In my earlier parenting days, I was hard on myself and…I guess, I was hard on my child.
It was difficult for me to develop my own parenting style, especially during the harder days.
When all else failed, I would fall back on “Because I said so…” This was almost a sure way of escalating the situation that lead to exhausting power struggles.
Everyone would end up frustrated and later, we realized that a lot of energy was spent over something that wasn’t that important in the first place.
When I looked around as a new parent, it seemed that I had a harder time than others. I learned that it did take more patience and different strategies to parent a twice-exceptional child.
One of the things that helped my parenting was when I realized lectures didn’t work. This was a hard habit to break and if I am being honest, it is still hard.
I am embarrassed to say, that not only would I lecture, I would follow him up the stairs to continue my sermon instead of letting him go to his room to recover.
I should have known, but I didn’t, that this stretched out our conflict and caused the recovery time to be longer.
Those days were exhausting!
Here’s what I have figured out… I need to give my child time to recover and he must be able to return with grace.
When I stop talking and listen, it helps.
Showing empathy goes a long way.
A tired or hungry TBP cannot do his best thinking.
We understand this now, but not everyone does.
Unexpected behavior is challenging for other kids and their parents to forget, unless you are the parent of a kid like mine.
Those parents get it.
These parents that have seen it, heard it, experienced it and remind me that I am not alone; everyone has bad days.
Now, I don’t care (as much) if a stranger sees my son challenging me.
I don’t apologize (as much) for my son’s sensory issues during holiday dinners or birthday parties.
He has to calm down, reflect, and then apologize on his own when he does something wrong or hurts someone’s feelings.
We let him recover and return without lectures.
What are the best parenting lessons that you have learned?