Category: Routine changes

Be Careful What You Wish For-How To Handle Supporting And Redirecting Your Anxious Exceptional Child

Happy New Year! Well, the holidays have come and gone. There were ups and downs as usual, as in any exceptional family really. What stood out as highs-Michael’s increasing independence in handling his diabetes, trying to organize his time with audio visual, calls to friends, and video games which he put in his phone calendar and his 13th birthday party where he hung out with friends in typical teen fashion while the parents chit chatted. Our family visits went well too, and Michael had a play date in there as well.

He had also been steadily giving Dad and I personal and couple space. These steps made us feel proud of his progress. Lows were increasing anxiety and anger when things did not go as he planned, such as outings having to be postponed due to inclement weather, Dad or I not being able to give him a direct answer and asking for time to think on it, and finally his anxiety reaching a peak point that he needed to be around me all too much.

First off, let me say that I am so grateful that Michael can communicate with us and tell us how he feels. It has helped him overcome a lot of obstacles and I wouldn’t change having him be expressive for anything in the world. However, he will sometimes have a hard time letting go of things and need to talk them through. This is anxiety provoking for all of us. Before the holidays and even at the very beginning, he was actually still quite independent and giving me my personal space. I was worried though how he didn’t want to talk or interact much with me.

Be careful what you wish for parents. The Universe delivered BIG TIME mid to late holiday season when he had a hard time being alone, filling up space in his day, and would complain when I did my yoga, went to write, went out with a friend. It felt suffocating for me  while I was also worried about his anxiety. Old tools I used were not working. I helped Michael trust himself to find new tools that could work to calm him down so that when he and I took our time together, we could talk calmly.

How did I now keep myself calm and help Michael through his anxiety? Well, for starters I took lots of mini breaks in the day and gently reminded Michael how I needed them- my half hour of meditation and coffee in the morning before joining him at breakfast, my writing at certain times of the day, my yoga or taking a nature walk. Michael complained about all the breaks I was taking. I told him it was to help me stay calm and positive so I could enjoy my holiday happily and help him do the same .

The experience helped me learn how important it is to prepare older exceptional kids for the holidays like we do younger ones. The issues are different, yet some things remain the same. How to structure the down time while leaving some time for spontaneous activities, how to make sure kids are still sleeping and eating well which affects mood. This was doubly hard as with Michael’s diabetes no matter how much we controlled, his sugars were still through the roof high which do not help with anger and outbursts. I also learned how to enjoy the little moments that did go well and not let the stressful times spoil the day. Be realistic with what your child and family can handle and don’t push the envelope at family gatherings, play dates or other activities.

At the end of the holiday, in spite of the challenges, Michael reported that he had a good holiday. His return to school went well, and now we are all slowly getting back in routine.

Exceptional Parents, how do you handle anxiety with your Exceptional Child? Remember, as long as you keep an open mind with your child, stay calm, ask for a break (or take it) when you need it, you will be able to show a good example of how to handle the ups and downs of family down time and help your child find tools that work for them. Until next time.

Helping Your Exceptional Child Balance Structured and Unstructured Time

Having Michael fill his time schedule with structured and unstructured activities has always been a challenge, though when he was younger at least filling it with structured activities was easier. Why? Well, that was because as his Mom, I set the schedule of naps, meals, parks, play dates etc. As he got older, however, Michael understandably began demanding more activities that he wanted and that sometimes compromised my time more, like long drives or going to certain stores and only to the departments where he liked to go, ie. toy departments, and later to play on the IPADS or phones.

Unstructured time has always been difficult in our house. Michael never wanted to be home. He liked to be on the go all the time. I remember the summer when he was little that his boundless energy had me taking him to 4 parks a day, as with me not working camps were out of the question, and he was a little young anyhow. Well, that was the last summer I did that. It wore me out, he got bored, and when friends were not available, he did not know how to keep himself busy. He was never a kid that could watch movies, and even playing video games is challenging. His attention span for them is about five to ten minutes, though at school with friends he could play for a little longer.

Now fast forward to eight years later and we have the opposite problem almost. Unstructured time he adores! As long as he could spend it on his phone navigating Google Maps, watching his favorite videos or listening to music and stimming  to his heart’s content. I get it. This is his downtime, and I love it too as I get time to do things in the house or write. He could do that for hours on end which is not healthy. This is why I have continued to insist we do structured sports or other activities out of the house to make sure he does not become a typical teenager totally absorbed in the audio visual world. He was annoyed, but cooperated. After he got diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and puberty hit full steam, he also expressed less interests in playing in parks and going to stores, unless it was a store to look in the computer department. 🙂 I know this is a normal part of being a tween and soon teen, but sports is a great outlet to burn stress, so slowly I am trying to get him back into park outings.

Fortunately, he is willing to go to sports camp for a chunk of the summer, and he is starting to become receptive to doing other types of mother/son activities when he is home with me like long bike rides or walks. For our family vacation we are staying in town again this year as it is economically feasible, and I hope to get him a little more out of his shell with some structured and unstructured activities on our stay cation. In the end, it’s really about knowing your child’s limits and pushing a little more past that, as well as knowing when to let them take the reigns. On that note, what are some good ways to structure and un structure your child’s summer?

1) Give them choice for their unstructured time, when to schedule it in summer or on weekends during the school year.

2) Expose them to different structured extracurricular activities and have them choose 1 of 2 activities to practice.

3) Invite friends over or try a new place with a friend on a play date.

4) Have simple family activities that get them moving-bike rides, long walks, outings to stores or malls.

5) Negotiating- one hour of an outing for an hour of A/V time. Make sure they understand why you are encouraging them to go out in society. It is a great way to practice social skills and appropriate social behavior.

Exceptional Parents, how do you manage to balance your Exceptional Child’s structured and unstructured time? Do you give them some choice, all the choice, or choose it all yourself? As you have probably guessed, the best advice is a balance of following your child’s lead in what they want to do as well as giving them small nudges to participate in different activities. You will most likely get the best balance this way. Until next time.

Consistency Is Key-How To Set Boundaries With Your Exceptional Child

I realized  as soon as the words were out of my mouth that I would have to follow through. Oh no. There would be no outing to the park tonight as the evening before Michael was not listening and had lots of inappropriate behaviors towards me. There had been times I’d missed this cue and not reacted by giving a consequence in time. What had this caused? Inconsistency in how Michael looked for attention and got it from me. Dad has been having the same problem. We realized that due to him being a very detail-oriented kid who needs to know what is happening at all times, we also needed to be more aware of setting more boundaries as to what is acceptable and not. In trying to move away from a strict schedule and trying to teach Michael to be more flexible, we had forgotten to set boundaries on what is appropriate for him to say or do.

Michael is a sensory child. He will want to hug or squeeze you. He will also sometimes come in your personal space. We are now realizing we need to remind him about each person’s personal bubble and how important it is to respect that. We also need to teach him what is appropriate to say or not. All our exceptional kids have their quirks about behavior and expectation. Just remember that as a parent we all forget from time to time to keep the universal rules in place. With kids with ASD and  different brains, however, a common rule set is really important to keep families functioning smoothly and expectations clear. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. Write down family rules: This is good in any family, but especially in exceptional ones where kids can have an idea what to expect.
  2. Have a rewards  system for good behavior: If your child responds well to it, have a rewards system for good behavior with details on what they could earn.
  3. Both parents need to have same set of rules: It’s important that rules apply across the board with both sets of parents.
  4. Praise the good: Sometimes as parents we forget to look at the good behavior and only focus on the bad. Change that mindset.
  5. Have stable routines: Have a stable bedtime, daytime and all other times family routine. This will help your child feel more secure.

Exceptional Parents, how do you keep consistency in your family for behavior and other things? If you are not always doing things the same way, stop and think how this is affecting  your child’s and your stress level. You can solve so much  anxiety and stress with keeping consistent in how you respond to your child and other family events. You will see how this will help you all as a family grow stronger and be happier. 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,

Summer Fun For Exceptional Families-Finding The Balance

As usual but in a different way, Michael had a difficult start to the summer and me with him. Every year there seems to be something that carries over. I also know that the break of routine with school is hard for him, as much as he likes to be home. He also likes to be busy. Anyone who knows Michael and our family, knows that we keep him busy. He is a curious, energetic and social kid. Staying home is not for him. Even with the emotional struggles he has been going through, I have noticed that, as always, there is his spirit of resilience. He is so hard on himself. He fears a lot. Yet he is one of the most fearless people I know. I tell him this. I tell him, “you are my hero. I admire your energy, your excitement about learning new things. And now, I’m not sure if it’s maturity, puberty, or something else, but he is more conscious of how he wants to self-regulate and control his emotions. He pretty much likes the same activities he liked as a child, but now has the patience to stay at them longer. It’s great, and especially on those days when your child is stressed, keeping them active can really help with regulation.

Here are my suggestions for fun inexpensive things to do with your exceptional tween over the summer:

  1. Swimming at local pool or splash pads: This is a must with our hotter and hotter summers. Michael now could spend a good two to two and a half hours or more frolicking at these places.
  2. Parks playing sports: Yes, he will still go on swings and slides, but does not like the little parks with no fields anymore. His main interest is playing soccer in the field, and possibly tennis and basketball in the courts with me or a friend.
  3. Library: He loves to read tween literature and fantasy to boot! He reads to me now, and when he stumbles over words, it’s a great time to bond while I explain it to him.
  4. Art: Painting, clay or any other means of self-expression is something a child this age can do to burn off steam
  5. Movies: Yes, once our kids are able to sit still calmly and focus, take them to matinees. It’s a great way to pass the afternoon.
  6. Structured activities: Most communities now have adapted sports activities for kids though some exceptional kids do fine with smaller teams. We always do soccer, and sometimes tennis over the summer. There are lots of options. See what interests your child.
  7. Camp: Even if it’s not for a long time, camp usually gives exceptional kids a different chance to be active, meet new faces, and grow. There are lots of options.

Exceptional Parents, how are you looking to keep your little ones busy? The most important thing to do is balance out unstructured time at home with a camp or structured activity. This usually means that kids get a balance and are happier over the summer when  a lot of their regular structure is gone. Here’s to good times ahead with your child. Until next time.

Letting Your Exceptional Child Be Your Teacher When The Day Goes Differently




So today was one of those days that did not go anything like I had thought or planned. Michael was not feeling well so he stayed home, which meant I stayed home from work and things did not go as they were scheduled to go on the first day back to work/school. But I did other things. I cleaned. I did some freelance writing work. I talked with my child. When I saw that he was feeling better by the afternoon and he asked me if he could help me cook I agreed. And Michael did a fantastic job. He cooked under my supervision asking me for certain spices that he had seen on a recipe show online. We talked. I enjoyed seeing him do something he loved-cooking. The focus was there. I had some moments today when I was feeling worried, particularly about the weather though I got to enjoy it from the comforts of my home, but looking at Michael and seeing how he was feeling healthy and calm, something that he has not been for awhile, made me realize that I needed to continue to stay calm too. I needed to continue to set a positive example for Michael about what it is like to live in the moment, and laugh in the face of the unpredictability of how things go sometimes. I also let Michael set the pace of the day-computer time, talking, cooking and it was a mellow day. We had some good times over the holidays, but not nearly as relaxed ironically enough. Sometimes the orchestrated days, play dates and planned family outings do not go the way a day that is unplanned can go. A parent can see their child’s character truly shine through and take the lead.

Our children teach us new things every day. They teach us through their joy, their anger, their laughter, their pain. It’s up to us to follow them, and let them show us how we can learn new things if once in a while we admit we may not know it all as parents. We teach our kids how to do so many things, but they also teach us to live, love and believe that sometimes we may not have all the answers and need to ask questions. We need to remember that sometimes the teacher is the one learning and that is perfect. For all we teach our children they also teach us many things about ourselves- patience, humility, laughter, happiness, how we handle risk and fear. And while we share with them our life experience, they can share with us their innocence and belief that the world has many faces and directions. They can help us see that there are many sides to people, to events, to opportunities.

Exceptional Parents, with all the challenges you face raising your Exceptional Children, do you sometimes miss the magical moments when they teach you about life? It’s ok.  Just remember every unpredictable turn, every spontaneous action is a chance to learn what life looks like through your child’s eyes, and what life can look like through your eyes if you give it a chance. 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,

Organizing Surprise Home Days And What Exceptional Kids Teach Us About Stress

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So today was a surprise Snow Day for Michael and me . He was happy, of course, happy and nervous. Happy to be home, and nervous as he did not want to be stuck at home all day. He woke up pretty much structuring all the “places” we would go. Michael is not a home body. Teaching him to limit his outings has been a challenge, and though I am happy he does not want to sit in front of a computer screen all day, I cannot always take him out to 4 places a day as he likes even on Snow Days when school is closed and I have to stay home from work as a result. Of course, he would have understood the concept of staying home all day had the weather been pretty terrible for driving.  As it turned out, it cleared up pretty nicely. And though he eventually accepted staying home in the am, in the pm he was excited when I suggested our first sledding adventure of the winter season as the driving conditions were good.  How did we get to starting off the day horribly with fighting and stalling with his injection to this point? Michael realized after our fight the necessity of creating a visual schedule for himself when he is home with me unexpectedly, and following the ones we already have in place on weekends.

I have to say that I was at my wits’ end being challenged by his retorts to all the simple requests I made of him, only to be so happy when he sighed and admitted he needed to make a schedule to organize our day. And off he went! I can pretty much tell you, other than some minor ups and downs, the day went well after he had his schedule where he checked off all he would be doing. We also talked about expectations of good behavior and how that would be rewarded, and how bad behavior would have a negative consequence he would not like, ie. he lost his afternoon and evening IPAD for rude and disrespectful comments and actions. I know this will have to happen many more times before the lesson is learned, but I was happy Michael was starting to connect the dots of how he needed to act and how he needed to use better strategies to cope with his anger, anxiety and fear. We are working on getting him new ones, and in the new year with a new team, I know we will have new strategies and options as well.

After the schedule was constructed, it was pretty much followed. We had fun sledding, then came home and Michael watched a holiday movie while I prepared dinner. All in all a good way to end the day. I learned how routine still works for us, even with severe behavioral challenges and anxiety. This kept me going through a day with many retorts to my authority. I was able to remember the good moments when Michael shared beautiful stories from school, funny anecdotes, and did some spontaneous snow angels which looked great!

Exceptional Parents, does a daily schedule work well for you in your home? Does it help your child stay on track and make the day go easier? In most cases, this helps tremendously for both child and parental stress. What can also work is reminding your child of what control they do exert over their day, and how they need to balance this with your control for their well-being. In this way, everyone will grow and the whole family will be happier and get along better. 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,

The Power of Repetition and Good Routines in Exceptional Families


If I have to remind him to use his strategies one more time I will go stark raving mad, I thought to myself for the umpteenth time the other afternoon after Michael had lost his cool and I had told him to go to his room and use his strategies. I had also warned him when he came home from school that day that he seemed stressed and might want to use his strategies. Sometimes I feel more like a parrot than a mother going over the same terrain over and over. If it’s not verbal it’s been visual on pictos in the past or schedules in the last two years, but going over the same things is a common theme in our house. Has it worked? Yes and no. I can use the wheels turning in Michael’s head as he processes that he has to make changes and use strategies BEFORE he tantrums or loses control, but the system is far from perfect. Some of the time he is successful which is very encouraging, but there are more times that he only realizes AFTER the fact what he needed to do. That’s ok. Rome wasn’t built in one day, as they say, and if I know one thing about exceptional kids is that they need to do things many times to get it right. Heck though, once they get it right it is right forever.

Routines are the same. Get your exceptional child into a healthy routine and the results are amazing. Get them into an unhealthy routine, and it’s bad. Real bad. They get stuck, have meltdowns due to exhaustion, over stimulation, and even those children that can express themselves have a hard time seeing their triggers at the beginning. Michael is only beginning in the last year to see his own anger triggers. The main one is hearing the  word NO. Others are not feeling listened to. Michael’s version is if we are not stopping everything to pay attention to him, this means drinking water, coffee, not just the obvious. I’ve had to explain to him that I can focus on him just fine while having my coffee. 🙂 Finally other triggers have been feeling out of control with food choices, directions and other activities. Whenever I can I have given him choices and the feeling of having control, while at the same time teaching him that sometimes he will not be in control and have to handle following rules and regulations that his parents and teachers have laid out for him. It is getting easier as he is learning to tell apart where he can have control over where he has to follow rules.

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Regardless, routines are also all about repetition and making sure things unfold in a certain way. Whenever we’ve had a challenging evening as a family, I realize that most off the time it is due to me or Michael changing the routine. While it is good to throw things up in the air once in awhile so that the child does not become too rigid, a certain amount of predictability is important for the whole family’s mental stability and health. As hard as it is to stay in a routine and repeat yourself, all parents who do this, with or without exceptional kids, report that this helps make their family life more manageable. When I get discouraged and feel I can’t do this anymore, I think about these two things, routine and repetition, and remember how it is mine and Michael’s saving grace in times of great upheaval and change.

Exceptional Parents, what has been the key to success for you and your child in your family? What has helped you and your child move past behaviors and negative moments? If you have not tried a regular routine and repetition with important mood enhancers like using strategies, then now is the time to try it.  Yes, therapies work. Medication works. But having a family plan of what to expect as well as how to self-regulate can make all the difference in the world to being able to cope with life’s strains and stresses. 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  living in 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 on their own exceptional parenting journey.

For more information on my coaching services,  for a FREE 30 min consultation, and to receive a  copy of my FREE E-BOOK “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY,” see my website: 

The Invisibility of Autism And Handling Unexpected Circumstance


Yesterday late afternoon was one of those days I wish Michael had some sort of sign identifying his autism to the world. I don’t often wish for this, not because his autism is anything that is bad, but because I truly believe that no one should be thought of as one of the many things that define them. Michael has autism, but he also has an amazing brain for navigating, a great sense of humor, and a terrific singing voice. But yesterday arriving at the our local pool for his swimming lesson, the unexpected through his orderly world into a tailspin. A normal routine of him changing in the family change room with me keeping him on target with time and setting up his clothes in a change stall so he does not walk around the room naked did not happen. With it being Spring Break in our neck of the woods, it was public swim at the local pool as well. There were many families who took their little ones to enjoy an afternoon of swimming indoors on a dreary rainy day.

We arrived at the locker room and it was packed with tons of parents and kids. I’d never seen it like this before though. We had ten minutes to change and no free stalls or areas to change. I knew Michael would have to go into the men’s changing room as he could not come with me in the women’s. He is not 6 years of age or under anymore. I prepared him for this, and I had raised my voice to be heard above the chaos in the change room that he would need to change for his swimming lesson in the men’s locker room. That’s when one of the mothers told me that there had been a serious swimming accident with a child and that they had cleared the pool. No one was allowed in. It was not the pool we usually swam in, but as the shock of what had happened took over me, I uttered the usual, oh my goodness, and then thanked her for telling me.

I explained to Michael this new change and went back to the front desk to see about the lesson. We waited and few minutes later someone came back to tell us that we would have the lesson and where to go. I went over with Michael verbally what he had to do, but he had problems in the locker room. He asked if I could wait outside. Then he didn’t know where the stalls were and kept walking around half naked in the room. Finally, I could hear voices of other boys telling him to put his clothes on. The main door to the locker room was open so he came a few times to say hi. Suffice it to say, it was stressful for both of us.He was angry that those boys were “yelling” at him. I explained they were trying to help him. They didn’t know he had autism and was not sure what to do. I explained that he could have asked them where he could change and ask questions. I did not know the layout of the room and could not go with him. So a sign or some  sort of indicating that he has challenges with sequencing and changes in routine would have been helpful here. But that is life. It is unpredictable and we have to teach our kids with autism how to go with the flow and handle the unforseen. In the end after some arguments and tension, we moved on.

Exceptional Parents, how many times have you found yourself in situations where your child can’t process what is happening around them and others do not know that there is a reason why? How do you handle it? Ideally, parents need to stay calm and firm, and afterwards use it as a learning experience. All children need to learn to go with the flow, and though it is harder for Exceptional Kids, with time and effort it is possible. Until next time.

It’s Spring Break-How To Structure It In Town

Today is the first day of Michael’s Spring Break, and Spring Break for a lot of children and their families. For Exceptional Children Spring Break can be a great time, but there are also  moments when it is hard on them. The trick is providing the right amount of structure with some downtime. The thing is, Exceptional Children need both just like all other children, but they each they own formula for what works. After all, they are just individuals like each of us. So, how does a parent know where to start? Well, in my case, following my parenting gut, I know what works best for Michael. He needs a lot less structured time than when he was younger, as well as some unstructured time. Dad and I have been learning how to fine tune some of his schedule to give him a mix of both. The thing is, we have to find the right combination or we will all have a  really hard day with sensory overloads, anxiety and stress. What are some basic things parents can do to structure Spring Break? Here are 5 things:

  1. Plan out week on calendar: Plan out the weekly activities on a calendar or schedule. Make sure there are indoor and outdoor options as weather can be finicky, as well it allows for flexibility.
  2. Decide how early or late starting your day: Some kids are super excited they are up super early (like mine). Some kids like to sleep in. See in advance where your child falls and adjust your own sleep and wake schedule. You’ll be grateful you did!
  3. Make play dates in advance: If your child has friends or you have friends with kids their age, consider scheduling one or two play dates to get them out of the house. This will help with socializing.
  4.  Let them have in unstructured or down time: In this time, let them do whatever they want, including stimming if that helps them unwind and balance their sensory system.
  5. Schedule in some parent down time early am or late pm: It’s important for Moms and Dads not to burn out so self-care is important too. It’s your vacation too as you are spending quality time with your child/dren, but it can quickly go out of hand if you are tired and stressed. Self-care is just as important this week as during other breaks like Christmas or Summer.


Exceptional Parents, how are you spending Spring Break? What are some of your tricks for enjoying it and surviving it intact, you and your child? All jokes aside, it really can be a fun time even if you stay in town and it seems less glamorous. Remember, it’s your attitude as a parent that can make it fun or not. Be adventurous, relax when you can, and don’t be afraid to have fun! Until next time.

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.