Congratulations, Superhero Parents!
You are to raise one of the most incredible and unique humans on the planet. I would like to welcome you to the league of superhero parents officially. As with any superhero journey, you will need to study up a lot, but it will all be worth it. The joy you will feel in your life will be so much greater than anything you could ever imagine. Everyone who takes the time to know you and your unique child will feel like their life has been more meaningful. Your child’s perseverance, even on the hard days, will be more inspiring than you know.
Of course, none of this will be easy. You may feel guilty or angry, and that’s ok. However, don’t let these feelings overwhelm you and keep you from being the best parent you can be. Please remember that no matter where your child is in development, they want a connection with others and a place to belong. Try to make your home a safe place for your child by learning what they need – they will let you know. Even if they don’t communicate in a traditional way, they will still try to let you know – you just have to observe and notice.
I also want you to remember you are not alone. To quote one of my favorite food movies, “The world is not always kind to the new,” so it might be with your child, but there are many of us parents out there. We may be hard to see at first: the mom at the playground hovering around a kid that doesn’t seem to play with others the same way; A Dad at the store quietly giving shoulder squeezes and talking to a child who appears distressed/having a meltdown.
Many will overlook us as being “overprotective” or “overindulgent.” The truth is our children are working in their own time to navigate a world not built for them. That mom wants to make sure her child can have fun at the playground by providing help to navigate the play structure or notice if the child is getting overwhelmed so they can move to a quiet place. That Dad probably needed to run an errand, but the store’s lights, noise, and smell are a lot. These actions don’t mean they aren’t overindulging a child. Instead, they are reassuring them that it will be ok and how long they will be there. Once you learn to recognize us, you will see us everywhere – because we are everywhere. Don’t be afraid to reach out; all of us, superhero parents, need friends too.
Ultimately, I want you to remember how special you are as a parent. You are braver and stronger than you know. But, more importantly, You Can Do This. This child is yours, and no one knows them better than you; no one loves them as fiercely as you. You are the expert on your child, don’t doubt your instincts.
Welcome to the league of superhero parents, and remember you are one of many.
All the best,