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When your kid does that.

2012-04-13_1334352016@0Hey, you, the parent with the intense kid,

Oh, when I see you out and about in the world and you’re having a challenging moment with your kid, I feel for you. It’s possible I feel for you because I was you. As a parent of an intense kid (our behaviorist used that term when our son was 5 and it stuck) I wish I could give you a complete list of the behaviors we’ve dealt with in the past so you’d know you’re not alone. Seeing you out just trying to live your life made me think about how hard it was during those times when people would stare. And judge. Their judgement was thick and hung between us like a broken bridge over aligator-filled waters.

When your kid is crawling on the floor at a store, rolled up into a ball under the table at a restaurant, or hiding between clothing on racks or behind doors and pulling cereal boxes off of a shelf, it’s not your fault.

You’re not a horrible parent.

When your kid is swinging his arms trying to hit your face, please know, it’s not your fault.

You’re not a horrible parent.

You just haven’t found what works for you and your family yet to help your kid cope, I know you won’t give up.

When I see you out and about and your kid is overstimulated and acting out, I’m reminded about how¬†desperate we were for some days to be over. Those nights when bedtime looked like it was forever away because I needed to sit on the couch and stare at a wall in the quite, dark living room.

It gets better. You know why? You’ll figure out what works for you and your kid and you’ll wonder why you ever stressed out about it, except when you have some PTSD-like symptoms. Don’t let anyone tell you that there aren’t flashbacks to these hard days because there are really hard days. You’ll figure it out, I promise.

When I see you out and about next time, I’m going to make sure we make eye contact. I’m going to make sure I give you an understanding smile. I’m going to make sure I say hello and that I get it.

You’re not a horrible parent.¬†

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Art by Robin Plemmons

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Part of the NoBloPoMo – a post everyday in November!

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