- Mental Health
Finding the right words
Understanding our children
Learning to understand our children
Emotions are what make us human when we are in touch with our feelings and sometimes we feel invincible and can take on the world and do anything we wish and other times we feel invisible and just want to be left alone. Living is all about developing meaningful relationships in which we can open up, share and talk about life, dreams, secrets, hopes, accomplishments, disappointments and visions. It seems to me that at times we feel lonely and isolated even if we are surrounded by others. I always want to live a life fulfilled and do all I can for my family, my friends, my employers and all those people who come into my life. I feel blessed to have been given the gift of life and for being able to share with so many special people as my life continually evolves. I feel everything we do has meaning and it is our privilege to have such opportunities and to share it with others.
We learn early on the importance of relating to others and the ability to express ourselves. I am learning now through the eyes of my son who is autistic and has some difficulties in establishing relationships and in expressing himself how important it is to find self confidence, acceptance and friendship. For me it is very important to help my son achieve his true potential and to help him develop self awareness, confidence and self acceptance. I am an advocate for my son and always striving to be supportive, patient and understanding of his situation and when I feel discouraged that is the time I have to really push myself and find a way to help him make the positive connections that will make a difference in his life.
I know what it is like to feel shy and to hold back and that is an easy pattern to fall into which will cause frustration and can stifle us in our development and in achieving our true potential. In trying to connect with my son I am always trying to find a way to talk with him so he understands how much we love and care for him and how important it is for him to be a kid and to enjoy his childhood and to gradually ease into growing and finding his likes that make him happy and teach him important values.
As I encountered personal tragedy in my life I have grown in ways I wish I never had to from those painful experiences and I have become stronger and very reflective about life and it's true meaning. We never really understand why we are faced with such pain and heartache but we are always learning and trying to cope as best we can. If we look at our life as a race there are many stages and we will encounter each one in various points and we will have different feelings throughout and it is essential that we prepare ourselves for each stage in the race because we need to finish it with our best effort. Life is a challenge and we wish to see it through to the end.
In speaking with my son I am always trying to teach him valuable lessons and finding the right words in expressing my thoughts, ideas and opinions that hopefully will register with him and help him in understanding life and what we are here to do with our lives. To me sometimes it seems like a complete mystery and when we are discouraged we find things seem pointless and look for meaning and sometimes we just don't see it. That is when I have to dig deep and really have a heart to heart conversation with my son which does take an emotional toll. You never really feel sad or upset until you hear your own child question life and why it seems so frustrating. We never want our children to feel sad or discouraged but it seems that even children can be affected by their emotions and that is when you really have to listen to them and truly understand what they are saying so you can offer them sound advice and help them through those painful years as they are starting to grow and develop as their own person with their own thoughts and their own ideals.
In dealing with my own personal experiences I have found writing a welcome exercise in self expression as I have always tended to be shy and found I always could express my feelings through the written word where I can be alone with my thoughts and write how I feel and express it with carefully though out ideas that have true meaning to me and are written with clarity and heartfelt sincerity. I have explained to my son also how important it is to express our feelings and if writing makes him more able to do so then I encourage that. One thing I learned in raising an autistic son is that if writing works for him then he should utilize his skills and write whatever is on his mind. I have encouraged him to channel his feelings through written words if that will help him. I have seen his writings and I must say that he really does have a wonderful way of expressing how he feels and when I read his words that are his thoughts and ideas I am truly able to see his perspective and gain insight into how he feels and then I can have a starting point in communicating with him and to strengthen our father-son relationship which is always my focus in life.
Life for a father and son is all about bonding and we have moments that are special and when they are described in my son's words in a carefully thought out writing exercise with such meaning and purpose I feel a deep connection that warms my heart and puts a smile on my face and makes me happy when my son is happy.
Edward D. Iannielli III