In previous posts, I’ve characterized Mason as my little hurricane. Recent blog themes on acceptance made me realize that, sometimes, hurricanes are needed. In my case, I needed a hurricane to clear many layers of emotional debris that kept me from being available to truly love others, warts and all.
Here’s some of what I have learned thus far.
Listen more, talk less.
Give one direction at a time then, wait.
Engage in conversations; ignore arguments.
I know my child better than anyone else does. Don’t ignore your instincts; instead, keep asking questions of doctors, teachers, therapists, other parents — anyone who may have insight into your child’s world.
“Boys will be boys” is not an explanation for ADHD, oppositional behavior, sensory integration disorder or any other a-typical category.
Control less: no amount of organizational equipment (boxes, tubs, etc.) can contain his belongings or his apparent need to scatter them all over his bedroom.
Erratic chores? Leave the room while he clears one dish at a time. At least he’s doing it!
Delegate: let dad help pack allergy-free food for outings and long road trips; let Mason be responsible for carrying his EpiPen everywhere he goes.
Let go: allow Mason to go to a party without a parent supervising his food and behavior. (Well, … maybe sometimes.)
Expect chaos, impulsive behavior.
Accept my limitations: physical and emotional.
Lots of homework doesn’t necessarily mean lots of learning.
More compassion for those who don’t “fit the mold.”
Casual readers can be good people. Raising a good person would be a great thing.
I talk too fast, use “too many words.”
For some, organizational skills are inherent; for others, some, not all, can be taught.
Give educators and doctors lots of paper so they’ll take you seriously and provide services.
ADHD gets you services; other learning disabilities such as Central Auditory Processing (CAPD) do not. Document those that will get your child the help they need. Then, ask for help with the unrecognized disabilities.
“Proficient” is a sanitized way to describe a below average student.
Behavior modification systems are really tools to distract already storm-swept parents, and are usually “make work” programs for mom.
My faith is not as strong as I thought. Can I trust that He will take care of both of my children? Especially the one who may not be able to care for himself?
I’m angry, depressed, selfish, controlling and critical. These qualities do not help any of us.
Well, luckily the good outweighs the bad and the ugly. Parenting this Easy to Love, but Hard to Raise child is like chasing a pendulum in constant motion. A good day is when you hit the moving target — guessing the right strategy for the moment. Miss, and it can be a downward spiral that leaves you bewildered, wondering where in the universe did that (response, behavior, problem) come from?
It’s a process, as they say. I can finally see, love, and accept the person behind all of the diagnoses: a sweet, sensitive, interesting little boy with a slightly off-center view of the world. Thank you, Hurricane.