Tag: parenting

Keeping the Balance on Holiday with Exceptional Kids

Balance. That is challenging even for us neuro typical people over the holidays. After all, the holidays are all about parties, overeating, sleep and wake schedules altered so forth. Even if you are back at work in between as are many people, there is still the challenges above to contend with. Now, imagine our exceptional kids. Sometimes it’s hard when we are struggling as their parents to adjust. What are the best ways to make the adjustment to the holidays as easy as possible? Here are some suggestions:

  1. Keep same sleep/wake schedule as much as possible: Try to keep the same sleep/wake schedule as much as is possible. This will mean your child and you will be that much more rested to handle things.
  2. Plan out week or two on paper: This really helps our family. We plan out on paper in advance what we will be doing. It helps cut down on the anxiety for Michael and us. Of course plans change so it is a rough schedule and we explain that. At least he has a guide to go with though.
  3. Make sure to have a mix of activity and downtime for all family: Over scheduling is something we used to do as Michael needs to be busy a lot and that would often backfire. Even he needs his downtime particularly as he gets older and I see how anxious he is. Make sure it is clear to child and parents when is down time and when is activity time.
  4.  Keep your sense of humor: Patience parents and laugh at the little things. Kids will be kids and yes being home with them will sometimes magnify little bad habits and you will get annoyed and yell. Remember, they are doing their best. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
  5. Enjoy unique family activities done at this time of year-make it a tradition. Maybe it’s a holiday movie with popcorn, maybe a sledding day with lunch out,  maybe it’s caroling or a New Year’s Even party or baking, whatever, enjoy positive family activities that are part of this time of the year.

Exceptional Parents, how do you keep the balance with your Exceptional Kids? Remember, a little bit of rest and a little bit of activity is usually the way to go. Do what feels right for you and your family.  And as hard as this time of the year is, try and enjoy the fun times with family. If your child senses your calm state of mind, they will usually follow suit. Until next time.

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

 

 

 

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How To Plan For A Calm And Peaceful Holiday With Your Exceptional Child

It’s here. The last day of school before Christmas Eve. I am filled with excitement and fear, as I always am at this time of year. I feel excitement for obvious reasons; seeing family, catching up, eating great food, opening presents. Fear is something only other families of exceptional children will understand. It’s the fear of the new routine, and how it will affect Michael and our family. It is the fear of increased tantrums and meltdowns, Michael’s and ours, as we try to make the holiday a peaceful and happy one for the most part. My expectations for Michael are different than when he was a baby. My own expectations about the holiday are different too as are Dad’s. We just want peace. Not perfection. We just want to make it through the day without battles, crying and feeling overwhelmed. We know this is hard. Someone with autism has challenges in a regular routine in our crazy world. Throw in a holiday that lasts two weeks without the same structure and well, you need to expect some chaos. It’s how you manage the chaos as a parent. I can never get used to the fact that the happiest times of the year for other people are the hardest ones for families whose children have exceptional challenges.

Dad and I have had our good days managing our emotions around Michael’s behaviors and our bad days. This week has been a mix of both. It is with caution this year that we are embarking on Christmas. We spoke earlier this morning about what has to change in our household, with Michael, and with how we individually handle our own emotions. The time of year is difficult too with the shorter darker days.  All I know is what I don’t want to do. I love my child, but the last month it has been hard to like him. There I said it. Dad feels this way too. When he tests and fights us on everything it is draining and frustrating. I count down the minutes till bedtime when I can have an hour or two of peace and pray for strength to be there for him in the morning. It is not how I want to go into Christmas, but there you have it. I know Michael has entered puberty and is trying out new things. He’s seeing how far he can push. As parents, we need to remain strong, united. Most of the time we are , but we are only human and have our moments when we fail Michael and ourselves. We get up, dust ourselves off, and start again.

Exceptional Parents, what are you planning to do to have a calm and peaceful holiday? Are you visiting relatives or staying in? Are they coming to you? Remember, whatever you decide to do, make sure it will bring you and your family peace overall. You need to think of the whole picture of the holiday and what will make your child, and other children as well as you and your partner, happy and content. There are no perfect families and holiday scenarios even in neuro typical families. Don’t strive for that. Strive instead to be true to yourself and your family, and do what will give everyone happiness and health and balance. Happy Holidays! Until next time.

Joanne Giacomini is a writer, speaker and parent coach at “Exceptional Parenting/Exceptional Balance” www.exceptionalparenting.net. She also blogs on her personal blog, “Exceptional Mom/Exceptional Child” at www.exceptionalmomchild. com,  about how her son with autism is raising her! She writes regularly about parenting and autism at “M List,” as “Montreal Autism Mom”, “The West Island Suburban’s “Parenting 101 bloggers,” and “Huff Post Parents Canada”. Her posts on parenting and autism have been featured on “BlogHer Family-Special Needs”, ”Her View From Home”,  “Romper”, “Yummy Mummy Club Canada, as well as “Scary Mommy.” She also writes for “The Things”,“Baby Gaga” and “The Talko.”You can follow Joanne on Twitter @exceptmomchild.

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

Ready, Set, Go-How to Teach Your Exceptional Child to Accept the Consequences of Their Actions

I am proud of Michael for so many things. He is becoming increasingly independent in dressing, eating and deciding on his likes/dislikes. His navigation skills are getting better. He is learning how to behave in stores and how money works. And at school he is reading and writing beautifully. But it is on afternoons and evenings like this when he is overstimulated, unable to regulate himself that he struggles so intensely. This time of year is always hard on him too. I feel for him, but yet I know he knows better and could do better. He says he loves no homework, but the lack of structure makes it difficult for him. He has nothing to do after school. Couple that in with a fun day today of the Santa Breakfast where he had too much food, then did not like the park he went sledding to, as well as feeling tired and boom, he had his first meltdown right after school. His challenging behavior goes from hitting us, to hitting property, to hitting his head. Then he will swear, the “f” words, the “s” word. It is continuous. It is done to drive us crazy and see how far he can push.

He has openly and happily said that at home he doesn’t have anything to lose. I corrected him on that by telling him not so. We may not have a behavior tech on staff, but if he loses all his tokens and continues, he will lose his reward and if he continues after that, he will lose his fun bedtime routine. Dad and I remaining calm, but it is difficult when he is yelling and asking us to repeat ourselves and trying to control every move we make, by following us and yelling and crying. He is fighting for himself, and the negotiating he is doing make me see the future lawyer in him. Still all jokes aside, the energy he is wasting could be put to better use, calming himself down and asking for help. Finding the right formula for the right time of year is the hard part.

Teaching our kids to de-stress and feel their anxiety before it blows out of proportion is the challenging part. It is particularly challenging when techniques that used to work don’t work anymore. I make Michael part of the solution process, though so far we have only had minimal success. I am trying to get him to be more in touch with his body, with what is happening inside before he volcanoes and I can’t stop him from hitting me, himself or property. It is not a tantrum, not a meltdown, but a little bit of both. He is enraged and I stay nearby to make sure he doesn’t do serious damage, but yet can’t touch him. That is another problem. He is on the cusp of puberty, so he is restricting my hugs and kisses, unless on his terms. It is understandable, but makes for a further stress in helping him. As with all anxiety and anger management issues, it requires lots of trial and error till as a parent you find what works for your child. We have our ups and downs, and then find our middle ground.

Exceptional Parents, how do you handle the challenges of behavior in your child? What methods have worked for you? What have not? The important thing is to never give up trying to reach your child. If you make a mistake, admit it to yourself and them. But also, have them own up to their mistakes. If a child cannot take responsibility for their actions, you will not be able to reach them no matter what you do. And take heart. We all make mistakes. Tomorrow is another day. 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. For more information on my parent coaching programs, and to book a FREE 30 Minute Consultation, see my website: http://www.exceptionalparenting.net

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

Classical Mommy, Beard Daddy-See Ourselves Through Our Exceptional Son’s Eyes

 

So the other night at bedtime I was cuddling with Michael, over twelve minute (not five, not ten, but twelve) minute cuddle before I left his room. We were lying side by side and he grabbed me in a hug. Then he said the strangest and cutest thing:

“Mommy, you are a classical Mommy, and Daddy is a beard Daddy.”

Ok Daddy with the beard I got. When he hugs and kisses his Dad he sometimes rubs up against stubbble on Dad’s cheek, but classical Mommy? What did that mean? I asked him.

“It means classical. You help people Mommy. You help Mommies and Daddies and kids with autism.”

My eyes welled up with tears and I hugged him back hard while my own heart soared. He understood what I was trying to do with my coaching and writing.  He understood how I wanted to help people and give back to others what had been given to me; hope, community and belief again in myself as a good parent with a child who simply thinks outside the box and needs special guidance. He would lead me if I let him.

“Will you always help me Mommy?”

“Always buddy.”

“I love you too Mommy. You’re the best Mommy I ever had.”

Then we did our usual ten minute good night kiss (he is ever the lovey dovey one at bedtime) then he asked me where I would be, upstairs on the couch or downstairs working. Most of the time he knows what the answer is.

“Downstairs  working buddy.”

“You’re going to do your blog?”

“Yes, honey.”

We said our good nights and off I went to work while Michael went to bed. As I made my way downstairs to my home office I started thinking about all the changes I’ve been noticing in Michael. He is becoming even more observant about the details of my life and his Dad’s. He is picking up nuances in conversations, (ones he is supposed to overhear and those he is not). Dad and I have to be really careful. And he is becoming a really thoughtful young man in the way he expresses himself and his caring ways towards his friends. We do have to deal with some insensitive  feelings he doesn’t always realize he is displaying, but we understand that it comes with the territory of having  confused social understandings sometimes about people and occasions. We are handling it.

Seeing his displaying this kind of maturity though, knowing his own mind so clearly, whether he is happy or upset, is really inspiring for me. On the days when he and I struggle, I remember how smart and special my little guy is and know that whatever he will do one day in the world it will be an incredible contribution.

Exceptional Parents, how many times have your Exceptional Children amazed you with things they’ve said or come up with? Our children have such a unique view and vision of the world. It’s important we encourage their unique mind and what comes out of it. They will do amazing things and constantly surprise us and the world if we show them how cool we know they are. 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 GooglePlus. For more information on my parent coaching programs, and to book a FREE 30 Minute Consultation, see my website: http://www.exceptionalparenting.n

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

What This Exceptional Mom Learned When She Underestimated Her Exceptional Child

So yesterday morning Michael did it again. What, you ask? He surprised me big time, and made me feel like a fool for underestimating his ability to listen and follow rules. My child has always been quick to get ready in the morning. But never never would I have thought with ten minutes to go until his school bus came, would my child have been able in pajamas to finish breakfast, get dressed, and brush teeth by the time the bus arrived a short time later. He not only did it and was just finishing a quick pee, but when I raced in upset to tell the bus had arrived, even managed to tell me he’d be right out. Of course, I hadn’t heard that. I was having a stressful morning and thinking the worst, that this would once again be a morning we would fight about him being ready etc. He would have made the bus wait an extra five minutes tops. But I sent the bus away. When I came back inside, there stood a fully dressed and shocked Michael that I hadn’t given him a chance.

I was ashamed of myself for thinking my child couldn’t be ready on time, but I had also told Michael that in future, he needed to be ready waiting outside with me on the driveway when the bus came. On the drive into school we talked about how rude it is to make people wait. We both learned a lesson about trust, communication, and waiting. It was surprising and impressive to me that I could have this discussion with my little guy, and then I remembered, Joanne, he is a smart and creative little boy. If you stay calm and explain things to him he will get it. Don’t be afraid to trust him. Don’t be afraid to trust your instincts as his Mom. That was the problem. Lately I have been so stressed with work, home, parenting, and trying to do it all so darn well and perfectly. Nothing is perfect, including life. As parents, we need to let go, coast a while, be patient with our kids and ourselves. If work isn’t going how we want it to, pray, breathe and stay positive. Open ourselves up to better things and better things will happen. It’s the same with parenting. We need to open ourselves up to our kids, be patient and kind, and  really see what they need. Chances are they will reflect that positive vibe back to us.

Exceptional Parents, when have you last underestimated your child’s ability to deal with stress? Remember, they are only as strong as you give them credit for, and they will surprise you if you give them the benefit of the doubt. How do you feel when you are given the benefit of the doubt? Your child deserves that and more. None of us is perfect. We need to learn from our mistakes and not be afraid to move forward from there. 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

A Milestone Achieved: My Exceptional Son Recognize His Own Fear Triggers

Michael did it to me again. He both shocked and surprised me in one breath, something that is commonplace for my  little boy. He has been struggling for a few months now with identifying what is causing him anxiety and anger, and seeing how the thoughts cause the actions he chooses to take. The other day though, he had a massive breakthrough. It was late Sunday afternoon. He had come back with his Dad from his usual busy day of going to his favorite shopping center, a father/son drive, tennis, and an outing to a fair that had face painting and rock and roll music. To say it was a busier day than normal is an understatement. I heard them come in from my basement office where I was working, and then the rush of excited little feet pounding down the stairs to share with me the adventures of his afternoon with Dad. This time though after quickly giving me the rundown and basic details of his day, the next words out of Michael’s mouth shocked me:

“Mommy, could we go walk around a shopping mall now? I know it’s raining so we can’t do a nature walk.”

He was happy, but I recognized an urgency in this voice I hadn’t sensed before. I quietly told him that it was five o’clock. He’d been out all day, dinner would be soon and he still had homework to do. Then, totally unlike himself he burst into tears:

“But Mommy, I have to go out. I can’t stay home. I don’t want to think about my vaccination on Tuesday morning. I need to be away from home so I don’t think. Please, please Mommy.” And he cried even harder.

Via: Morguefile

http://mrg.bz/60d5b1

 

Are you as shocked as I was? He actually uttered those words. The vaccination in question was the HEP A/HEP B which is recommended for children in grade four like Michael, and we had talked about him getting it. I knew he was nervous. It was the same thing when he had blood tests and got his chicken pox vaccine, but we had talked about it on Thursday evening as Friday I had to sign the forms and return them to school for processing. I did not know he was still turning around all that stress in his little mind.

“Honey, you’ll have to come home eventually. You can’t stay out forever. I’m proud that you are recognizing your fears and how you cope with it. But we can talk some more .You don’t need to suffer alone. Here are some things you can do.”

And that we did. We went over what would happen, how he would cope and that his classmates and teachers would be there. I am still amazed and proud of how he is starting to connect things. Even when he talks about his “Stimming Lady” telling him what to do, he seems very much in control of where he wants to go and what he wants to do. He likes  reminders about expected behavior and what happens with good vs bad behavior. He is growing up. Another thing I noticed which pleased me. Twice this week unexpected things happened to our after school plans. Michael not only handled it well, but was calm and matter of fact about the change.

Exceptional Parents, how do your Exceptional Children handle change and anxiety? Are they learning to use words or actions to describe how they feel? Do they have strategies to manage it, sensory, verbal or  whatever works for them? The worst thing a parent can do is minimize the stress even if it is something small. Always listen. Always wait for them to finish talking or expressing themselves. Then offer strategies, show pictures or videos of what they could do. Remember, they are little sponges and will pick up what is being said to them over and over, good and bad. You are their role model. Until next time.

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

Spiritual Confusion, A Lost Social Milestone, and Handling What We Can’t Control

I am feeling sad sometimes these days and experiencing  a heavy heart. Michael refuses to come to church with me. I saw it coming last year; all his questions, his boredom, everything being over his head. It is also so abstract, God, an  entity in the universe he can’t feel or touch. Lots of neuro typical adults and kids have trouble with the concept. Yet still, going to church was something we did as a family. It got difficult for Dad to come, then it was Michael, now I go alone. I stayed away all summer knowing the summer was hard for him, and hoping, like last year, I could bring him back with me. No luck this year.

I finally realized I would have to go myself. And what’s so bad about that? It’s great in a way. I can fully be present at mass and worship. I am experiencing church in a more relaxed way.  But I miss him. I miss his interruptions and questions and us going as a family. I have experienced going to different masses hoping that changing masses and seeing different faces would be less painful for me, but no luck. Instead I just missed the wonderful people at the children’s mass that I know and love. And, I realized I deserved to have my Sunday worship space back. Also, I am a stubborn woman. I do still hope that Michael will change his mind and come back to church with me. But I have let go of worrying. It wasn’t serving either of us.

Why am I taking this so hard? Well, you see, I wanted to give Michael the same upbringing, more or less, that I had had. I wanted to expose him to the same ideas and have him decide when he was older what he accepted or rejected.  I also wanted him to know he has a home in our church, and that there are people outside of our special needs community that understand and respect him.  Was I making my child a poster child? I don’t think so. In my own way, I wanted to normalize autism and disabilities and show Michael that who he is is something to be celebrated. He didn’t want this anymore though, and I have to accept t and respect his decision. I also viewed his moving away from church as a lost milestone of functioning in the non adapted world. Did he lose the skill? He has talked a lot about his social fears lately. Then I realized no. You and he did not fail. This is a skill he must learn in his own time. We’ve gone from him getting upset when I pray or talk about God, to understanding that it is my right to pray as it is his not to, for now. I am doing the best I can for my son. And, my son is an amazing little boy doing his best too. We must each do our best, follow or own path, and the Universe and God will show us each the way.

Exceptional Parents, where have you felt you failed your child? How have you beaten yourself up for simply doing the best and sometimes things not working out? Have you felt a milestone of progress has been lost?   First of all, you did not fail. It’s ok. You’re human. They’re human. You are doing the best you can as a parent. You cannot blame yourself for everything that does not work out. You are not a therapist, and you do not need to solve every problem your child has. All you have to do is go with their flow, love them for who they are, and take care of loving and respecting who you are and what you need. Until next time.

 

Looking for tools to handle anxiety? Download my FREE EBOOK ON “5 WAYS TO MANAGE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” at http://www.exceptionalparenting.net/EBOOKS. 

 

“The Connected Heart Journal”: Another Exceptional Tool For Parent/Child Bonding

 

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http://www.afineparent.com

 

As Michael gets older, I get braver in thinking of things I would like to try out with him. We have had a few moments where we wrote some silly stories, and as most of you know, Michael has quite the imagination to write. I could see him doing fiction one day, but I digress. 🙂  Lately though, we have been having some communication stress and strains what with budding tween hood coming our way. 🙂 Things have started improving in our bonding. How have I reached him? It’s been in listening to him and in telling him stories from my youth. Storytelling and sharing feelings about our lives is something that never goes out of style, including in these high tech times.

Lately, as I have also shared, I have had the fortune to have the right material come into my hand to guide Michael, me as well as help all the parents all around me to trust their gut and become the parent they want to be for their child. As I learn new things, I share them. This type of “pay it forward” thinking has been passed down to me by the woman in my clan, you could say, blood and non-blood all my life.  So, what has tweaked my interest now, is a wonderful diary made especially for parents of elementary-aged kids. It is called “The Connected Heart Journal” and its creator is one Sumitha Bhandarkhar.  What is great about this journal, is that as Sumitha says;

“On the surface: A beautiful, one-of-a-kind, keepsake journal for kids. Under the hood: A smart and powerful parenting tool.”

What this means is that the questions, exercises, and topics are done in a way to facilitate parent/child interaction at all levels. You don’t need oodles of time a day to do this. As parents know, especially those of us with Exceptional Children, there are so many things to do in a day; therapy, homework, extra curricular activities. There are no dates in the book so you and your child can fill it in at your leisure. The diary uses fantasy and magic to capture the child’s interest, and gives parents questions and ideas to guide them in their discussions with their kids. It is meant to be done jointly and separately. The link for further details and a wonderful video with more information can be  found here: http://kck.st/2esdcNU.

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http://www.afineparent.com 

Yes, some children will have an easier time with the concepts than others, but we all know our kids better than anyone. You can easily tailor the message with your own positive comments towards your child. If they cannot write in the journal, parents can write in it for them or they can draw pictures. The important thing that keeping a diary together can do is teach the child about love, gratitude, and reaching out to children while they are young. This way when they are older, that bond has been cemented and they know where to turn. Michael knows who is at the top of TEAM MICHAEL after himself. It is his father and I.

Exceptional Parents, are you on the lookout for new tools to help your child manage communicating and sharing in a more effective way? Are you looking to teach empathy, kindness and how to trust? A diary is a great way to start and a great routine to get into with your child at the beginning or end of the day. Whatever you choose to do with your Exceptional Child, know that the time you spend with them is precious and irreplaceable. Make sure you teach them that time with loved ones is something we must always build into a busy day to create close and lasting relationships for life. Until next time.

Disclosure: This is not a paid endorsement, but my company logo will appear on the product’s site as a supporter of this product. The opinions mentioned here are strictly my own.

Issues of Control and Needing Love-Michael’s and My Exceptional Journey

child, family, generation

Michael is going through a period of life now where he is asserting himself. He is becoming more independent which I love, but it can sometimes be annoying. How, you ask? Well, he will insist on doing EVERYTHING by himself. And by that, I mean like for instance if I got the food for his snack he would take the food, put it back in the cupboard and get it himself. It is a part independence/part OCD thing, but I am proud all the same. I am trying to teach him though that you can work together with someone in a team AND be independent. That is proving the harder lesson to teach, but we are getting there slowly.

As frustrating as it is when he tests my patience with doing things over, and knowing he can’t swear will say a silly word, I know my little boy is blooming. When I get frustrated, I remind myself of when he was little and I prayed he would be aware of us. Then he was. Then I prayed he would begin talking and communicating, and he did. Then I prayed he would read and write which he is starting to do. The next thing I pray for is for Michael to learn to handle this anxiety and stress and figure out when he can do things himself and when he can ask for help.  I am proud he is communicating stress to me.

Yesterday evening Michael and I navigated baking together for the first time in about six months. It was trying at times and fun at others. All of the time I was reminding him about balance, asking for help or clarification if you needed it, and then telling me he was ready to do it alone if I was still being the protector Mama. I am getting better at stepping away from that role though. I am learning that even if it is harder for Michael or takes longer, he needs to experience doing things on his own by himself. I am proud as I watch him struggle then figure it out. I was not allowed to do this until I was older. It impacted my confidence, and I want to make sure Michael’s confidence gets a boost before his twenties. My parents did their best and what they did helped me, but hindered me in other ways. I hope to teach Michael to fly with confidence at a younger age, and still show him the unconditional love my parents still have for my brother and I now that we are adults.

Exceptional Parents, when do you notice your Exceptional Children pulling away from you to seek control? When do you notice them pushing into you at other times for reassurance of your love in their way? It’s important as you know, to strike a balance between the two, control and love and let them see that by working with you they gain independence and keep your love. Until next time.

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