As we get older we forgot what it is to go out and play. One of the things I have really enjoyed as a parent is the way my kids pull me back into their world. This has been a easy process with my youngest.
Dad come play with us?
I just have to remind myself when I am tired or on my phone that it’s worth it to take a moment and play with my kids. With my oldest this has been more of a challenge. With a kid on the spectrum you need to find out what interests them and meet them there or find something that interests you and work a little harder. I am currently working on building a swing set myself. When I rode past this I felt a bit sad just because I saw the abandoned swing and I know it will probably be taken down.
When your child comes up to ask “can you play with me” is your swing broken?
One of the hardest challenges for any parent is deciding how to discipline your child. When you have a special needs child this gets more complicated. When you feel like you have things figured out you have another child and have to start over. For us this has been the biggest of challenges and the best of opportunities with our youngest son. Hezzy doesn’t test us like Mattox does this shot was taken after he had wrote something he wasn’t suppose to at school. All the normal things float through your head.
Am I failing as a parent?
Could I have stopped this?
Is this my fault?
The reality is none of us are perfect give yourself some grace there but don’t allow it to prevent you from telling your child what’s wrong is wrong.
I told Mattox what he did was wrong and he was gonna help me with the yard work for quite a while. He complained at first but the funniest thing happened. We hung out and had a good time and he asked if I had more for him to do. This was hours of work but also hours of time with my son and we accomplished something together. I am still learning but if there is one thing I could pass on to the next parent it is whatever your discipline is make it constructive and spend time and care to make sure they know you care for them even though they did something wrong.
Do you have trouble disciplining your child? Is there something you can do that’s constructive next time your child does something they are not suppose too.
Gardening has been a place to help me forget about all the craziness of life. I forget about the things I can’t control and focus on pulling weeds I can. Trimming our plants and seeing it come together often time having my son help water them. A process of letting go even the plants you see in this picture only started blooming when I stopped watering them. I feel like this is a good coping mechanism for any parent and your place looks nicer after your done.
I was a knife nut before I had kids. When I started getting into gardening I wanted a nice hand trowel and found the Japanese Hori Hori. “Hori” means to dig its sharp on both sides and especially for working with succulents it makes digging out the pups off the base of the plants really easy.
The exact model I got is the sensei Hori Hori. I love it the sheath is a little flimsy but the unit is incredibly robust. No I am not sponsored but would love to be if your reading Sensei 😉 lol. I just want to give you guys some real world recommendations. I have been doing mostly reflective posts lately. There will come times in your life where you need to dig deep and sometimes it may be helpful to literally dig and now you will have a cool tool to do it with.
Sensei Tools Hori Hori Digging Knife, 7.5 Inches – With Sheath https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00W3OTQLU/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_RlSTAbKT6DCXE
Since we moved into this house this section always flooded due to the fact that this little rain gutter piece was facing the chimney. We have a flat roof on this part of the house and all of the water gets redirected here just changing this tiny piece completely fixed that problem as there is a drain right there.
I feel like I have had a lot of conversations with people that are not happy with their life or something about their life and they haven’t changed anything. To which I always reply
Nothing will change if you don’t change something I would start by changing just one thing.
I feel like a lot of us get stuck because we see a insane list of problems that are too big to take on so we don’t make a single step in the right direction. We give up before we ever start, many things are out of our control but changing one thing is something we can do. The list of things to help Hezzy with is never ending but we are taking it one thing at a time and seeing a lot of progress, its not easy but oh man its worth it. Don’t give up you can do it.
What is the one thing that you can change in your life?
My wife and I are always trying to learn how to parent better, every child is different and ours are night and day. We are constantly being presented with new situations with both of the boys. Consistentency is something we know has played a huge role in our kids lives. We try to make things as black and white as we can and ask the boys often “yes or no” when faced with a decision. We don’t allow our boys to reply with let me think about it when we tell them to go to bed or do chores and we in turn try to give them very direct answers to their questions.
Our culture is immersed in technology and we are just as guilty if not more then most. We are trying to define the black and white with things like iPads that can be very beneficial but also can be very detrimental as well. We have struggled here and will do a longer write up to include when we use it as a visual aid for our special needs son.
As adults it would seem that we would benefit from being straight forward with love to people just like we are with our kids. When was the last time you told someone “we should hang out sometime” with someone you have no intention of spending time with? We are so busy and sometimes we just need to let some things go, are you overwhelmed with all the grey you have created by not saying yes and no to things? What are some things you need to say yes to and what are some things you need to say no to?
It’s amazing how something that can seem so simple becomes such a challenge with a kiddo on the spectrum. We have had a lot of challenges that I would consider “funny” but this one, at least for now takes the cake.
We were out searching for a sledding spot in the snow with no access to a bathroom and had just walked our way down a valley that would work. When I hear those dreaded words “go potty” which are normally a welcome sentence at home. I told him ok buddy let’s go over here to which he replied “no over here” repeating over and over loudly. I finally get him over to a tree trying to convince him peeing in the snow would be fun. He was screaming at this point at the top of his lungs and I felt ridiculous. Eventually though he did it and did enjoy it in fact went up to my wife and had no problem going for her. This brings me to the reflective moment.
One of the things we have strived to do with Hezzy is to force him to try new things. Without the ability to effectively communicate what he does and doesn’t want to do this has been our only avenue to help him in many areas. In fact some of the things he enjoys most now he screamed that he didn’t want to do them. As parents if we don’t push our kids to at least try new things we are effectively hindering there growth. Sometimes we can hand all of our biases unknowingly to our kids, which makes things increasingly difficult for special needs kids. Instead of saying he can’t do that he is special needs or someone asks me do you think he can do that I smile and say we are about to find out.
In my own life I find myself trying more things because it has had such a powerful effect on my son. Do you feel like you have held your child back out of fear? Has this affected your life and you feel like you haven’t tried new things yourself. Nothing crazy or weird just something new. There are limitless possibilities look at your challenges and your child’s challenges as opportunities. Sometimes we can’t see the forest for the trees and sometimes we just haven’t taken the time.
Hezzy was anxious on this walk there was a lot of people it was bright and really noisy he put his “scarf” on his head to hide him a bit and wanted my arm over his head while we walked. He lit up and said “I want bridge” it was the first time he showed any interest in anything.
I think a lot of us hide who we are for fear that people won’t like us and then we question how genuine those relationships are. I don’t feel it wise or beneficial to just spew every hurtful or negative thing that comes to mind but do feel that a lot of people are missing out on deeper conversations out of fear. This year I am working on finding that bridge to sharing who I am with a limited few. Do you need to find your bridge this year?