As a first time parent, I pretty much always feel like I’m doing it wrong. Scarring my child for life. Raising a kid that makes everyone roll their eyes and say, MY precious angel would never do that. Add the fact that Gbear has serious communication issues and discipline becomes disastrous.
I don’t know the best way to parent. I just try to teach my child to respect others, respect himself, and have basic manners. There is a constant internal debate in my brain about when I set my expectations too high. What if he’s not misbehaving on purpose, but what if he didn’t truly comprehend what I’m saying? At what age are certain expectations normal? And amidst all this I also try to remember that every child develops in their own time. I’ve had this fear of asking too much of my child and in harboring this fear I have totally set myself up for failure.
Instead of being compassionate and understanding, I’m being naïve. I have allowed him to get away with so much because I wasn’t sure what level of cooperation is normal to expect from a child his age. I’m learning though. You have to set the expectations higher for your children so that they can strive to reach it. If you keep lowering the bar, then it teaches a child that they can get away with being less and that is not something I want for my child.
I wonder often if Gbear was a second child if I would have encountered the same questions with expectations. Would I know what to expect of him or would I hide in the shadow of excusing his behavior because of his diagnosis? All I know is that I will keep trying to be a good parent and not let his special needs overshadow the values I wish him to learn.