Tag: special needs parenting

Exceptional Mom Friends-Lifeline In Times of Stress

I am a lucky woman. There. I’ve said it. I know I am blessed beyond reason. I not only have a great family, but amazing Mom friends just like me who “get it,” in other words, who get what I am going through. I don’t get a chance to see them in person as much as I like (or they like too). We are all busy with our families, even when things are going well. And when they are not going well, it’s even crazier.  We try to get out for Mommy dinners with wine, but it doesn’t always work out.  Still, I know I can have the world’s worst Mom day, feel like a total failure and email, text or call them, and be told, “You’re amazing.” Just knowing they are  out there brings tears to my eyes. I am not alone, I think! The other day at camp pick up I saw one of these Mom friends. She spontaneously gave me a hug. It meant the world to me on a week where things have been less than perfect at home with Michael. And of course, like every Mom, I am blaming myself. I know as a professional that things are not all my fault. But as a Mom, naturally it is your fault. You are the glue that holds the family together. And when that glue dries up, good night Charlie.

As a parent coach who works with families, I am professional, calm, centered and trust my instincts. As a Mom I am usually that. On my best days. On the other days when my kid throws me new curve balls like he did this week,  I am tired and scared. I sometimes question myself. Am I doing this motherhood thing right? Do I really know my kid? Am I missing something major? The answer is usually, No, you are fine by my inner voice, but when that voice is tired, scared and fearful  I hear the voice of  God and that of my Mom friends. God  speaks through them, giving me strength and hope, as well as reminding me I love my child and am doing everything I can to teach him how to handle the new obstacles life has thrown at him. He is a great kid who will get through this challenges as is his Mom.

I think back to all the Mom friends I have met over the years. I have met them at Michael’s schools, support groups, volunteering at his school, and at other online support groups .They make me laugh. They make me remember the joys of being a mother to a specific kind of child with challenges, because no matter what, they all have children with challenges and different brains too. We can commiserate and laugh about the same things. Cry over the struggles. And then celebrate the victories. There are so many more victories than challenges. Another friend talks about our “little village” of Moms who support each other. Just knowing they are there makes all the difference.

It is so important for all exceptional parents to find their village-online, in person, or both. Talk with these parents. Meet with them regularly or as often as you can. You are not alone. You are a woman carrying what so many women carry- love, strength, fear, anger, hope, despair and resilience in the end to see things through for your child to the best of your ability. No matter what, Moms don’t give up, and if you ever feel yourself about to lose it, reach out and connect to another Mom. You will be rewarded with a kind ear, laughter, and understanding. I would not be where I am today (nor would Michael), without the help of my Mom friends who listened to me, gave me the names of therapists, schools, play centers, you name it, to make life less crazy and more manageable and fun.  Now, I occasionally find myself returning the favor when a Mom comes to me. I feel privileged to be able to help any Mom by providing information, a kind ear, or a hug (virtual or in person), that she is an incredible Mom and human being. As women, we are too hard on ourselves and we need to stop doing that. We need to let ourselves be loved and know that like our child is enough for us we are enough for ourselves and those around us. At least the ones who matter.

Exceptional Parents, how many of you reach out to your Mom or parent friends when you are down or scared? Remember, your journey is unique, but all Moms have shared your pain of fear for their child and struggle to make things better for them now and in the future. Support each other through the rough times and celebrate the victories together. You will never feel alone again. 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, http://www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com

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Unconventional Activities and How to Bring Your Child with Autism Out of Their Shell

 

So we are trying our best to keep things spontaneous and predictable for Michael, and give him the best mix of the bunch. For the winter, he wanted a break from structured winter activities, so other than swimming lessons during the week, the weekend is unstructured time that we and Michael have structured together. Michael has his favorite shopping mall that he likes to frequent on Saturday and Sunday mornings, then he usually goes sledding with Dad on Saturday afternoon, runs an errand or has recently started watching movies or playing video games. Sunday I am doing my best to convince Michael to come back regularly to church with me, and then in the pm it is skating in the public arena and the library and or impromptu musical concerts. Dad and I try to go with his energy and interests, along with some limits. We have been successful most of the time.

What really impressed me today, was the fact that Michael was excited to call up his classmates to join him and his Dad for a movie date next Saturday. He took the initiative to dial their numbers and have a phone conversation. At first, I thought we could manage it without practice, but it was hard. We then did a few more practice runs then Michael did an amazing job. It was stressful and exciting for me as his Mom to watch him reach another milestone. This means a lot when we see him struggling with anxiety and defiance with us. It is comforting to see the positives and remind ourselves of it.
Exceptional Parents, how do your Exceptional Children do with structure and unstructured time? What are their interests and strengths? Play to that. When we speak and pay attention to our children’s strengths, we encourage them to do the same in their own life. Until next time.

I am a writer and parent coach who is passionate about empowering parents to trust their own instinct when raising their exceptional children with autism, and remembering that parenthood is as much a journey for us as childhood is for our children. For more information on my parent coaching programs, and to book a FREE 30 Minute Consultation Session, see my website: http://www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com.

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

 

 

 

 

 

How Sharing My Weaknesses Have Helped My Son With Autism Share His and Grow

I was told by a Psycho Educator we worked with a few years ago that I sometimes share too much with Michael, and that this could have been one of the contributing factors to his rising anxiety and aggressive behavior. She was not blaming me for things Michael was born with and that are a part of his autism, but did tell me to be careful not to give him any extra adult worries. For example, I was job searching at the time and was stressed about that. I was also emotionally coming out of a very difficult time for me, when I had been recovering from burnout and depression. I still felt fragile, but I understood what she meant that it was better I stay strong in front of Michael, so he would have that sense of security. I did also know though, that honesty is the best policy, and that autism or not, I would do Michael no favors if I was constantly sugar-coating my life and feelings.

Fast forward to many years later. I am stronger, wiser, and even I have a very rough month emotionally and with Michael which the month of December was for us, I now know that the best thing I can do is share my weaknesses with Michael and show him how I handle myself and get stronger. I showed him how I took time for self-care. I showed him how I would cry when I needed to. I showed him how I didn’t tolerate aggression towards me or anyone else. I also showed him he mattered. Over the last few weeks, he has been talking to me a lot. What has come out? He has felt sometimes his Dad and I don’t listen to him when we are not doing what he wants. This is not the Michael who was having all kinds of tantrums, but the Michael who feels his feelings aren’t getting listened to. He has said he misses me, and made comments of  why am I always on my phone? It’s true. I am glued to it, and when he is around, I remind him he is top priority. He always was, but would think otherwise when he would see me working or on my phone. Due to working from home, this complicates the work/home divide, but I am getting better at getting the message across to him.

What it all boils down to is communicating your love to your child, and letting them know you are there. Yesterday afternoon Michael was very talkative, more than usual. He was telling me all about his day, the exciting things that happened and was enjoying himself being silly with me as I with him. It was beautiful, and it was something that has been happening a lot more lately. I know it is due to the fact that I have put in boundaries when needed, but that I am flexible too, and have told Michael that I am always there for him to talk and listen and that he is the most important thing to me. This has made a huge difference. Yesterday, we had a bit of a fight. I told Michael it was inappropriate what he said to me and he had to apologize. He did and said, “I guess I’m a bad kid.” I was upset on hearing this, so I turned it around to what the words really meant, “You’re a good kid, who made a bad choice.” I will make sure to remind him how every day he can make good or bad choices and learn from the bad and keep performing the good. But I realize that being there is everything for a child. The more they try and push you away, (which is what had started happening as Michael approached his birthday in December) the more they need parents there to remind them they are loved and special.

Exceptional Parents, how do you remind your Exceptional Children they are unique, beautiful and smart human beings? How do you bond with your children and show them they are your priority regardless of their past mistakes? It does not matter that they do not always communicate with us the same as neuro typical children do. Feelings travel across different brains and language issues. If they feel a parent’s love truly and deeply, see you sharing with them openly and freely, they will start opening up to you or continue to open up to you. Don’t be afraid to pull them in close. Being vulnerable yourself opens them up to be the same. Until next time.

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.

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

Recognizing When I Need A Break As An Exceptional Mom

So the other day Michael asked if he could show me a new way home from school. I had picked him up at school as he had a swimming lesson directly after school. The week before had been stressful at the lesson and I was tired. It had been a short, but busy work day and I had stopped in to buy groceries before picking Michael up. Maybe that was why when Michael told me to turn right like his bus did and not left, that I let out the swear word and felt my anger explode out of me. Michael grinned and then I realized my mistake. I apologized for swearing and then seeing where I was redirected myself out through the small streets and back the way he had meant to tell me. We were both tired and a little distracted and mistakes happen. Still, where did all the anger come from? I realized I hadn’t been sleeping much and was feeling a little stressed. I also realized I needed to do something for me and practice some self-care which was lacking this week. I realized I needed to get back to exercise and yoga. At least I was still meditating. That was what had given me the strength to apologize for my blunder and turn the rest of the afternoon around as I teach Michael.

But what I also realized is that that woman who was hard on herself is gone. The woman who would call herself a bad mother was gone. The one who said she couldn’t this anymore was gone. Thank God. Wow. I’d come a long way from three years ago when I was so hard on myself. And it was because I didn’t know how to be anything else. I didn’t know when I was burning out, or when I was being a martyr, a victim. Now, I recognize when I am not practicing proper self-care and when I need to get on the bandwagon of recharging my batteries. When I start thinking, “I have to cancel that lunch,”  “I can’t exercise today,” or “I can’t go out.” That is my self-sacrificing side coming out which, if not tempered with a firm, “Joanne, you need to take care of you by doing this today,” will fizzle and burn out and then I’ll be no good to anybody. I was so happy I recognized I was there the other day with Michael. And I stopped, paused and reminded myself: You are going to make time for you this week. And that is what I have been doing. Lunch with friends on Thursday, and later today, I will be going to a spa near me for a Hamamm experience: hot tubs and saunas. This is what helps me recharge. I actually have made a habit to go every January to this Hamamm as it is like a reset for me. Next thing will be booking a massage in February.

Exceptional Parents, do you notice when you are running on empty? What are your signs? What are your child’s? The great thing when we notice our own signs of wear and tear is that we can teach our Exceptional Children to notice theirs and find ways that they can unwind and recharge their own batteries. You’ve come a long way as a parent when you see you can do this. It means you are seeing your own humanity and limits, and this will help you connect to your child in an even more intimate way. 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.

SPECIAL NEW YEAR PROMOTION: Refer a friend for a six month coaching program, and receive two personal one on one coaching sessions with me at a 50% price discount.

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

 

 

 

Differentiate Between Sensory Sensitivities, Boredom and Challenging Behaviors-Let Your Exceptional Child Lead the Way

I used to think I knew Michael one hundred percent. I used to think that surely all the books, articles, and experts I’d talked to about him and his various behaviors could give me an accurate peak into his mind pretty much 24/7. Then I saw that wasn’t the case as he got older. Yes, I know a lot. The books and articles accurately describe a lot of what Michael and kids like him experience, and his therapists know a great deal. But none of us really knows Michael or the individual with autism better than the individual himself. Maybe another person with autism could come closer than us neuro typical parents, educators, and experts. So this has helped me greatly to trust that Michael will usually know what is right for himself.

Now, don’t get me wrong. This does not mean that he does not need guidance and rules to follow like any kid. Believe me, he has tried and continues to try to get his own way with staying up later, not wanting to listen to us, etc. But I see that when I give a little as far as asking him how he is feeling, he will give back more. Some days I have less patience than others. I shared a great quote on Facebook yesterday about pausing and showing patience before we respond to our children. This is hard when we are tired and low on energy, but mandatory. It is the way to their hearts and souls as it is to ours. Understanding and giving them space will go a long way to help us as parents understand what they are going through. I now can tell the difference when Michael is having real sensory sensitivites, experiencing boredom, and showing challenging behaviors. When I look back, I can now see the pattern and know where he needs help.

Exceptional Parents, how do you know what is going through your Exceptional Child’s mind? You don’t know everything, but you definitively have an idea. To get more details, you need to let your child open up to me in a way that only they can. Let them express how they are feeling and with time you’ll recognize if they need space, a hug, sleep or new strategies to deal with sensory issues. The important thing is to give them the steering wheel and let them steer you to where they need help. 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. For a limited time, I am also offering a special New Year’s Promotion: Refer a friend for one of my six month programs, and receive 2 one on one 1 hour coaching sessions with me for 50% off the regular price. Don’t be afraid to move forward while parenting your exceptional child in a happier and healthier way.

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.

 

 

My Exceptional Son’s Joy and Rediscovery in Listening At Home

 

I don’t know how long this will last nor will I question it. I am just glad that Michael  is connecting listening to us and having good things happen to him again. Yes, before he would listen temporarily in order to get his tokens for audio visual or other things, but now I sense a real change in him. He is listening for distant rewards, like a McDonald’s Happy Meal in February to get another Sing figurine ,and long term listening to get a much coveted surprise over Spring Break almost a month and a half away. I worry about his continual “collecting of toys” and not wanting to play with them, but he also understands that he needs to work on doing chores to get his toys. He also is exploring interests other than navigating like video games and looking online on how to cook certain foods.

“The only reason I am sweeping the floor and helping in the house Mommy is to get my money and buy my toys.” He had the hysterical audacity to tell me the other day.

“Well, I am paying you to do this, but you are also learning about hard work Michael. We all need to pitch in to keep the house clean.”

“Because you and Daddy work?

“That’s right.”

I am proud at how he is drawing those comparisons and not afraid to work hard. He is also understanding more and more that when I need to work I can’t be disturbed in the late afternoons. Eventually, he will need an after-school program again some if not most days, but so far he is starting to adjust to changes in his routine, like staying home after school as Mom has to work longer hours. There has been less fighting, hitting and aggression. He will often say, “I am mad but I am not going to hit you Mommy.” I commend him for taking the higher road and encourage him to find healthy outlets for his anger. When he has caught me say the occasional swear word, it has been so funny to hear him correct me to use better language. It is wonderful to see him growing and the silly and negative behavior disappearing. I see how desperately he needs structure, guidelines and releases for sensory tensions. It is a work in progress, but we are getting there.

I also think what is working is Dad and I have finally found the formula of praise and showing him a good example to follow. He is beginning to see how when he listens, we pay attention and the good that comes of it. Being so busy, Dad and I forgot to touch base with him on that. It is important as a parent to cheer when your child succeeds. I also have started telling him, at least once a day if not multiple times, how much I love him. It is important for him to hear and me to say. He knows he is special to us as we are to him. There are times I don’t like how he is behaving, but I love him as a person.

Exceptional Parents, how good are your Exceptional Children at listening to you? When do you notice they challenge you most or least? What has worked for you? We have all made mistakes. That’s ok. We can learn from them, teach our kids and ourselves better, and be gentle with our words, our manners, and our language. Children will gravitate to that in a heartbeat and parents will often see a decrease in behaviors. 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. Special Offer: If you refer a friend and they sign up for one of my six month programs, you will receive 50% off of two individual coaching sessions with me.

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

 

Exceptional Vision Boards For Exceptional Moms and Their Children

vision board 1.jpg

So another January has come and it was time for me to produce my Vision Board for 2017. I did my first ever Vision Board in 2015, after reading up on them and the way they helped people manifest exciting things in their life. I found out about Vision Boards after consulting with a life coach at the time who helped me see what direction  I needed to take in my life. I went online and that is where I learned about making vision boards. The last two years have been an adventure. I always set out with the things I want to find and usually do end up finding, but always end up with a surprise or two in what actually ends up on the board. I do my board two-sided, one side for what I want to manifest in my personal life, and one side for what I want to manifest in my work life. This year the two look the same. This makes me happy, as it means my work and home life are merging as I wanted it to for so long. Michael is the most important thing in my life. As his Mom, I want to be available to guide and help him, and in order for me to be at my best, I need a career where I have flexibility, joy, and the ability to work around his schedule. I have found it in writing and coaching parents. I have wanted to work at my own business for a long time, but didn’t trust myself or the process to get there. Michael has changed all that for the better, and made me see where I belong in work, as he made me see where I belong in life.

vision board 2.jpg

In doing my Vision Board the last two years, it has also helped me reconnect to the woman I was prior to being an Exceptional Mom to the Exceptional Mom I am now. I have learned to let go, trust my instincts, and enjoy the process of building the board. It takes about two hours, two uninterrupted hours that you need to devote to figure out what you need to get more of in your life and work towards. Only when you have a visual and a plan, will it start coming together. Each year when I do it, I find myself applying the things I do when I help Michael navigate through life and learn to advocate for himself: breathe, stay calm, trust yourself, and know that someone always has your back. There is something so powerful in  that. Also you need to trust in the process. It will guide you. It is fluid. As thing evolve, we can put them into the Vision Board. It is similar that when things evolve with our Exceptional Child, we adapt the IEP and other therapies to their improvement. When we do that, we see other amazing things happening. For example,  Michael saw me and his Dad doing a Vision Board each this weekend and he decided to create his own! I was so proud of him. He is reaching out to the Universe too to see exactly where he belongs.

Exceptional Parents, how are you manifesting good things in your life and your Exceptional Child’s life? How are you learning to trust your instincts when it comes to what is right for you and your family? A visual guide like a Vision Board can really help you move forward with your dreams and life plan. And remember, your child  is watching everything you are doing. Teach him or her to manifest their own greatness. 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.

 Do you need new strategies to cope with anxiety in 2017? Download my FREE EBOOK on “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” www.creatingexceptionalbalance.com/EBOOKS.

 

Victories and Gains-How My Exceptional Child Is Learning To Regulate

 

I was so proud of Michael at the store once again today. He now understands how money works and knows how to count his money as well as how much things cost, for the most part. He had some very generous friends give him money for his birthday to buy what he wanted. He has been taking advantage of this in pure Michael excitement. With autism, when someone is into something, they are into it. Now he is into going to the store and proudly buying things with his own money. He has even learned how to converse with the cashier. Today he remembered to say Happy New Year to the cashier at the Dollarstore we went to. He needed to buy new bath toys. Yes, he loves baths. We recently had our bathroom renovated and he so excited to start taking baths again so that has become his other thing. He always liked baths, but had to start taking showers when our only tub started leaking a while ago. He will repeatedly tell me how baths relax him. I know. They do the same for me.

I love how he is learning to find his own in the world, and even when things worry him, like the first day of school back from Christmas holiday, he compensates by getting up early to give himself time to play, get ready calmly, prepare his toys and his mind for change. He plans on doing the same thing today. We’ll see. I tell him that he needs to find strategies that work for him and go from there. I also remind him though, that eventually he will be tired and have to catch up on his sleep. When that happens he can get up his usual seven am instead of five thirty. The important thing is that he is recognizing where he has control, what he can control, and learning how good behavior produces good results. He told me today, “Mommy I am really trying to listen. Sometimes I forget and I feel bad.” I answered him back that he is doing well and I am very proud of him. I know he is capable of listening all the time. And if he makes a mistake, he can apologize and start again. As with any child he is not perfect, but is doing the best that he can. So am I.

Exceptional Parents, what victories and gains do you notice in your Exceptional Children? Sometimes after many falls you may notice a few gains. The reverse happens too. That is ok. Just be patient with them.  Be firm. Be steady. Be loving. And remember, sometimes in their struggle if we leave them alone, they will figure it out and find their own strategies to manage stress and anxiety. As long as they have love, they can get through anything. 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. Remember,  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.exceptionalparentnet.wordpress.com

 Do you need new strategies to cope with anxiety? Are you looking to make a fresh start this year? Contact me at joanne.giacomini@gmail.com to downloand my FREE EBOOK:  “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” 

 

 

 

 

Teaching And Learning Life Skills-What My Exceptional Child Is Teaching Me

Sometimes there is a day when I see it all coming together and I worry less, especially lately. Yesterday, was such a day. Michael did so well. There were changes in our plans in the am. With some advance warning and options, he had a fun morning at home while I worked, and in the afternoon we adjusted the schedule slightly too. He wanted to go to some stores to buy a toy for a friend and to spend some of his holiday money on some stuff for himself. I especially liked that he was spending some of the money on a friend. His birthday has kind of gone over the top this year, which has been challenging for everyone. I also was so proud of him for how he handled paying at the cash, counting out his money, as well as understanding the concept of how much things cost. It is coming. Life skills. Independence. When he succeeds, I see his confidence blooming. For a Mom who is seeing just how anxious he is and how much stress he carries around, this is truly a victory.

Between communicating better this week, seeing how good behavior is rewarded and learning to apply basic life skills, I know how not only Michael, but all exceptional children can succeed with the right tools. He also helped me be more patient. In watching him at the stores looking for my guidance and when he made a mistake apologizing, I realized how there had been times recently when for various personal reasons I may not have been as patient and calm as I wished I had been. It’s hard. It’s especially challenging when both parent and child are tired and communication is not clear. This is when the parent, who in theory is usually the calmer one, needs to take a deep breath and get control of a situation that could become stressful. Easier said than done. Yesterday, I was exhausted. But I remembered to stay calm on the outside and inside to set the example for Michael. I remembered how I always tell him to “turn it around” so at moments when my body was crying out for coffee and quiet, I reminded myself, he is watching how you handle yourself if there are challenges. Model calm, quiet, peace and he will learn those things eventually.

Exceptional Parents, how has your Exceptional Child started growing up? This is essentially what I have been seeing with mine. They all grow up in different ways, and help us grow up too; either by guiding them and ourselves better, teaching us more patience, and reminding us that even when our kids drive us crazy we love them to pieces as they do us. They and we are doing the best that we can. Let’s do our best together by encouraging, loving and modeling calm. Until next time.