Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Autism Answer: Loving the Lessons Everywhere!

Alright parents, let's admit it. We've all messed up, and more than once! We've hollered, we've cried, we've smacked and pinched and wanted to run away. We've tried to justify, we've drowned in guilt, we've hoped and wished and hated and tried. 

We've been perfectly human. Just like our kids. 

Admittedly, we are the grown-ups here. So it is our job to example forgiving ourselves, apologizing and making different choices, better-for-now choices. And this is a freaking beautiful thing! Our kids get to see what it means to mess up, apologize and learn from our mistakes! We get to show them and chat with them about how it's okay to be different, to want to give up, to want to run away. We get to show them what it means to get back up and try again, and again, and again!

My brother, Dar, was very low functioning for all of my childhood and much of my adult life. My mom insisted he understood what was going on around him and could learn skills, while professionals and his behaviors said otherwise. I chose to believe the professionals, and my behaviors spoke with loud clarity. Dar heard my non-belief, even when I lied with my words to make mom happy. Now, Dar is thirty-two and has come farther than anyone--besides my mom!--could have dreamed! So I believe in him now, with extra loud clarity! He has heard me apologize, seen me change and grow, and seen his nephews--my boys--change and grow because of it. Because of him!

A few days ago I was kind of cranky and tired. Shay, my fifteen year old son, was asking me weird questions over and over. On a different day I would have answered his questions while guiding the conversation with intention and curiosity, until we both learned a thing or two. That day, I just said,"Shay, can you please stop being so weird?" Oops! His response was a cool and calm,"No." Then we laughed together, I apologized and we discussed what it is to have comfortable conversation. It was wonderful! I got to show my son what it is to mess up, apologize, mean it, and move on! And, I was no longer cranky!

Not only is it okay to be human, and okay to make mistakes when we're parenting. It's absolutely wonderful!!

I'm loving the lessons everywhere!!!
Hugs, smiles and love!!!!
Autism Answers

My wonderfully weird son, Shay and I.
Man, I love my boys!!