I was going to write about something else today but while going through my mail I finally read an article my dad sent me from the Boston Globe magazine from August 12th. (That about puts into perspective how busy I am.) Turns out it was great. It is entitled “A field guide to happier parenting” by KJ Dell’Antonia AUGUST 07, 2018. I would suggest reading the article before you read my commentary.
I like to think that I do most of this stuff and encourage my wife to do the same. After all, I am a life coach. The catch is that parenting kids with issues raises the degree of difficulty considerably. I’m sure, if you are a regular reader of my blog, you know that my now nine-year-old son has ADHD just like his Dad. But, where as Dad was a classic hyperactive boy, he is the absent minded professor — very much off on his on planet, especially when his meds aren’t on board. So, morning routine and evening routine is always going to be more challenging in our household than in many others. But, he’s a kid who just loves school. (He gets that from his Mom!) So homework has never been an issue for him.
Now, my four-and-a-half-year-old is another story all together. Between you, me, and the other eight people who subscribe to my blog, she was just diagnosed with bipolar disorder. So, all the great parenting in the world has not helped with her titanic emotional dysregulation in many cases. In the grand scheme of things all the principles of happy parenting apply, but it is much harder to put them into action. There is only so much you can do to facilitate independence in a child who has a morning-altering tantrum 43% of the time when asked to put her own shoes on.
So, I guess the takeaway for me is that for those of us with kids with issues the most important of the happy parenting secrets is to prioritize “you time” as much as possible. I’m going out to dinner with my Dad tonight, a thing that we are trying to do once a month as of this fall. And, I try to take one for the team once in a while so my wife can go out for a glass of wine with the girls. I’ve also finally started taking the drum lessons that I’ve always wanted to take, since I inherited a kit this summer. I only really have time for that because I’ve redefined having time for it. I practice almost every day, but only about 5 – 20 minutes. Today was seven minutes while the kids were eating breakfast. It is small, but it nourishes my soul. Try it!
By the way, my daughter is on .5 mg of Abilify (Aripiprazole) and it seems to be working! Fingers crossed!
Standard Disclaimer: In an effort to foil my own perfectionist tendencies, I do not edit my posts much… if at all. Please and typos, mistakes, grammatical errors, or awkward phrasing. I focus on getting my content down. An imperfect post completed is better than a perfect post that goes unposted.