Parenting Lessons: Practice Kindness
Kindness is one of the sweetest ways to show love to your special needs child. Last week, I wrote about being the kind of parent you'd like for yourself. Sometimes because of my own stress and issues, I'm not very kind to Bob. Instead of responding in a loving manner, I have responded rudely and end up shutting down what could be a great conversation. I know this isn't something that only happens with me.
Tips On How To Be A Kinder Parent
According to Brownielocks.com, World Kindness Week is from November 11 - 17th. Over the past few months, I've been trying to practice more kindness with Bob. So here are the tips I've used to be a kinder, more understanding mom.
Be Kind With Your Thoughts
One of the first things I needed to change after finding out about Bob's ADHD was my thinking. My negative thinking didn't allow me to be more understanding towards Bob about his behavior. I was stuck on his past behavior and rather than being optimistic, I was worried about Bob's inability to improve. So I changed my thoughts to practice kindness with Bob. He has come a very long way since his initial ADHD diagnosis and it all began with having good thoughts.
Be Kind With Your Words
Bob was used to hearing all about his behavior at school, with family, even in church and especially at home with me. I chastised him often, even while knowing that Bob has difficulty focusing and concentrating. Bob was sad and angry over it. He denied doing anything wrong because he simply was tired of hearing how "bad" he was. And he wasn't "bad;" he just had trouble focusing, which led to negative comments and then a negative mood. When I saw how troubled Bob was, I put myself in his shoes. I remembered how I grew up feeling that kind words were missing and felt that I wasn't anything special. I did not want Bob to feel that way. I wanted to be a mom that uplifted and supported her child. I wanted to encourage Bob, to uplift his spirit and remind him that he was an amazing person who could do anything he set his mind to. I had to change my words to be kinder. When I did, I noticed Bob's mood was instantly improved. His behavior didn't change right way. That took time. But, he understood that I believe in him and love him very much. Kind words bring a more positive mood.
Be Kind to Yourself
This is probably my biggest challenge while parenting a child with mental illness. Kindness towards myself is hard because sometimes, I just don't have time or have too many things to do. But, when I took the time to be kind to myself, I was a much happier and kinder mother. Bob noticed how happy I was overall. Being kind to yourself allows you to practice kindness towards your special needs child.
Use these tips to practice kindness and magical things will happen.
Zalamar, H. (2013, November 12). Parenting Lessons: Practice Kindness, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2021, May 8 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/parentingchildwithmentalillness/2013/11/parenting-lessons-practice-kindness