**Update** Before you read further, I just wanted to add that our days in the Wilson home have gotten SO much better! We have spoken to some amazing people at Seeds for Autism and SARCC. And are planning on joining some support groups in the area. The help we have gotten, so far, has done some pretty awesome things, and we are very hopeful for what the future brings. -Tiff
Nick here … As most of you know we have had a hard go at it lately. I just wanted to state that my wife and child are my world. Having said that, there are times I can see why the divorce rate is so high amongst parents with special needs children. Most parents will have different parenting styles and this is typically not an issue with your average child. But this also rears it’s ugly head when you have a child, who in our case, has Autism and can have some pretty exhausting tantrums.
Tiffani and I have had conversations over my parenting style when it comes to handling Noah. As I will admit, I struggle with patience. I expect too much from people, which I don’t think this is typically bad to want your child to do their best. When I deliver this message to Jeremiah, there is never an issue. Him and I are best buds, two peas in a pod. This is exactly the same paradigm between Noah and Tiffani, who are very close. Noah feeds off of her patience and understanding, which is fine even though the closeness is not shared between him and I.
The other day Tiffani expressed her doubts about us making it work for the long term and how things were heading, as it was not an ideal situation for the four of us. This is something I will never let happen. Like most husbands, I hope, your spouse is your best friend in the world. I could not, and will not see myself having a life that did not involve her on my arm. So in the face of our upsetting situation, I was and am prepared to figure out how to be a better parent to an Autistic child.
I am typically great with Noah when it comes to good times and fun trips. My biggest hang up is when the tantrums come into play. I cannot imagine that I am alone on this. Tiffani is ultra patient and it comes much easier to her. I channeled my inner Office Space moment and thought to myself, ” There has to be a better way to be present during an extremely stressful situation.” Where your mind can transport itself from that, to a calming and peaceful moment where the stress cannot penetrate.
The next question was obviously how do I attain this mental state of mind? Having grown up in the 1990’s with the Phil Jackson basketball teams I was very aware of Zen. I spoke with a friend, who is a Yoga master. She told me the importance of this and it’s a way of life. It’s more than just something you do. It is a real commitment that comes with time and practice. With this news, I was intrigued and did some research. As it turns out it is a practice that can take years to achieve. So pretty much dip your toes into it, but don’t expect much at first.
So, I have been reading a book regarding Zen and how to get a long with just about anyone. I am taking it slow and practicing when it becomes applicable to a stressful moment. This can be at work or at home, as stress plays a pretty large part of my life. In fact, it is probably something every person needs to control and lower. We will see how things go with this, but I am definitely optimistic!
If anyone else has ideas or thoughts about Zen, let us know! We are not in any way, shape or form professionals, though that’s what we strive for. So, we would love to hear about your techniques!