Contrary to what’s written here in my blogs, I am not the perfect mother. Hell, I’m lucky if I’m an adequate mom at times. But what I do have going for me is the willingness to learn, how to become a better mom. Though, I have to admit, learning is one thing, putting the ideas into practice is quite a different matter altogether.
A few months back following a Sunday mass, I ran into a friend and made small talk. Somewhere in the midst of that conversation, I let slip how frustrated I had become with my son, due to his inability the to get out of his own way; placing the blame squarely on his Asperger’s. Later via Facebook’s instant message system, she sent me a link to a website run by two adult men with Asperger’s, who offered clues on how to motivate the boy instead of holding him back. My husband, unbeknownst to me, also began searching YouTube looking for videos that might help all of us bring the high frustration level in our home down to a manageable level.
Skeptically I clicked onto the link and watched what these “experts” had to say about the subject and was surprised by what I found. “Marsh…Oh, you’re checking out that video link I sent you…” My husband said as he entered the kitchen. “No, this one’s from my friend…” I replied. Taking a closer look, he laughed, amused I was watching the same experts he had found. “Have you watched this whole episode?” I asked. “There are several videos on there. I simply sent you the one I found most helpful,” He replied. After viewing several videos and testimonies from other parents who employed these same techniques, I made the decision to try and do the same.
Today, our home has become a calmer, less stressful place to live, with very small levels of frustration thrown in for good measure. Sure there are still times when the boy bugs me–not eating properly, for example, but my approach to problem solving is different. The other day he asked me “What’s gotten into you?” “What do you mean?” I wondered. “You’re less angry all the time”. Sheepishly I asked, “This is a good thing isn’t it?” “Yes, but I’ve been waiting…” He began. “What? For the other shoe to drop?” I interrupted instead. “Yes”. He replied. “Bay, I’ve made the decision to try and not get upset over all the small details any longer. It’s not good for you or me,” I replied. “Well, you have been quieter…” He remarked. “Imagine that!” I said before we changed the subject.
So what was the magic pill?
Show your kid you love them, support them, are their biggest fan. Look upon their issues, not from a worried parent’s perspective, but rather from a loving parent’s one. Work together to solve the issues they are experiencing, approaching from a perspective of Love than from any place else.
Prior to having someone point out to me that I was problem-solving wrong, I would have told everyone I was using love…my love for him to succeed, my love to make him the best version of himself, my love to push him out of his own way. The difference here is that loving him should be easy, not frustrating. Hence, taking a step back, recentering my love on what’s important–his overall well-being. This is what has made me a better mom. In addition, I’m more relaxed, which as he pointed out, has made me an easier going, less angry mom. What’s more, he’s succeeding without my constant harping.
Yes, love for the win.