Parenting the Out of the Box Kid
I’ve said it here a few times. Parenting is like caring for a piece of your heart on the exterior of your body. From infanthood, toddler, school age, and teen, our kids are discovering who they are just as much as we are trying to figure them out. But one of the hardest parts of my parenting journey thus far has been the ripple effects of parenting an ‘out of the box’ kiddo.
What do I mean by out of the box?
In a post back in March (TEST TO TESTIMONY), I communicated that I have a kiddo with what I call alphabet soup. At seven he was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), and at eleven Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), along with that Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) and Dyslexia. ***
***DISCLAIMOR- I know the above diagnoses are minor compared to what many other children experience in their young lives. Know that my goal here is encouragement. To let you know you are doing a hard job well.
As I said in the post linked above, these elements of my son are not mistakes. Studies are done all over the world to seek to understand these conditions, with little known in why some kids have them and not others. It is my belief that my son was made on purpose and for a purpose.
But even with that truth, parenting an out of the box kid is hard.
They don’t operate to situations in the way you’d expect. I’ve had to explain to an irate mom at the park why their pre-teen son was bit by a ten-year old. We’ve had to leave the public pool, trampoline park, etc. because he can’t control his hands and emotions.
We’ve dealt with bullying and helping emotionally put him back together after the harsh words of his peers have been said. We’ve had to council him through how his actions on how he is being a bully.
We’ve had to be creative in disciplining him, an intentional in training him in life and godliness.
All this to say, that parenting an out of the box kids is exhausting. It drains you physically, like when you have to chase them across a golf course while pregnant. It drains you emotionally, when you see your child a puddle of emotion when kids have been mean. And you don’t know if you want to go momma bear on some punks or have to put together the puzzle of your child’s confidence.
All this to say that this out of the box kid makes us laugh hard, try new things, and makes me lean into God’s character and insight more and more. I have grown more in my faith since he’s been born, than the previous years, as a person and as a Christian because of my out of the box kiddo.
A woman at our church, with an out of the box kid, once said, “God is working on everyone in the room”. God isn’t only focused on drawing our children to a relationship with him, but also in the health and strength of our own relationship with Him. He often brings us to hard things in order to strengthen us and reveal himself to us.
Sometimes books help too. Here is a list of the books that have helped me parent my out of the box kid best.
Shepherding a Child’s Heart- Tedd Tripp
Good and Angry-Turansky and Miller
Discipline that Connects with your Child’s Heart
You are the best parent for your kids. The best to shape them into the adults God needs them to be. God is also training your heart and mind to know and love him more in this journey.