Have you seen the old commercial with the tattoo artist eating a candy bar while working on a big guy who looks down at his brand new tattoo with shock says, “NO REGERTS?”.
The tattoo artist, looks at the guy a bit puzzled, then casually apologizes for being in a daze whilst eating her delicious snack, like she was oblivious to the whole thing. I’m sure what happens next is pretty interesting.
Parenting the Extraordinary is kinda the same experience.
We have a baby and begin parenting under the daze of the shiny new experience. Sure we may bring along some unhelpful parenting techniques that were used on us, but our intentions are good, So, with glazed eyes we run to buy the baby rearing books, go to the classes, call the moms and friends for advice and everything is just wonderful… until it isn’t.
At some point we have the awful realization that something isn’t quite right.
Maybe it begins as a baby or toddler or it starts with a teacher, parent or caregiver telling us how we should be using “more consistent boundaries/rules”, or the pressure of “He should know how to do that by now”, or my personal favorite, “She doesn’t play well with others.” Whatever it was, it was the first sign.
Before we knew it we had testing, parenting suggestions, and a plethora of diagnostic theories thrown at us.
Somewhere along the line came acceptance that our kid was somehow different. Maybe it’s High Functioning Autism/Asperger’s, ADHD, Gifted, or a learning disability like dyslexia or dysgraphia, or a combination of these.
Either way, we find ourselves in the universe of parenting a Neurodiverse child, where many of the rules and ideas of parenting need to be adjusted, rearranged or just thrown out. As a result we begin a journey of trial and error…
We find therapies. Some work, some don’t.
We try charts and we watch videos.
Friends send us articles.
Others refuse to accept that it could be anything but our parenting that creates the problem.
As we start to find our way and begin to work things out (or in some cases, sink into a feeling of helplessness) the thought eventually comes…
What could I have done to prevent this?
Was it a vaccine… or the Tylenol I took during pregnancy?
Did I bond enough, or too much?
Did something happen in day care?
WHYYYY did I feed her soooo much gluten?!?
It’s a terrible little monster I like to call Regerts, who lives in the dark recesses of your memories.
But I am here to tell you…
It’s time for him to leave.
There is no time or energy available for that little monster and he is not helpful at all!
Kick him out!
If you knew better you would have done better…
Remember, we create our own monsters and your life is already full, you don’t need more to worry about
So, write him a letter, burn an effigy, or just say good bye.
This journey is full of things to take up our precious time and energy.
Choose how you want to spend it.
Leave no room for things that aren’t helpful.
When it doubt, you tell that little monster… NO REGERTS!!
And speaking of regrets, an excellent way preventing things from going off the rails, is getting to the root of one of a parents biggest challenges… Behavior.
It’s important to keep in mind that addressing behaviors in both kids and a adults is going to look different when we come from a Neurodiverse perspective, and until we (and others) accept this, we can get stuck in a cycle of frustration and… regret!
You can read more about Problem Solving Behaviors here.
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Hi! I’m Yvette Marie a Thought Wrangler (an intellectual nomad looking for understanding and hope in all things). I created this blog space because I believe Flexibility and Flow in Neurodiversity is not only possible, but necessary for living a full life of health and wellness.