February has always been such an interesting month for me. Here in Cleveland it is often the “grayest” month of the year, meaning we don’t get much sunshine! But it is also the month of St. Valentine’s Day! Love is constantly in the air.
It makes me reflect on relationships a bit more, including those with my children. What a struggle it is to balance accepting them the way they are with trying to assure that they will be successful in the world as adults.
As I mentioned in a recent blog post, Change and the Autistic Teenager, I recently tried to get my 16-year-old autistic son to conform to a societal norm that he did not need to conform to. So as parents where do we draw the line? How hard do we push?
The great thing about being Executive Director of the Orange Effect Foundation is that there isn’t that struggle. We want kids to be able to communicate. We want them to do this in any way possible, whether it is verbal, sign, or via technology. One of my favorite parts of the journey is when we hear from parents about their child’s communication successes. And often one of the first things kids communicate to their parents is how much they love them.
So as you finish this month of love, be sure to tell your kids how much you love them. Hug them often. And let me know if you have any tips for finding balance between pushing them to be the amazing people they are and accepting them for the way they are!