Sunday, September 13, 2009

Things I NEVER Thought I Would Say to My Child

Have you ever told your child, "Good Temper Tantrum"? I have.

Yes, those words have actually come from my mouth recently.

Here's the deal...when your child doesn't develop on the "typical" time frame, sometimes you rejoice over things that other parents wouldn't notice or might even take for granted.

Elijah self-bites when he is happy and even more so when he isn't getting his way. The self-biting is the bane of my existence at times. Sometimes he bites so hard that he breaks the skin. He has a perpetual wound on his right hand that never heals because he always reopens it.

So, when he recently had a temper tantrum and did two really awesome things I told him "good temper tantrum"; I couldn't help myself. One - he didn't bite himself! Two - he stomped one of his feet on the ground. Might not sound like much, but think of the physical balance it takes to stomp a foot. It was exciting for a multitude of reasons and much more appropriate than biting oneself. So, good temper tantrum, right?!

It makes me think of all the things I've said and/or hoped for Elijah that I never thought I would. Sometimes when he chokes on something, I'm silently thankful that he can gag. There was a point in time when we didn't know if he ever would. When he's whining, I can't help but think about the fact that we didn't know if he would ever cry. And, though he cannot yet speak, I continue to believe that he will one day find his voice, just as he found his cry a little over two years ago.

And I think that's the beauty of parenting a child with special needs. We notice things that most people wouldn't. We rejoice over every accomplishment, no matter how small it may seem to others. And, yes, sometimes we say things that are seemingly as ridiculous as "good temper tantrum!"

(Oh, and just to be clear...I don't plan on continuing to praise temper tantrums. I'd like to eliminate them altogether, but right now I think it's good to encourage a more appropriate way to express his anger.)


Michelle said...

I still tell Weston, "good job!" when he has a big burp (you know, like you would say to a little baby)... it recently occured to me that maybe now would be a good age to stop encouraging it. :)

Ellen Seidman said...

I know exactly what you meant!!! That made me smile. I am glad Elijah had a "good" temper tantrum. I answered your q about flying/eating in the comments section of today's post!

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