Patience, Perseverance, Payoff

Whoever coined the phrase “patience is a virtue,” must’ve parented a child with ADHD. We’re keeping learning going this summer on weekends. We keep it chill – a bit of language, math, writing practice, and physical activity. Once T gets his checkmarks, he gets free time and other rewards the rest of the day. AmongContinue reading “Patience, Perseverance, Payoff”

Orenda: Nature’s Invisible Energy

I recently learned the word, Orenda, a spiritual energy believed by the Iroquois to exist in natural objects. Lately, I’ve been listening to the music of Ferry Corsten. His uplifting songs resonate with me during these challenging times. T is familiar with electronic trance music or as he calls them: songs with no words. ForContinue reading “Orenda: Nature’s Invisible Energy”

Helping Kids Set and Achieve Goals

One recent win we had was helping T set daily goals that positively impacted virtual schooling. T’s Child and Youth Worker was motivated – as were we – to get him to participate more in class. Depending on which camp you fall on, you may find token charts useful or eye rolling in shaping behaviourContinue reading “Helping Kids Set and Achieve Goals”

Your Disco Needs You

Our 6 year old’s quirky song of choice made me reflect on how we should live life like a disco ball. Enjoying music together with T is one thing I cherish in our relationship. For a long time, all he listened to was Queen’s “We Will Rock You.” I went on a recent binge ofContinue reading “Your Disco Needs You”

Coming Out… Again and Again

I came out in my teen years. Decades later, I am coming out again as a special needs parent. As the world celebrates Pride Month and the importance of inclusion, love and tolerance, I am thankful for living in a part of the world that is, for the most part, progressive and inclusive. I cameContinue reading “Coming Out… Again and Again”

Castles in the Sand

A day at the beach reminded me that childhood flies by like sand rushing through an hourglass. A colleague once told me, when the hubby and I first adopted T, to enjoy T’s childhood because it will go by quickly. I recently noticed that T has been staying in his bed throughout the night withoutContinue reading “Castles in the Sand”

“Yes, I Can…”

Monkey bars provided a magical moment when T’s “I can’t” became “I can.” We see for ourselves that while T has a challenging prognosis of at risk FASD, he has so many great qualities. Among them, he is kind, caring, funny, bright and persevering. But we also see, and notice more, things like anxiety, selfContinue reading ““Yes, I Can…””

Visiting My Kindergartener’s Class

It’s the horror every child dreads: when the parent visits their class. It began when T’s class, still virtual, was doing a week-long lesson about rainforests. Unbeknownst to me, the hubby reached out to T’s teacher to share a read-aloud video that I had done a few years ago. It was part of a funContinue reading “Visiting My Kindergartener’s Class”

Lost in an Odyssey

Mario Bros has provided great bonding moments with T and is teaching him about patience and perseverance. During these virtual schooling and work from home days, it’s common for me to be on a work call and for T to walk into the office unannounced. He’d walk past behind my chair, his little head seenContinue reading “Lost in an Odyssey”

The Power of Having Someone Believe in You

An understanding, accommodating and compassionate teacher is a true blessing. We have been so lucky that T has had amazing supports in his junior and now senior kindergarten years. There are ongoing struggles, especially in the daily hell of virtual learning. But we are taking it a day at a time. Gym class has alwaysContinue reading “The Power of Having Someone Believe in You”

5 Years

Cherry blossoms are a beautiful reminder to live in the present. The cherry tree in our yard is in bloom and we’re gonna enjoy their beauty for the week or so that we have them this and every Spring. They remind me that lovely moments in life are often fleeting and so we should enjoyContinue reading “5 Years”

Teaching Kids To Not Fear Failure

Failing can be a good thing. I recently had a coaching conversation with a colleague. The night before, they had delivered a presentation that did not go as rehearsed. They were mortified. But I was impressed with how they owned their “failure” and identified how they would’ve done it differently. Fear of failure is natural.Continue reading “Teaching Kids To Not Fear Failure”

“When I Feel Angry”

Team T have been trying different strategies to help our sweet boy process his emotions. Emotional regulation is often a challenge for children with T’s prognosis – at-risk FASD. We experience a full spectrum of emotions, from happy, sweet, caring to explosive moments. The hardest moments are those when he is set off in theContinue reading ““When I Feel Angry””

When Kids Feel Sad

The best and worst parts of being a parent is feeling your child’s emotional highs and lows. Little children carry big emotions that they often do not yet have the life experience to process. When T has a super high, excited or proud moment, we all celebrate together. On the flip side, we’re in theContinue reading “When Kids Feel Sad”

Making Positive Parenting Work For Our Family

One time, after I responded to T’s tantrum in not-the-most dignified way, the hubby asked, “So how’s that positive parenting going?” As I chopped vegetables, I told him to leave the kitchen or I was positively going to stab him. There are countless resources that describe positive parenting in great detail. I like Kars4Kids’ Parenting’sContinue reading “Making Positive Parenting Work For Our Family”

What Our Explosive Child Teaches Us About Love

After breakfast, I handed T a heart-shaped box of Smarties and asked him to be my Valentine. To me, Valentine’s is about celebrating love in all its forms, including love between family. How fitting then that this year’s Valentine’s is sharing a double billing with Family Day long weekend in Canada. This weekend has soContinue reading “What Our Explosive Child Teaches Us About Love”

How We Barely Survived Our Second Run of Virtual Schooling

T goes back to school next week, bringing to an end our second run of virtual schooling hell. The last six weeks were so incredibly hard, further amplified by other challenges like Ma’s unexpected health issue. Meltdowns, daily battles, frustration with getting T to sit and focus, embarrassing moments of T throwing a fit whileContinue reading “How We Barely Survived Our Second Run of Virtual Schooling”

The Necessity of Compartmentalization

The hubby and I re-entered homeschool hell this week. It was as exhausting as we anticipated. But thanks to experience from last Spring and to T’s organized and supportive teacher and child and youth worker, it felt less painful this time. As any parent, special needs or not, will say: taking time to recharge isContinue reading “The Necessity of Compartmentalization”

Thank You and Goodbye 2020

New Year’s Eve 2019, I played Snakes and Ladders with T. I said that along the way, we’ll encounter things that lift us up (ladders) or slide us back (snakes), but we keep going till we reach the end. Little did I realize the foreshadowing of 2020! The wonderful thing about a new year isContinue reading “Thank You and Goodbye 2020”

A Silent Merry Christmas

Despite the unrelenting challenges that keep coming at us, the hubby, T and I enjoyed a quiet and peaceful Christmas. T’s excitement was palatable. The last two weeks, we counted down the number of days till Christmas. “What’s 9 minus 1?” I asked him at one point last week. “I dunno,” he responded. “If thereContinue reading “A Silent Merry Christmas”