When my child began facing obstacles, at first, I took it personally. I was self-conscious. I felt like a failure as a parent and truly believed that all eyes were on me.
You can read all about the stages of my parenting a child with extreme behavior.
Having a child with obstacles isn't rare. Each of our kids lands somewhere on the spectrum of learning and emotion development. Some children, of course, are more extreme than other children. My point is that parents have to get to know their child and how best to handle behavior obstacles with effective responses and often self-care to maintain more calm and less anger.
Resource: Sensory Processing Bundle
There isn't a child that doesn't have a uniqueness that we can choose to face with strength and positivity or to face with weaknesses and negativity.
Parenting a Child with Extreme Behavior
Here are a few ways I turn the potential negative into a positive:
- When my child asks for the 10th time if I going to be the one that picks him up from school: instead of flipping on him and reminding him that I've told him 9 times that, yes, I would be there, say: “You really like to know what it happening throughout the day. You always have a plan. You're my planner! I love that about you “
- When your child gets angry at his sibling for being less than neat, say “You keep your brothers in line! I appreciate how you want to take good care of your space and our home.”
- When your child begins his homework for the third time because he doesn't like the way he wrote his name on the top of the paper, say: “You really work hard at your handwriting. I can tell.”
- When your child is agitated because there is sand in his shoes, say, “You don't like anything in your shoes. I get that. Can I help you get the sand off from your feet? We can solve that problem!”
- When your child is devastated because the grocery store is out of his favorite crackers, say, “You were really looking forward to those crackers! Now you feel disappointed. Should we make a plan to make sure we are able to get your crackers tomorrow?”
- For the super-organized child: “You're so on top of things. I love that about you. I always know who can tell me where I left my car keys!”
- For the super-focused child: “You are amazing. You discover something you like and you learn everything you can about it. I always love it when you teach me new things.”
I could go on and on with examples. My point is that there is a way to celebrate these extreme behaviors. Being unique is a good thing. We need people to go against the grain, to be creative beyond the norm, and to feel the world around them like no other.
These qualities are what makes our world extraordinary.
Talk to you soon!