While I coach business women on success strategies, self-love and connecting to their unique SPARKpowHER™, these women don’t live in a bubble and often we work on things like conscious parenting and personal relationships. It never surprises me that I hear, “oh, my child has ADHD, etc.” In fact, it feels like it’s more the norm than not. So, I’m dedicating this to my readers and clients who are swimming in a bit of alphabet soup.
There’s no sugar-coating this. If you have a child who has been branded with one or more of what I call “alphabet soup-isms”, you know, first-hand, just how challenging the ordinary day-to-day can be. It’s draining. It’s exhausting. It’s depressing. It’s embarrassing. And at times, yes, it feels hopeless. Now add a good dose of mommy guilt for even thinking these things and you have created a grown-up alphabet cocktail!
I use the term branded because we like to put things in neat little packages with labels. We are accustomed to defining, naming and categorizing. It is how we make sense of the world around us. However, and, I understand there is a certain value in a diagnosis, insofar as obtaining supportive services for school, etc.
But don’t you think that labeling makes us inclined to capping the ceiling on expectations for a child? (i.e., children with XYZ-ism will never be able to do that!) I saw this with my son when he was diagnosed with low muscle tone at 12-months-old. I remember the exact moment I was told the news. I had just gotten home from work after sitting in rush hour traffic, picked up my son from day care, raced home and met the occupational therapist at our house for an evaluation. There we were, all sitting on the rug on my living room floor watching my son as the evaluation began. And then the sucker-punch to the gut; “well, he’ll never be an athlete.” Of course, I restrained from throwing a shoe at the therapist’s head. Today, at 13, my son plays football, lacrosse and soccer.
Lesson: Challenge yourself to see your child beyond the branding…beyond the limits of conventional wisdom. Look to the center…look to your child’s genius.
Business as Usual
Your child’s ability to deal with a sudden change in plans, pay attention, exhibit self-control, temper emotions and a myriad of other life skills has a profound effect on your family culture when business as usual can turn into a full-blown, instant meltdown.
The onslaught of feelings of perhaps not being a “good enough” parent because you can’t seem to “control” your child, span from guilt to depression. And many times business as usual turns into isolation and not wanting to engage in activities outside the home because it is just too volatile.
Lesson: Know your child’s ability to manage outside stimulation and take a break for a bit or balance activities.
Example: if parties are a recipe for disaster, rather than skipping it altogether, arrive late (it’s much easier to leave a party when everyone else is leaving than to try to “persuade” your child to leave while the party is still pumping.)
Remember to give your child the opportunity to rise to the occasion and feel the accomplishment of little wins.
To Medicate or Not to Medicate?
This is an extremely individual and personal decision. I know people who have done both, at different times. Whatever the choice, I applaud parents who decide to do whatever it takes to help their child. I’m not talking about fixing them. I’m talking about helping them to manage how it feels to be in their own skin. This is so big. They are so big. They are big beings bouncing around inside these little bodies. In our family’s journey, we have traveled the road of energy healers, naturopaths, chiropractors, cranio-sacral therapists and even traditional medication at one point. Did all of this help? Yes and no. There is no one answer; no one “right” path, but I will say that the most consistent technique we’ve used to help manage emotions is EFT Tapping. Living an alphabet soup-ism life is like a dance that is always changing tempo. The trick is to be nimble enough to move your feet as the music dictates.
Your Child’s Behavior Has Nothing to Do with You
We’ve all gone through those sleepless nights wondering how our child could “be this way.” Was it something I ate during pregnancy? Was it because I didn’t breastfeed? Was it the vaccines? Was it the vitamins? Was it my distant and deceased cousin Billy’s bad genes?
The need to unscramble the puzzle pieces and find out “how this happened” can be fruitless. Fruitless, and yet human nature. It’s what makes us tick. We see a “problem” and we go into “find the cause” of the problem and fix it. But what do you do when you can’t find the “why”?
The truth is, you may never know beyond a shadow of a doubt what causes “alphabet soup-isms”. And even if you could pinpoint the very instant this occurred, and even if it was your “fault”, how would blame and guilt serve you? How would that serve your child?
As difficult as it seems to wrap your mind around it sometimes, things just are the way they are. Period. Your time may be better spent understanding your feelings and emotions about what’s going on and how you can be your son or daughter’s best advocate. One of the first steps to accomplishing this is to realize that this “alphabet soup-ism” now belongs to everyone in the family – not just the child. This is a huge step toward wholeness and understanding that life as you know it is now different. But it doesn’t have to be bad.
Your Child’s Behavior Has Everything to Do with You
Okay, so didn’t I just say it has nothing to do with you? Well, here is an important distinction. How you feel about your child’s behavior, how you feel about your child and how you feel about yourself has everything to do with you. How you choose to embrace (or not), struggle (or not), laugh (or not) and love……….is entirely up to you. Make no mistake…..this is soul work, this is soul-searching work. Our children are genius at deciphering our true feelings. They can read our emotions sometimes even before we are aware of them. It’s all about energy, right? So, we don’t need to verbalize how we feel (about them), but they can sense it by our actions, our mood and the energy we exude.
It always comes down to love. You need to love yourself enough to practice extreme self-awareness and self-care. And you need to love your child enough to be the example. But, how do you do this when things, at best, feel like a “sh**-storm”? Here are some energy first-aid tips to shift you into a place of love, so you can see beyond the alphabet soup-ism and right into the heart of your child:
You will notice that the more you do this, the faster you come into balance and then the real magic begins. Your child’s energy will begin to shift – without coercion on your part. It’s divine and scientific law: energy flows where attention goes. Tapping is an amazing tool for parents, teachers and for children to learn as well. If you are interested in knowing more about private sessions or a workshop, just drop me a line: firstname.lastname@example.org
Paula G. Rosario
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