Tag: behavior issues

Exceptional Love, Testing and Suffering: How to Weather the Sun and Storms of Parent/Child Relationships

White Lightning Heating Mountain

I don’t know what to tackle first. There is his insistence on being right, his worrying over the future, and his putting his foot down on what he wants to do and does not want to do. It is so frustrating as this is also my list and my issues too. It is hard as a parent. You have to pick your battles, stay firm, give in, and at other times, walk a tightrope somewhere in between with your child. Any child. And an exceptional child is just exceptionally challenging at times like these.  We had many fun moments yesterday, but this week there have been many more testing moments, angry moments, and moments where Michael, I could tell, was seeing how far he could push before I gave in. I pretty much stayed firm, but there have been some activities I have had to remove from his schedule. They have been academic ones, as the pressures in school have been proving to be too stressful for him lately. I feel like I have failed as a Mom. I have failed to hear him and listen to what he needed, choosing instead to challenge him. But see that’s the thing. That is what worked in the past. My little boy is changing. He is growing up and I have to be ready for some surprises. Though it has been hard, I am coming to terms too with the fact I cannot control all circumstances, all things, all life. I have to admit defeat and errors where I have made them and carry on. That’s what I tell other parents to do. Forgive yourself and move on. It is hard for me to do though. However, I am finally starting to do it.

http://mrg.bz/c95083

 

I am so glad that he is able to communicate so well with me about his feelings of  stress with school performance (though he is doing amazing), his anxiety over pleasing the “stimming lady” (I think she represents adults all around him that he is trying to please),  and I can see how even when he is engaged in pleasurable activities, the ability to control, predict and anticipate everything come into play everywhere. He is such a smart kid. He is so happy and full of life in so many ways, yet I see his suffering, his anxiety, and his insecurities. I don’t know how to reassure him he is enough. I tell him. I show him by hugging, kissing and laughing with him. But due to my own busy schedule, there have been times I think I have failed him. I have failed to give him the security, patience and support he needed as I have been tired, busy, stressed myself. I am re-emphasizing self-care again in my repertoire so I refill my own bucket. Love and support are a two way street, but they are ones that are difficult and challenging to follow when both parties are exhausted and at their wits’ ends.

Exceptional Parents, how do you weather your child’s storms and anxieties while staying sane yourself? If you have lost your temper and patience once in awhile, that’s ok. So have I. So have all of us. The important thing is to remember how by taking care of your needs, physically, mentally and spiritually, you will be able to show your child how best they can have balance in these areas. They need to learn to take care of their inner stresses before they can balance their outer feelings. Until next time .

 

Feeling overwhelmed by stress and anxious thoughts? You are not alone. Parenting is hard work. Try out some new tools. Download my FREE EBOOK ON “5 WAYS TO MANAGE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” http://www.exceptionalparenting.site88.net.

Advertisements

4 Tips to Handle Exceptional Mommy Meltdowns

I am not proud of the way I have been handling Michael’s stress lately. In part, in large part, it has been because I have not been taking the best care of myself. I have not been sleeping, exercising and eating the way I want to. I have done my best to be present for him, but when I am not at my best physically, mentally and spiritually it is hard.

Our kids are treasures. Michael is not exception to this rule. He teaches me lessons every day about life, love, respect, faith and what really, I mean really matters. But it doesn’t make it easy. For either of us. He doesn’t always understand that Mom needs time alone. Away from him? With her writing? A blog? A friend’s book launch?  A writer’s meeting? Her business? What is this? Then, just as soon as the anger flares up, it is gone. I feel like a failure when I yell, though I know what to tell other parents about patience. It is hard to practice it myself. Still, I do tell Michael that Mom needs to work better on using her strategies to handle anger. It is fine to be angry, but we can’t let it rule us.

Michael is very forgiving. We always make up before bedtime even when we have fights at bedtime. But I hate Mommy Meltdowns. I try to avoid them whenever I can. Still, sometimes in spite of my best intentions, they happen. So here are some tips for other Moms to handle their Mommy meltdowns better:

Tips to Help with Mommy Meltdowns:

  1. Am I sleeping enough? What is happening to cause your sleep to be interrupted? Are you not delegating things so as to alleviate stress? Are you not exercising? Are you not communicating to those around you about your problems? These can all trigger stressful episodes that get worse without you being pro-active.
  2. Are you not making time for 5-10 min of “Me Time” a day: This is especially hard if you have more than one child and/or if you are a single parent. But it is essential. I have one child and a partner, and still there have been times when I tend to get overwhelmed. Take the time for you. You, you partner and/or kids will thank you.
  3. Don’t be overly strict: Yep. As I write these words now, I know this is what I am striving for, yet I still have days and weeks when I fail to practice this. Why? Because it is easy to fall back on what we learned as children. The same strategies do not work for a child with autism. I sometimes need to be reminded of that. If you forget, don’t worry. Just remember for the next time.
  4. Reach out to other parents of exceptional children: I guarantee you. Whatever story you tell to your community of how you badly handled a situation with your child with autism, they will still support you and commiserate. I have been in both positions with my Mom friends, confessing and supporting.My parent community has always rallied  around me (as I did to them), and told me that my child and I are amazing and doing the best we both can. And we are and do!

 

Exceptional Parents, do you have Mommy and Daddy meltdowns with your Exceptional Child/dren? It’s alright. We all do, just as they do with us. We are human, and even if we know better, parenting and being a child is hard work. Forgive yourself, forgive your child, and learn from your mistakes. Don’t be afraid to try new things for you and your child either that will break the dynamic of tension. You will be amazed by the results. Until next time.

 

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

A Cry For Help: How Exceptional Child Anger Shows Where Moms Can Make Changes

 

adult, annoyed, blur

How many times have I wished I could take back things I have said and done. How many times have all of us felt that way as parents. Our children feel it too. Michael and I had had a really tough morning the other day. Lots of factors contributed to it. The routine changed. He had not slept well. And he has been feeling increasingly out of control, probably to adjusting to the demands of school where he has to do things he does not always like. I would like to say that I was one hundred percent present for Michael, but alas, I also have been out of sorts. I have been very busy with work, things in the house, and have been feeling my own nerves fraying at the edges. I have done my best with using strategies,  but the other morning when Michael woke up super early I knew we were both in trouble. Two stressed family members does not a good morning make.

I realized he was upset that we couldn’t plan out our after school time, but I had told him we would look at the calendar after school. Now was not the time. Michael was not happy with that and a lot of emotions had been building up. He started screaming, hitting himself and me, and banged the wall. I could not remain calm myself and started yelling and told him to go to his room. I briskly directed him there. Five minutes later he emerged and went to eat his breakfast. I stayed in the bathroom breathing and calming myself a few minutes longer than stepped into the kitchen to join Michael for the remainder of breakfast. He had let out all his anxiety,  and we talked after apologizing to one another how important it is to use our words, be in touch with how we feel in our bodies, and use these strategies to calm down not aggressive behavior. What is important for parents to realize, even when we are angry, is that anxiety and aggression are a cry for help in our child. They are feeling out of control and powerless. It is imperative for the parent or individual close by to stay calm and collected or as calm and collected as possible. If you fail at that, just own up to it. I did. And it changed things for the two of us from then on.

 

When he came home from school there were hugs for me after I repeatedly assured him I was no longer angry and reminded him that even when angry, I love him very much and never stop. He told he had been afraid to come home thinking I was still angry. I told him I was not, and that he need never be afraid to be home, but that rules need to be followed and respect worked two ways, me and him towards one another. I realized that I maybe had not been as  clear as to what he needed to do that morning. It is something I now remind myself of as much as I do other parents. We all make mistakes once in awhile.

Exceptional Parents, what has lead your Exceptional Children to be aggressive in the past? What was your child doing before the behavior, and what was the consequence for their actions in the past? Also, how have they been handling stress in general in their life? Have they looked to you as the safe port in the ocean? If not, make sure you remind them that you are always there, even with mistakes, imperfections and anything, to love, teach and accept them for all that they are. Good luck parents. You can do it. Until next time.

 

Looking for new tools to manage anxiety and stress in yourself and your child? Download my FREE EBOOK on “5 WAYS TO MANAGE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” here: http://www.exceptionalparenting.site88.net. 

Negative Forecasting And How To Help My Son Over It

http://mrg.bz/7791d8

 

No matter how many skills Michael continues to learn and the intelligence he display daily, there is something he still struggles with and I know will for years to come, anxiety and worrying about the future in the shape of negative forecasting. He comes from a whole long line of us worriers in the family, and as a child and adult who was a huge worrier and is slowly learning coping mechanisms, I feel his pain. As frustrating as it is as a parent when I am trying to make him see to take it one day at a time and he is worrying about one month from now or six, I know what he is feeling as the insecure child. In addition, I am noticing all kinds of tics or OCD type behavior when he is feeling most stressed. He will walk over certain parts of the pavement if he feels he didn’t do something right on our walk, he will tap a wall or light walking passed it. I know these are probably OCD tics, so staying calm and reminding him to relax takes on a whole new level than my Mom had to do with me when all I had was the negative forecasting. We were told by a doctor that medication for the anxiety and obsessions would not be a good idea as it would make some of the other traits of his autism worse. At any rate, we don’t want him taking medication unless there is no other choice. First we plan on exploring many other avenues to help Michael learn to control his anxiety, such as CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy). The school psychologist will be working with him on a weekly basis to help with showing him ways he can relax and handle stress and anxiety.

So how do I help Michael with his negative forecasting? Well, other than the counselling he will be receiving at school again this year, I use tools the Psycho Educator from our community advised last year. These don’t work all the time, but I’m hoping with practice he will learn to walk and move when he is stressed, find a quiet place to cry or get his emotions out, and learn how to talk more about his feelings to me or someone also he trusts so they don’t overpower him. I also have found great tools on sites like Pinterest which have pictograms depicting emotions. I have them up on the fridge for Michael to refer to when he is stressed, and help him learn to express himself easier. He is starting to use these tools.

Exceptional Parents, what has worked for you and your child when handling anxiety and negative forecasting? What kind of tools do you use and what has been recommended to you? All of our children are different, so of course there is no “one size fits all” solution. As with all else, the best thing to do is to look at the problem from your child’s level of understanding and try out different techniques with them to see what works. Above all, having patience and staying calm is the best you can do for both of you as they will learn patience with themselves too. Until next time.

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

Acting Out and Learning to Turn Inward-What Michael’s Anxiety Has Taught Me

 

http://mrg.bz/15645e

Yesterday afternoon had been a tough day at school for Michael. The rain made it all the more harder to listen, and when he walked through the door demanding to go somewhere and not stay home in his ugly house, I knew. He was running away from his anxiety. A family member recently pointed out to me how lots of people with anxiety do it. It’s true. I used to also. Then I started losing myself in other activities around the house or obsessing about friends’ problems. After that, I started realizing I had to get a hold of myself and handle my own emotions. With great difficulty, I see I have to start teaching this to Michael now. At first he was just angry when I reminded him this was the day we stay home. He hates being home and always likes to be on the move, but I know from personal experience, it’s not healthy if you never turn off. I helped him calm himself before the tantrum turned into meltdown, and then we talked and the story came out. He had gotten in trouble and was afraid to go back to school. He’d been put in time out and was worried the teacher would still be mad. I told him no. He made the mistake, he sat it out, learned his lesson, and now it was time to move on.

 

The whole week has been an anxious trial for Michael. He has been testing me with rude behaviors and some aggression. I have been exhausted by it all, and realized I had to start taking better care of myself. My meditation and yoga are what have gotten me through, along with a visit to the local spa for a hot tub stint. I also finally got in an aerobic workout yesterday. I need to think of parenting Michael like a marathon, and in a marathon you need to be rested, energized and relaxed to give your child the best. By Wednesday I had gotten the hang of having more patience, not taking his outbursts personally, and reminding myself, if it is hard for me imagine what he is feeling. I am the adult who needs to set the example.

 

http://mrg.bz/57c3ce

 

Now when he is reacting aggressively and testing, I ask myself: “What is the reason behind the behavior? What is he telling me?” When I remained calm, he finally opened up and  apologized. We were not only friends by bedtime, but I heard a symphonies of “I love you Mommy’s.” “You’re the best Mommy God gave me.” “You give the best hugs.” And at one point, all he wanted to do was hug, cuddle and laugh. He had just needed to be reminded that I always love him no matter what. And I showed him you could get mad, but still love someone. I was reminded about the importance of connecting to your child when they are angry and frustrated. Give them their space and time and they will come to you.

 

Exceptional Parents, how do you connect with your Exceptional Children after an outburst? How do you stay calm when they are enraged? It is hard, and sometimes as parents we say or do the wrong thing. That is alright. Use it as a teaching moment to show your child, particularly if they are anxious, that we all make mistakes and can learn from them. No one is perfect, but everyone deserves a chance to be loved and try again. Until next time.

 

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

 

Late Buses And Stress-The New Way This Exceptional Family Handles The Unexpected

http://mrg.bz/b210f0

 

Michael never ceases to amaze me. He will freak out over things like taking a certain street he doesn’t like, or if I don’t let him choose his snacks. Understandably, he wants control, but sometimes he is really upset over this. His bus coming late this morning and bringing him home super late? For that, he was only mildly perturbed you could say. What set him off? When I told him we wouldn’t have time to go to the park due to the late hour. But after giving him his space and taking mine, he recovered quickly. I am truly amazed at what he is able to start handling, and even when he does get upset, like insulting me or overturning furniture he will look at me or Dad as if to say, “what are you going to do about it?” Instead, we calmly explain, “we don’t hit, scream, insult or throw things when we get upset. Neither do you. Use your strategies.”

The first day of school is always a little bit of a whirlwind what with the bus routes changing and the drivers having to learn a new way to go. Then, there is the fact that we had work being done by the city on our own street yesterday which further complicated matters. Well, that’s life right. I thought how ironic, that it is all happening at once but sometimes that’s how it goes and you have to learn to go with the flow. You have to make the best of it. I tell Michael this all the time. Now I am living it, or doing my best to when I briefly forget my words. Explaining all these changes to Michael was not easy, but he surprised me. He handled it, asked some questions, and then we went with our evening, I went from being a ” bad mother who I won’t hug” due to no park when he got home, to at bedtime, “the best mother I could ever have.”

http://mrg.bz/f9b437

Seeing how I handled the unpredictability  yesterday too made me feel pretty proud of me. I had come very far from the anxious type A woman I have been for most of my life. I used to also try and control things, or at the very least, worry compulsively about them. That was my way of trying to feel more powerful in my life where I had felt so powerless in many ways. That changed when I saw how I could have power, peace and control if I learned how to let go. I do this by meditating and living in the moment. Sometimes I stumble, I fall and I get back up. This is the lesson I want Michael to learn. It is important I practice it myself.

Exceptional Parents, how does stress impact your Exceptional Child? What lessons have you learned from teaching your child to handle stress? Don’t worry if there are times you have not set the best example. Apologize to your child, and talk to them about both of you using your strategies to calm down and move on better the next time. We are all human and need to learn from one another. Until next time.

 

Feeling stressed about fall and back to school? You are not alone.  Download my FREE EBOOK on “5 WAYS TO MANAGE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” here: http://www.exceptionalparenting.site88.net. 

 

How Michael And I Challenge Each Other

http://mrg.bz/25f56e

 

I have tried this summer to give Michael more challenges.  This has usually worked out beautifully, but at other times it has backfired on me. Michael has had to remind me that I don’t understand or that he can’t do it. Sometimes he has been right, other times, with gentle encouragement, I have showed him that he is wrong and can do it. But I am beginning to see the advantages of pushing him a little bit and what I expect of him, as long as he has ways of handling his stress.

Emotions continue to be the difficult thing for him to handle, especially when he gets overwhelmed and frustrated. I am constantly talking with and reminding him when he is calm about using his strategies when upset to handle his emotions, but lately due to the time of year and increasing anxiety about school, he will fall back into hitting himself, hitting me, or screaming and swearing or other inappropriate behavior. The good thing is that he is catching himself more quickly after these incidents, calming down and apologizing, but stopping the overreaction is still too difficult for him. It is a process and one I know he will get through as will I using patience and love.  It’s just a matter of him finding something that works for him. Ever since he was a baby, once Michael understood something, he became an expert at it above and beyond.

http://mrg.bz/d0fce2

Some challenges I have been asking of him are help around the house, waiting to go places or staying home until late morning, a VERY hard thing for my active kid to do, and teaching him how to initiate a conversation and not to interrupt one in progress. This is also hard. He will often interrupt with an “excuse me Mommy.” It’s all coming though, and I see how he is doing his best. The other day Michael gave me a challenge. He wanted to go for a long bike ride. The route sounded far too long for him to bike, but I decided we would do it as he wanted to try it. I left my bike at home in case he would need some help from me in giving him a push or two. I really did not expect to get farther than another five minutes of our usual route of about thirty minutes. He has not been bike riding consistently this summer, so I figured he would be tired. He actually did the equivalent of an hour and a half! And yes, he was flying down the bike path on a busy stretch near our house. I was the crazy happy Mom jogging along side him marveling how, once again, I had been proved wrong. I was so happy about it!

Michael has always surprised me like this, even though I now know that he is full of wonderful abilities and is wiser than me in some ways. He later confessed he didn’t know if he could do it, but “I pushed through Mommy and forced myself.” He was smiling as he said it. I corrected him by saying he did not force himself, but he pushed and tried so hard he succeeded! I was so proud of him. On the way back home, he said he couldn’t do it, but I told him in a firm voice I couldn’t push the bike home he had to. And so he did. Michael reminded me how important it is to never give up on ourselves.

Exceptional Parents, what challenges do you give your Exceptional Children? What challenges are you maybe afraid to try? Remember, our kids will only be brave if we show them that we believe in them. As parents, our job is two fold: reminding them of what they can do, and reminding ourselves of what they can do. Then, we can show others, teachers, therapists and professionals the amazing things our children are capable of doing. Until next time.

 

How Being Concrete Can Help You Get Inside Your Exceptional Child’s Mind

http://mrg.bz/3bb955

 

Michael is an amazing little boy, and extremely complex. The same can be said of many children, and many adults. We all have our layers of complexity, and getting to know one another can be challenging. Having autism is truly having a brain that works differently than most people’s. It is also amazing how much gets lost in the shuffle of communication. I used to naively think that when Michael learned to talk more, we would not have the misunderstandings, the meltdowns, the anxiety. Instead, it sometimes seems to complicate and frustrate both Michael and I even more. There are disagreements, the meshing out of things, and constant negotiations. He wonders why I don’t understand what he is saying and I feel the same. It is getting better though, with each passing day.

What is helping me is this whole neuro diversity and different brain movement happening in our world today. This movement is showing me how Michael really does see things differently, and how he needs things broken down to him so he can get where I am coming from. It is also I who need him to explain to me sometimes what he needs. He is getting better at doing this.

A good example is the following. We were playing tennis the other day, and though I had told Michael we could only play for a half hour to have time to go to the park, I had thought giving him a five minute warning that the thirty minutes had elapsed was enough. That was not the case. Michael felt taken by surprise, angry and thought that a half hour couldn’t possibly have passed. He had a big fight with me and that afternoon ended in tears and a meltdown. Afterwards, when he had calmed down he had told me why I hadn’t explained to him what a half hour was, showed him. He is starting to learn to tell time at school, and I honestly thought he knew. I apologized. Ever since this time only a short week ago, I now make sure my instructions to Michael are very clear, have him repeat back to me what will happen and ask him if he has any questions.

 

http://mrg.bz/eafd20

 

I am beginning to see that I have to be very concrete and precise when I outline the day to Michael. I have also asked him to tell me when he is anxious, confused or needs clarification. Last night I had told him to get ready for bed and choose his story then wait for him when he is done. I was on the couch reading a book. He proceeded to get his story and wait on the couch with me. I had made the mistake of not telling him to “wait in your room.” When I calmly turned to him and asked him what he was doing on the couch next to me he said, “waiting for you Mommy.” I almost laughed. Michael then realized, “oh, you wanted me to wait in my room. Next time tell me Mommy.”  Michael has been calmly reminding me how he needs clarification and I have been doing my best to give it.

Exceptional Parents, are you making sure that you are super clear when you talk or structure the day with your Exceptional Child? Don’t worry if  you have not been. It’s a learning curve for all parents, as most kids will throw new things out at us. Exceptional Kids though often forget that their brains work on a different level than ours, so they too need to be reminded to pace themselves when talking or explaining things to us as we do to them. That’s all you can do as your child’s caregiver, love them for all they are, and show them they can tell and trust you with anything. Until next time.

Exceptional Organizing by Drawing Or Writing Out The Day

20160724_140734.jpg

Michael’s Day by Michael 🙂

 

Anyone who knows me knows my favorite two words these days-strategies and tools. Why? Well, it’s because my little guy has taught me the value of having good strategies and tools at your disposal whether you are an exceptional child or parent. We all need to have ways to organize our day, our thoughts and what is going on around us. Why should our exceptional children be different? Actually, they thrive with this and it helps them even more.

Many years ago when my son was in an adapted preschool there was a guest who came to talk to the parents at one of the evening workshops. These featured an occupational therapist, a speech language pathologist, as well as a nutritionist. Another evening, it was the father of a son with autism. He and his son were artists, and the son, though limited verbally, expressed himself through drawing and literally drew out his day and how he was feeling. It helped lessen his anxiety and communicate better with his Dad, teachers and therapists. There in that workshop I learned something valuable which I shared with Michael. After pictograms no longer worked, I began drawing stick figures of his day on paper so he would know what is happening. I would insert them in social stories. Then last year as Michael’s handwriting skills improved exponentially, he looked at me and told me he would now write out the day. What started as lines has now progressed to the words you see in the pictures in this blog post. Amazing! He will often ask me what is happening, then proceed to write out the day. It has helped him deal with anxiety, frustration and anger. Last week all I had to say to defuse a mini tantrum, was remind him to write out the day as we had talked about it the night before.

Whatever writing or drawing level your child is at, encourage them on paper to “draw or write out” their day. Michael used to do lines. No matter. As that father taught me all those years ago, they had meaning for Michael and I labeled them:

___________- park

_________-lunch

___________-grandmas’s house

etc. If your child cannot draw or write, do it for them and talk to them about it. Or, if they are partly on their way to doing it, help them hand over hand. You will seen the amazing results in time with this technique.

Exceptional Parents, what tools help you and your Exceptional Child best handle the day? For some, it is pictograms, for some drawing, for some writing. Whatever the method, help your child learn to organize their day. Organize yours in a similar way. If they see you are a creature ruled by good habits, good tools and strategies, that will motivate them to find things that work to lessen their anxiety and stress. Until next time.

 

 

5 Ways Exceptional Parents Can Be On The Same Page To Handle Challenging Behaviors

 

http://mrg.bz/024ca5

It’s been a little bit of a whirlwind this summer as Michael learns to use his strategies to handle his anxieties while also trying to play Mom and Dad off each other.  While we are happy he has made some intellectual ground, manipulation towards anyone is not a good thing. We both know we do Michael no favors if we let him think he can manipulate due to fear and anger. Dad and I don’t have a lot of time to talk, as a lot of parents don’t in this day and age, even those of neuro typical children. Exceptional children have the added element that in some areas they are a little behind, so the parent who underestimates them thinks that they do not know what is going on. Truly, I tell you that they are superior in more ways than behind, so never think your child is not manipulative in some way. This will help you help them more.

You love them. And believe it or not they love you too in their own way. But it is hard and frustrating to handle negotiations and other issues. So for those looking for new tricks to be on the same page as their partner for dealing with challenging behaviors in their children, here are my 5 suggestions:

  1. Set a time of day when you can talk uninterrupted: This is easier said than done, I know. We tried the other day EARLY am and had  a little visitor come into our bedroom and start the day.:)  So we are back to the drawing board. Even if it’s a 5 min briefing make sure you how to respond when your child tests you with a firm, loving hand.
  2. Use the SODA formula for interacting with your child: I’ve talked about this before in my blog. (www.healyourlife.com).  I have this up on the cork board in our kitchen .Even Michael practices it now.

S top

O bserve

D etach

A waken

Great ways to see behaviors for what they are. You can only tackle something when you are calm and centered yourself.

3. Text each other strategies: Oh yes, this is Michael’s Dad and I. It is hard to talk around a child that senses, knows and seems to see everything. We are thrilled about this, but it makes it hard to touch base. Texting is our best bet, just be careful when they start to read like mine. He tried to read a text I sent to Dad the other day before I gently told him, “sorry hon, that’s private.”

4. Schedule parent meetings camouflaged as dates: Yes, I know it is hard enough to have date nights, but you may need to schedule a few working lunches/dinners to talk about how to handle issues with your child .The alternative is the child playing the parents off each other and stress in the house. A no win situation for all.

5. Involve a Psycho Educator, Psychologist or someone outside to help you and your partner: Make sure to tell your child (if they are worried and threatened), the truth that this person is part of their team, as I have said to my son. (Team Michael, Team Joanne for me etc. ). This person is helping Mommy/Daddy to understand you and ourselves better so we can all live happier.

Exceptional Parents, what strategies do you and your partners use to discipline and handle challenging issues with your child? I would love to hear what has worked and what has not. The most important thing to realize though as with everything concerning your child and family, you go with how you are all most comfortable living, and make sure everyone is on the same page rule wise in your household. It is the only way to grow together and be a happier Exceptional Family unit. Until next time.