional Parents, what are your calm down strategies to stay level as a parent? Remember, unless we have it together, our kids won’t be able to learn to get it together either. We are Exceptional Parents for the long haul, and with any luck, we will show our kids such a great example of being present, handling obstacles, and learning from their mistakes, that they will be reminding us one day if we slip up. Until next time.

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 Google Plus. For more information on my parent coaching programs, and to book a FREE 30 Minute Consultation, see my website: http://www.exceptionalparenting.net

Tired of anxiety controlling you and your child? Download my FREE EBOOK “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” http://www.exceptionalparenting.net/EBOOKS

Social Filters and How To Navigate My Exceptional Child’s Outburts

 

Michael is a very outspoken child. He was outspoken even before he could speak with words, and was always very expressive in negative and positive ways, and with negative and positive behavior. Now that is completely verbal and able to speak about exactly what is on his mind, the things that come out are, well, not always too positive. As some parents have remarked about their own children, they do not have social filters. It’s not their fault. It’s how their brain is hard-wired so they say what they feel in the moment.  Also it is sometimes too hard for them to stop themselves. This is  a skill that needs to be taught. And it’s hard as their parent not to react and get embarrassed, angry, even sometimes laugh because though what they say is inappropriate, it is darn funny. I’m constantly in this situation myself now, and am looking for ways around it. Like all parents, some days I do better at it than others.

Talking about appropriate behavior in  public and at home are good. Teaching that there will be good consequences for good behavior and bad consequences for bad behavior is another thing a parent could do. Still, what are other the best ways to navigate our exceptional children’s outbursts?

  1. Write a social story on how to handle situation: This is great to explain many of the situations our children find themselves in as do we. What is the proper language we use to speak? How do we address people?
  2. Stay calm as a parent when they are testing: This is still a hard one for me sometimes when I am tired and my son pushes my buttons with stalling at bedtime and swearing, his new favorite behavior. What a parent needs to do is make clear the proper behavior in advance, and then give a warning to the child. If they do not listen, the parent has to stick to their guns with whatever the consequence is.
  3. Model for them good behavior and rewards: Yes, it is hard for children with autism to imitate, but not impossible. They are able to do it with enough concentration and practice, so as parents, we need to lead the way.
  4. Be firm about leaving where you are if the behavior continues to be insulting and then follow through: This will result in loud protests or tantrums, but eventually your child will learn you follow through with what you say.
  5. When they do positive behavior in public and private, remember to praise them a lot: This is a step a lot of parents forget. It’s important to remember to praise the child when they make positive changes in their behavior and listen. It goes a long way in ensuring they continue with the good behavior.

Exceptional Parents, how do you handle your child’s outbursts? What strategies have worked and which haven’t? Remember, to make notes when you are calm about this so you know what to avoid in the future, and cut yourself some slack if you make a mistake. We all do as parents from time to time. Until next time.

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 “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” http://www.exceptionalparenting.net/EBOOKS

Family Traditions and Handling Holiday Decorating The Autism Way

 

So we got our Christmas tree up this afternoon, and I have to say, it was the best year yet for getting the decorating done. Why? I think Dad and I were organized with having the decorations brought upstairs in advance, Dad put the tree and lights on the tree up when Michael and I were at one of his extra curricular activities, and I am letting things be this year. I did not push Michael’s musical choice in putting up the tree (pop and hip hop music not our usual Christmas music) as that is what he was comfortable with, and as he was really interested in decorating the tree and surrounding areas, I let him take the lead. Control is so important for Michael, and having a say in some things matter a lot. He did learn to follow my lead and cooperate, and everything went really smoothly. He even was interested in putting up the manger which was a nice surprise for me as he is struggling with God and faith. He believes on some level I know, but still refuses to go to church with me.

I paid special attention to planning out our holiday decorating after an extremely challenging five days at home with lots of physical and mental challenges for him and I. What a relief to have a relatively calm day (with some challenges but manageable) today. As I’ve mentioned before, and will mention again, December is an extremely difficult month for families with  exceptional children. The parties, the crazy schedules, the togetherness of people makes it harder for our kids, at at time when everyone else is celebrating and having fun. Heck, it’s even crazy for some neuro typical people. 🙂 It used to break my heart to watch Michael suffering at my favorite time of year, and not being able to share that joy with me. All he saw was that his normal routine of school and friends was interrupted. He even slept differently though we kept to his usual routine. As he gets older, it gets easier as he understands the season of Christmas with gifts, good food, family gathering, and even good deeds, which we continue to talk about along with celebrating Jesus’ birthday which we talk about due to being Christians. But the anxiety over the unpredictability is still there. We do our best to make sure he gets down time, and some structure with outings to offset the rest of the lack of structure.

What I would suggest to other Exceptional parents struggling out there, is to have a set routine all the same for your Exceptional Children around the parties. Make sure you bring their sensory toys with you everywhere so they have downtime with them, and talk in advance about large family or friend gatherings so that they are not so overwhelmed. Make sure they have a “safe room” to retreat to if they get overwhelmed, or that family and friends know if advance you and your family may have to leave the party in advance. As they get older, it gets better and they can communicate to you their feelings too. Also, don’t have big expectations. That’s not to say that you should not believe your children capable of participating in events, but do it according to what makes them comfortable. Do it “autism style.” I have learned that the more I stop trying to put pressure that our family be like a neuto typical family when I’m around mine or my partner’s neuro typcial family, the easier the holidays get. We are a special needs family, and we’re fine thanks. We may struggle a little bit more, but we have our community and people who “get us” and are even lucky our own family (at least most of them) get us. We have our “village” as one close friend called it, and beyond.

Exceptional Parents, how do you and your Exceptional family handle the holidays? What tips do you use to make things run more smoothly? Remember, go with your child’s flow, don’t feel pressured to do and be with everyone during the holiday season at the expense of yours and your Exceptional family’s health, and watch your child adapt and bloom. Good luck with your holiday decorating and preparations. Until next time.

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 “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” http://www.exceptionalparenting.net/EBOOKS

 

Imaginary Friends and My Exceptional Child Building New Worlds

A month ago I had tears in my eyes. They were tears of happiness. My little guy was developing imaginary friends again and better yet, was creating them with craft material like glue, scissors, scotch tape and construction paper. He told me the name of the main character, Dooki, and his various friends, Glegle, Samosa and a few other names I can’t remember at this time. No matter. He is doing crafts. My kid. The kid who hated fine motor. He is writing semi-legibly, the kid who hated doing anything fine motor and hated writing. I am beyond overjoyed. He has reached another milestone in development. Oh, and he is back to writing stories about his characters. I am so proud! It just goes to show how parents can never underestimate what their child will do. They can even learn to enjoy an activity they previously hated doing.

Yes, we have had challenging behaviors, puberty is hitting, and have had to navigate some pretty interesting conversations about hunger, poverty and religion, but I see Michael growing up more each day. He is changing. He even asked me for Legos. Ok, he only wants Star Wars ones, and a police car and ambulance. But what amazed me is he is getting back to playing with toys and things age appropriate more or less. Kids with autism have trouble with make believe and playing. Thinking abstractly is hard for them. They are literal beings. Still, my little guy is changing all that, while he is helping change mine and the world’s perception of autism. His friends are doing it too. Autism is such a vast spectrum. It’s important we never underestimate our child’s potential, wherever they may fall on the spectrum.

Exceptional Parents, what new worlds are your Exceptional Children building for themselves and you? How are they changing your perception of what they are capable of daily, weekly, monthly, yearly? All of our children have abilities and will surprise us if we let them. Encourage your child’s interests, loves and passions, and most importantly, never stop believing in their potential to rise above any challenges in their lives. They are strong individuals, and they will persevere if they know they have their caregivers in their corner. Until next time.

One of the 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 “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” http://www.exceptionalparenting.net/EBOOKS

 

Snow, Snow and More Snow-The Joys of Sensory Play Outside

The first snow fell Sunday night into Monday. And, like any child, Michael was ecstatic when he woke up yesterday morning. He asked about building a snowman and was crossing his fingers about having time to play outside at recess. I promised him, regardless, we would do something outside after school. Unfortunately, he did not come home with his snow pants, but we still want to race in a nature park nearby and watch the ducks after our race and walk. Michael loves being outside and so enjoys the snow. He, as well as I, are looking forward to sledding, skating and doing all kinds of activities outside.

For exceptional kids who have many gross and fine motor challenges, being outside can be great to help them build up their muscles. Walking in deep snow or up a hill with their toboggan, skating, building a snowman and making snow angels, all work either the larger limbs of their body (gross motor), and/or hands, fingers and arms, (fine motor) skills ,in a fun way that gets them moving and releasing a lot of pent up energy. When Michael was a baby, being outside was difficult for him. The temperature and the feel of the snow was something weird, though he did enjoy eating snow, and actually, much to my frustration, still does. He also went through a period where he would be outside for ten minutes, then tell me he was tired and wanted to go in. I realize now that was his low muscle tone that had to build up tolerance to movement and coordination. But, as with everything else, once Michael built up that tolerance, did he ever go. Now, he is my little movement machine, loves to be active, and, as a plus, has gotten me to be active too.

Exceptional Parents, do you have trouble getting your little ones outdoors? Are they sensitive to light, cold or not liking to get dressed up in snow gear? Start slowly with small spurts of time outside so your child can build up tolerance to being outside. Do fun things with them. Remember what being a child was all about; making snow angels, building snowmen, running, your cheeks all nice and rosy, sledding. If they see you engaging in fun play with no pressure, they will eventually be curious enough to want to join in. Not sure how to do it? Sure you do. Just be yourself. They will be comfortable with you and eventually be able to be themselves. As always, trust your parent’s gut on how to do this. You know your child. Until next time.

Tired of anxiety controlling you and your child? Download my FREE EBOOK “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” http://www.exceptionalparenting.net/EBOOKS

 

Keeping Busy Versus Over Stimulation-6 Ways Parents Can Plan Out A Reasonable PED Day

Yesterday was another PED DAY. Michael was thrilled that he was home from school and looking forward to his day off. For me, it was great to have him home, and we enjoyed doing stuff together, but it was, as usual, about finding the balance in not overdoing activity and becoming overstimulated. This is a tricky one for Michael and me. Yesterday we crossed the line on over stimulation. At the end of the day, I  realized I had scheduled too much for him. It’s hard for him these days as there is so much nervous energy, and I know if we under plan the day then there are fights due to boredom and under stimulation.

I sat back last night, and as usual when we have challenges in the later part of the day, thought of how can I best address this for the future? What can I learn and share with parents so we all can see when we are crossing the line of busy into over stimulation? Here are 6  ways parents can plan out a reasonable PED DAY:

  1. Structure the day reasonably according to your child’s temperament: A reasonable day for one child may be one place where the child stays for the day. Another child may need two places, in the am and one in the pm. Believe it or not, mine likes three to four places as he in constantly moving and learning, and having a change of environment. He can do two, one in the am, and one in the pm to break up his day, but they need to be VERY engaging. Go with your child’s flow.
  2. Make sure child (and you) are rested: Having a good night’s sleep for both of you is mandatory to being able to function at your best and have fun.
  3. Give them breaks between activities: This is where I went wrong yesterday. Even us veteran Exceptional parents make those mistakes. He went to a park and to run some errands in the am, but then had an hour lunch break to prepare for the afternoon. In the pm though, he went from one busy place to another. Next time, transition break.
  4. Make sure to limit sugar: On PED DAYS it’s not that it is junk food mayhem, but let’s face it, friends come over and Moms will put out the cookies and goodies, myself included. It’s important we make sure our kids don’t have too much sugar, juice, and anything that can add to the hyperactivity.
  5. Offer a reward system for good listening: We are still using tokens and they work for most of the time. There are lots of options available. You need to find what works for you.
  6. Give your child focused attention to talk about what is happening: It’s important on PED DAYS to also have some quiet talking time. Michael and I had a little bit at the beginning and end of the day, though I may have had less patience at the end of the day to see what the bedtime stalling was signalling; the stress of back to school the next day. Try to pace yourself better too to be able to handle the after dinner/homework/bedtime battles.

 

Exceptional Parents, what do you do on PED DAYS to keep your Exceptional Children busy? Are they in childcare, with other caregivers, or with you? There are lots of options available. The most important thing to remember is to structure their days so they feel excited, calm, and will have a fun and successful day. There will be ups and downs. Celebrate the ups and learn from the downs. Remember, look for signs of your child having fun and being over the top, and let them guide you in how you can make further adjustments. They are raising you as much as you are raising them! Until next time.

 

Tired of anxiety controlling you and your child? Download my FREE EBOOK “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” http://www.exceptionalparenting.net/EBOOKS

How My Exceptional Child Is Helping Me Learn To De-Clutter My Life

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How many times have I said to myself I need to organize things in my house? I think all of us, unless we are blessed to be born minimalists, have had this same conversation. Then comes children and all the toys and things that they bring with them. Ironically though, it has been since I became a Mom that I have really become aware that I need to de-clutter. And it has been Michael, of course, who has taught this to me. The first few years of motherhood were so fraught getting used to being a Mom, then helping Michael with therapy that I did not stop to see all the junk that was building up in my house. Michael has helped me see, and occasionally even helped me to figure out what needs to stay and what needs to go. For instance we were having a conversation last week about which toys he wanted to keep.

“I’ll show you which toys you can give away Mommy. They are baby toys. I don’t play with them anymore an you can give them to my old preschool or to a children’s charity.”

I am very proud that he is picking up on these good habits and wants to de clutter his playroom and room. I have get rid of so many things that I no longer need, clothes, papers, books that I have read. It’s just a little intimidating to know where to start, but Michael is helping me prioritize things as usual. I will be looking through my clothes and sorting them by season, but what I have really found needs to be organized is his playroom. He has not interest in spending time there in part I’m sure, in that it is a mess. Most of our kids thrive in orderly, non cluttered surroundings. It’s important as parents we set aside some time to clear those areas. How can we go about doing this?  It’s important we learn to be honest with ourselves about what needs to stay and what needs to go. What do our children really play with? What have they lost interest with?

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On another level, Michael is also helping me see which people and experiences I still need to keep in my life. We grow apart from some people as we age and outgrow some things. It is an important part of growing up and into our true selves that we learn when we need to let go of the past so our present can get better and our future can bloom. The fall has always been a time of cleansing for me. Usually, prior to working, by now I would have ordered a lot of the mess in the house. I may be a little behind schedule, but this year I am less panicked about it. Michael has reminded me that sometimes waiting is better so we have an idea of what needs to be organized where. We also can take better stock when we have time to think, unplug and relax as I did the last two weekends, or at least as far as unplugging from cleaning. 🙂

Exceptional Parents, how has your Exceptional Child taught you order and clearing out the mess, physical and emotional clutter in your life? I’m sure if you look close enough, you will see their wise influence. Kids sense when we are off, when we need to make changes in our physical and emotional environments. Listen to their words. Watch their moods and see for yourself, if emotional and physical clearing out doesn’t feel just a little bit better. Until next time.

 

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