Tag: love

How Exceptional Mom Calm Makes All the Difference for Exceptional Children

Today Michael was home on a PED DAY. As usual I made sure to structure it with him so that he would know what to expect. He is getting better with leaving some unstructured time, but I find for both of us, particularly as I work at home, that we need on again, off again time where he is alone, I am with him, and then I am alone working. He knows Mom gets up early to work. Mom works while she is not with him. And Mom works at night. I remind him that having your own business and working from home means that and also that this way I am flexible to be there for him too. There is a lot of juggling, but both of us are getting the hang of it.

What I have been finding more and more lately is how when I am calm about anything it registers on a deeper level in Michael. Obviously, he is surface calm too seeing me laughing and we make jokes together. This morning we even had some affectionate moments when he was hugging and kissing me. These don’t happen that often anymore as he is getting older and starting to push away. I treasure them when I have them. He senses how happy I am to be with him and how calm. He picks up on my vibes. Likewise, the other day I was a little stressed and he picked up on that too. The challenging behaviors started coming out. It’s tough. As parents, we try to hold it together, but sometimes we just collapse and yell, swear (guilty of that one recently) and feel like we have failed. But we haven’t. We have simply seen what is not working and observed the difference in our child.

Michael asks lots of questions. He is curious about everything and everyone. I both love it and sometimes am exasperated by it. Still, I realize this is the only way to learn. By asking. By trying. By being. Isn’t that when I started making headway in my life? Yes, it was when I stopped being afraid to ask questions. When I stopped being afraid to try and conquer my anxiety and my fear. That is when I was reborn and now, hopefully, after a challenging December can start imparting that peace to Michael and others in my family.

Exceptional Parents, when you stop and are calm no matter what, how does this affect your Exceptional Child? Watch them next time; their face, their mannerisms, their voice, their body language. Don’t be afraid to just be with them no matter what else is happening. You are their most important connection even when they are angry at you. Show them how much they are loved by keeping calm body, mind and soul. Until next time.

Are you looking to make changes in your special needs parenting life? Do you need support on your journey?  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.

Looking to make a fresh start in 2017 with the way you handle anxiety in your special needs family? Download my FREE EBOOK: “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” http://www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com/EBOOKS

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5 Ways to Reconnect With Your Child Who Has Autism

Michael and I have had our ups and downs in recent months. Now, we are on the ups again, and even when there are difficult moments, as I’ve said in previous posts, we gain equilibrium. He is learning how to manage his emotions as I am learning to manage mine. It is normal with any child that you will have moments of connect, and moments of disconnect. It is how you learn to navigate them that will make all the difference. That is what I have discovered with Michael, and hopefully, he with me.

Michael has been learning how to handle his feelings better. How to cry, talk about his emotions, and not resort to challenging behaviors to get his needs met. Some days are easier than others. Last night was an example where he was stressed, but quickly went to his room to calm down and managed to regulate himself. I was so proud of him. Yes, there were outbursts. Yes, there were moments when he hit objects, his head and yelled at me. But I stayed calm and quietly reminded him to redirect himself. And he did! It’s a beautiful thing for a Mom to witness on a tough afternoon for her child that the lessons his school psychologist, teacher and I are helping him with, are sinking in. He was a champ.

But, if as a parent you are having trouble reconnecting with your child, what can you do? Here are some ways I have found to reconnect with my son who has autism:

  1. Be there physically, mentally and spiritually there for them: Simple right? Wrong. On days when work calls, another child beckons for your attention or you are just out of it yourself, this is challenging. Still, this is mandatory that your child senses you are there listening to them in body and spirit. That’s when even if they have challenges, they will get through them as they know their parents are there for them.
  2. Make sure you check in with “you” throughout the day: As a parent, this is crucial. When was the last time you checked in with how you are feeling emotionally, physically or spiritually? If you are burnt out, frustrated, and have not been taking care of yourself guess what, your kids extra emotional sensors will pick up on it. And you will be no good to them or you. If you are having a tough day and can’t do all your self-care things, be honest about it. Do something gentle for you so when they come home, they sense it too.
  3. Listen to what their interests are and go with it: This is so important. My little guy is now into making imaginary friends and houses. Go figure he wants to do crafts! At the  park, he wants to race for his imaginary friends. Again, I am going with it, as it is encouraging his imagination, fine motor development and communication. Don’t tell your kid it’s weird and move on. Go with it. Remember also, it’s the weird people who get things done and move the world.
  4. Let them cry or yell as long as they are not destructive: This is one I have learned the hard way. I let Michael release all his emotions crying, yelling, stress, as long as he is not aggressive. Aggressive behavior is not allowed as it doesn’t help anyone. I let him release his emotions and it is truly helping him come in his own.
  5. Cuddle and bond in whatever way you can: Some kids get to a certain age and don’t want cuddling in the daytime, but many enjoy cuddling at night, kissing, hugging. I make sure to have this time with Michael or give him that time in some other way by talking or laughing in the day. Kids need to know you are there for them.

Exceptional Parents, how do you reconnect with your kids who have autism? How do you tell them you love them and are there for them? They know you are even if they don’t ask the question or can say the words. Say it. Hug them. Spend time with them doing what they love, and most importantly, make sure to tell them how special they are to you. They need to hear it at least once a day. I love you is so important for all of us to hear. Until next time.

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

 

 

 

5 Ways To Teach Empathy and Show Love-Exceptional Mom and Son Lessons

So empathy is a hard thing for people with autism to understand, or least, the way we neuro typical people see empathy and feeling for another person. It is not due to insensitivity or cruelty, but rather due to a different way of seeing the world. I have noticed with Michael that as he gets older it is easier in some ways to communicate his frustration, angst and anxiety in himself and towards another person, but harder to feel sympathy for the other person in question. For example, he will laugh at a friend who is struggling or feeling embarrassed if it doesn’t fit in with what the friend is supposed to be doing, yet doesn’t see the many struggles he has socially fitting in or people that may look at him strangely due to social challenges of how to talk and engage with other people.

Michael has also reflected back to me times I have struggled in being more understanding and forgiving, by telling me he is doing the best that he can when I have lost my temper with him.  It has reminded me that I need to be a good mirror to Michael of not only how to do things right, but when I make a mistake, how I can correct myself and show him what NOT to do.  With Michael’s help, I have found  5 ways to show empathy and teach love. I have shown some to Michael and he has shown others to me.

  1. Listen to what the other person is saying: This sounds obvious, but what I really mean is to REALLY listen to the tone they are using when they talk about things, to the words they are not saying that will sometimes slip out unconsciously. You bring up an event your child does not want to go to and they begin to swear or get angry or insult. The child obviously feels scared or threatened, but does not know how to show this. You immediately get angry. Try to take a deep breath, and ask them to explain as best they can.
  2. Watch their body language: Kids and adults when uncomfortable, will carry themselves a certain way, shoulders more tense, hunched, maybe moving a lot, fidgeting. This is a sign of stress. Wait and let them find the space to tell you their thoughts.
  3.  Show them love when they are being difficult: This is easily the hardest of the five to do. When someone is being rude, insensitive or cruel, it is hard to love them. We feel betrayed and angry, but acceptance is essential so they know we are there. Michael and I have hurt each other in anger, but now are both learning to forgive one another so we can move forward and make progress.
  4. Put yourself in the person’s shoes : This is hard for our kids with autism who have a difficult time with abstract thinking. Even for those of us who do not have autism, we are sometimes stuck in a pattern of self-pity and personal stress so we can’t see past that when we are angry at someone or jealous of them. Make an effort to get past your own negative feelings.
  5. Practice caring scenarios with your child and see how you can reach out to others: This is a good exercise that you can do with your child in order to teach them how to reach out to others who are struggling, scared, and alone. Do this yourself as a a parent too. Give to charities, help the needy in your community, and make helping others a major part of your family life.

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Exceptional Parents, how do you teach empathy and love to your Exceptional Children? What has and has not worked? Remember, trial and error is part of life for all of us. Teach your child to learn from their mistakes, and not beat themselves up. Only when they (and you), can let go of past failures in personal relationships, can embrace a happier and healthier future. 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