Often as a parent, you are never really quite sure what advice is taken on board, how much of that advice is understood and if there is really any way for that understanding to be actionable.
Especially when your child is precociously, fabulously, eight years old.
For me, my sticking points come from twice daily reminders that teeth still need to be brushed and coaxings that Minecraft may be creative but not educationally interchangeable with doing homework in the list of priorities.
I am sure every parent, or in fact anyone that has spent any regular amount of time with kids, fully comprehends the vast reservoirs of refrain and control when they find themselves repeating — nagging — cajoling a necessary “step” be taken for the tenth time that particular day. It is white hair generating!
However, there are moments that come out of the blue that take your breath away.
Of course, you can no more give yourself credit for these moments the same way you cannot pat yourself on the back when your kiddo starts walking for the first time. These are the moments of rapid, random reasoning that suddenly form into ideas that conspire to awaken the child’s own spirit and mind, and coalesce into this monumentally profound milestone of a breakthrough.
Today by far was one of the biggest awe-inspiring moments that my child has gifted me in experiencing. Let me preface the story a bit first:
My son suffers huge anxiety when faced with difficulties, his Dyspraxia coupled with his other difficulties often creates a huge “shut-down” mentally that disallows any progress to be made until he enters into a calmer frame of mind.
I guess like all of us, when stress hits you and overwhelms you, one tends to react extraordinarily out of character, or to just have a brain melt moment.
In this respect, I do not believe it is his Dyspraxia that is the cause, more so the terror of not having enough of the right tools in place to handle things differently.
Note I did not say “better,” because adults are notoriously rubbish at being mature at difficult times and why we expect that of kids is beyond me.
So, today I was very concerned about how my son would cope with his math exam. This is normally a huge trigger point for him. I picked up the phone and called home to see how his day went, after making a coffee and taking myself out of the office in order to be able to calm him, as has been the case for years.
Instead, after years of pep talks, guidance that I thought would help and still dealing with huge breakdowns, today magic happened.
Today I asked him how it went and he happily told me that everything was fine, everything was great. He wasn’t stressed at all. He kept grounding himself, and although he wasn’t allowed to take his shoes off, he imagined he wasn’t wearing any and felt his roots go deep down into the earth.
He also told me that he blessed his water bottle to be able to drink “calm” and “love” throughout the exam and that he Baga-d his way when he felt stressed about answering questions.
I was completely blown away and reminded yet again, never to underestimate the value of constantly sharing what I learn as an adult with him, but equally never to underestimate what a child is capable of if you just place your trust in them to figure things out for themselves, at their own pace.
– Asha Gill