Do you dream of a world without meltdowns? Of a child that is happy? That has friends? That is compassionate?
That is exactly the person that @PanKwake has grown into. She will be fifteen in a week. That little girl that melted down after school almost every single day. That was bullied to the point that she asked me several times a day, ‘Am I stupid? Am I ugly? Am I dumb?’
Is she ‘normal?’ Like all the other kids her age?
Heck, no! But I would not want her to be either.
She still struggles with sensory overload. So, unless it is something very special, socialization happens in our @HomeCrazzyHome. But she has friends. A handful of close ones. Which I think is better than loads of acquaintances.
As for compassionate? She has better people skills than her mother. @PanKwake is much better at balancing the needs of others against her own.
And those meltdowns that I worried so much about when she was little? Well, I can’t honestly remember the last one.
I quit trying to change my little human with this technique or that therapy. I stopped listening to all those ‘experts.’ I learned to trust my gut. And above all else, I practiced four principles that I believe every parent should – whether your child is neurodiverse or neurotypical.
What is that Magic Parenting Recipe, you ask?
It’s remarkably simple:
What does that even mean? According to Google, understanding is:
- sympathetically aware of other people’s feelings; tolerant and forgiving
- having insight or good judgement.
For me, this began when I started to place myself in @PanKwake’s shoes. When I asked myself, ‘why is she meltdown?’ What was the trigger? It became a process. Even before the meltdown wound down I was debriefing the situation, reviewing what happened, and asking myself what I could have done better.
Is just the next logical step when you understand a situation. You begin to see that there is no blame to be assigned.
I really love this definition of the word…
the process or fact of being received as adequate, valid, or suitable.Google
In a world that tells us and our children that there is something wrong with us, this is an incredibly powerful parenting tool. When you can see your little human and yourself as…
You have reached a good place. You are well on the way to becoming the parent that your little person needs.
This word has become weaponized. It is used against us as parents. If I had a dollar/pound for every time I was told I needed to teach my child ‘respect’ for her ‘elders,’ well, I would not be a millionaire, but I could have certainly taken us on a decent holiday. By respect these people usually mean:
due regard for the feelings, wishes, or rights of others.Also, Google
But to me that is more about courtesy. Than respect.
I believe that respect is something that is earned rather than something that is due to anyone, due either to age, social status, education or anything else. To me, respect is more about:
a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements.You guessed it…Google
Respect is something that I am constantly trying to earn from my daughter, my partner, and my true friends. It is not something I feel I am entitled to. And it is best when it is reciprocal.
Yes, I respect @PanKwake. She is a person that I would be blessed to know, even if she were not my offspring.
4) Unconditional Love
Okay, this one is sort of like that ideal of self-actualization. This lofty goal and ideal that few ever really achieve. But that we all have glimpses of, the bullseye that we occasionally manage to hit either through skill, luck, or a bit of both. But it is that marathon goal that we are working towards.
How do we know we are getting close?
When we don’t have any expectations of other people. When those other three have come together and we can be happy with who they are at this moment without imposing our hopes or dreams on who they may become in the future. When we want the best for them. When what other people think about us as parents means less than what they want or need.
We may not achieve that all the time, but when we do, we are getting there.
You’ll be hearing a lot about these four strategies for parenting success in the days, weeks, months, and years to come. Because this is not about some quick fix technique to ‘fix’ your ‘problem’ child, to make them ‘normal’ so you can be the unrealistic ‘perfect’ parent.
The truth is…
You are the only person that you can change.
And that’s just what it takes to give your little human the best chance at a happy and productive future whether they are neurotypical or neurodivergent.
So, welcome to this roller coaster ride that we call parenting. Buckle up and hold on tight for some amazing highs, some dark lows, and twists and turns that will leave your head spinning. But there is a thrill and laughter that is worth every minute of the ride.
Oh, @PanKwake loves roller coasters. They are one of the things that are worth leaving our @HomeCrazzyHome for. But I hate them. Roller coasters are just one of the many differences that we share, that make us unique people.
Until next time, goddess bless you with an understanding heart, filled to overflowing with acceptance, respect and unconditional love…at least some of the time,