Have you ever met a parent with seemingly perfect children and wondered if they, in fact, know the secret? The secret to perfect parenting, that is.
The secret to perfect parenting (drum roll, please)...is that there is no such thing as the perfect parent—there are only real parents.
The secret to being a great, real parent is learning to let go of our personal expectations of how our children will turn out. Whether your child is neurodiverse or not, this truth applies.
Real parents remember that their children are people too, with their own likes and dislikes, which may be different—even radically different—than their own.
In this blog, we will talk about the secret to being a real parent and how to parent your neurodiverse child through difficult moments.
Whether your child struggles with impulsivity, communication, or neediness, BLOOM courses will support you and your child where you’re at. For help parenting your child, discover BLOOM’s online parenting courses and support.
Children Are Their Own People
A little boy named Junior sat in his high chair. His mother placed a plate of cooked carrots—his favorite—in front of him. She took out his special airplane-shaped spoon and lovingly scooped up some of the bright orange mush.
As the spoon began its jet-setting departure towards her adorable toddler’s mouth, she suddenly felt the world go into slow motion. Out of nowhere, her precious and obedient little guy boomeranged his supper all over her new blouse, making a few pit stops at her hair, shoes, and even a little in her mouth.
With all the dignity of his newfound emancipation, he announced: “I DON’T LIKE CARROTS.”
The mother was in disbelief. Carrots were always her favorite vegetable! When had she given Junior permission to have an opinion of his own?
What would be next? Would he want pineapple on his pizza? Would he prefer baseball to tennis? Would he refuse to go to her college alma mater? (Of course, his mother had his college all picked out for him.)
Perhaps there is a time with your own child that you have experienced moments of defiance and felt frustrated by their behavior. Let’s dig into how to deal with your child in these moments.
Letting Go of Controlling Your Kids
Let’s face it, the first time we realize that our child is truly his own person is a shocking one. We often worry and even obsess over how our kids will turn out. We read all the right books and go to all the right classes.
In all our preparations and with all our expectations, we often fail to integrate one of the hidden secrets to perfect parenting—letting our child be himself. And letting go of too many expectations.
Miriam (Manela) Frankel hears versions of this same concern almost daily at the Thrive Group offices. The look on these worried parents’ faces is real.
Some parents feel defeated that they ended up in the Thrive office in the first place. Other parents might feel disappointed if treatment is not going as planned. Still, others confide in Miriam that though treatment leads to actual improvements, other areas of their life seem to be spiraling out of their control.
Whether physically, emotionally, or spiritually, it is helpful to remember that their lives aren’t in our control.
If letting go seems incredibly difficult, it’s because it is. Letting go physically and emotionally is one of the hardest jobs we parents have. It’s also important to be easy on ourselves as we learn to give our child space.
Try to focus on the positive benefits of letting go of our expectations. Allowing our children to travel their own path to self-actualization will help them become more confident and happy people. We can’t do this for them.
Strategies for Offering Your Children Independence
Sometimes as parents, we simply don’t know how to let go. That’s okay. These are helpful strategies to follow that give your child more independence.
- Breathing Exercises–you can see specific examples of breathing exercises to incorporate into your daily routine in this post.
- Prayer or Meditation–practice daily prayer or meditation.
- Talk About Your Concerns–whether it’s with a therapist, a spouse, or a friend, while working on letting it go with your children, take the time to talk out your concerns and think about more favorable outcomes.
- Find Time for Connection–taking time for self-reflection and connection will help you recenter your focus on helping your child.
- Name Your Gratitudes–take a few moments a day to focus on what you love about your child. It might be that she’s easy-going, he’s fun, or she’s creative.
Online Courses for Parenting Neurodiverse Children
Introducing spirituality into your life, and finding time for self-reflection and connection, will benefit not only you but also benefit your child.
Remember, there is no single secret to parenting. The secret, if any, is remembering that you and your child are individual people.
At BLOOM, we offer online resources and courses to meet you and your child at your point of need. Curious about what courses might currently apply to you as a parent? Here are a few that parents have found particularly helpful:
-Collaborative Conversations with Teens
-Emotional Control and Regulation
No matter your need, at BLOOM, you will find a resource that will support your current pain points of parenting. To learn more about BLOOM and how we can help you, book a discovery call here.