Special Needs SUPERKIDS – Are you the parent of a SUPERKID? Sensitive, Underestimated, Puzzling, Exceptional, Reactive, Keeper of our hearts, Inspiring, Difficult.
If you are the parent of (a) Special Needs SUPERKIDs, spring may be the perfect time to clear the cobwebs of familiarity and foster growth in your superhero lives. Just as you would tend to your garden, set time aside this spring to nurture new seedlings in your SUPERKID and then ENJOY watching them blossom.
Parenting Tips for Special Needs SUPERKIDS – DOs
1. Learn their Love Language
We all enjoy receiving love in different ways and SUPERKIDS are no exception. Whether they feel loved with “words of affirmation”, “physical touch”, “quality time”, “acts of service” or “gifts”, you can learn to speak YOUR child’s primary love language and then speak it regularly.
2. Empathize with their Emotion
Special Needs SUPERKIDS feel happy, sad, angry and scared just like we do. As parents we cherish seeing our children happy and excited, dreading those moments of sadness and anger. Challenge yourself to see value in your child’s emotion, as an opportunity for you to teach and them to learn. Spend time with a crying child; listen to their worries, empathize with them, let them vent their anger or cry it out. Teach your children different ways to express their feelings of sadness and anger.
3. Offer Opportunities for Independence
It can be difficult to let Special Needs SUPERKIDS have too many choices or opportunities to take control. What if they get hurt or make a mistake? Allowing your child to make mistakes and learn from them helps to develop their thinking and problem solving abilities. Being able to make a choice and learn from the experience builds a stronger self concept. So offer lots of opportunities for choice; give control away when you don’t need it; set limits and implement consequences without scolding. Raise a child who feels good about him/herself by sharing decision-making and problem solving.
4. Heed potential Hidden Factors
Hidden internal and external factors can be a major contributing cause to challenges in mood, behavior, learning and physical health. Learn to recognize potential hidden factors and how they might be affecting your Special Needs SUPERKIDS.
Parenting Tips for Special Needs SUPERKIDS – Beware of
- Toxins such as perfume, air fresheners, chlorine, preservatives, artificial food coloring, plastics, pharmaceuticals/vaccinations, cleaning products and more
- Food that is nutrient deficient, injected with hormones, antibiotics or color enhancers; foods that may affect mood such as sugar, dairy and wheat
- Allergies reactions often go beyond hives or a runny nose and can take on a mood, learning or behavior change
- Gut Health Yeast overgrowth and/or Leaky Gut Syndrome
- Neurotransmitter deficiencies low levels of Seretonin, GABA, Endorphins
Parenting Tips for Special Needs SUPERKIDS – Resources
- The Five Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman
- Raising an Emotionally Inteligent Child By John Gottman
- Parenting with Love & Logic by Tim Fay
- The Mood Cure by Julia Ross
- Gut & Psychology Syndrome by Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride
- Healing the new Childhood Epidemics by Dr. Kenneth Bock
- In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan
If your child has challenging physical conditions, behavioral or learning difficulties and/or an uneven mood or temperament, they may be a Special Needs SUPERKID.
Mental Fitness Center is located in downtown Rochester at 425 Main Street Suite #201, 248-601-3111, www.mentalfitnesscenter.org. Contact them for more tips growing healthy relationships with special needs SUPERKIDs