The title of this post is probably something that citizens globally are seeking today either due to geo-political reasons, economic reasons, or religious reasons. However in my post I deal with our attempt to make our home a no conflict zone. I do not claim to be fully successful but our strive continues. I will share my experience and wish to receive your feedback.
Most special needs parents will agree that we argue with our spouse much much more than in natural circumstances and we know how our lives transformed emotionally as we moved into a role of a special needs parent. A conflict between us seems inevitable and arguments happening at the drop of a hat is an understatement. Reasons are galore and could be very minor, for example you gave her meds at 8:15 AM but your spouse wanted them to given at 8:00 AM and comments that you are careless. The next time, you see your spouse busy on a phone call ( might be very crucial for him) instead of attending to your child, you do not miss the opportunity to taunt him as you had been nurturing the hurt feeling for hours. The end result is totally unnecessary. A war of words ensues. The environment of the house is opposite of a no-conflict zone. All said and done your child suffers unknowingly. One obvious effect is when you are working with your child immediately after a conflict, you realize the quality of your work drops, your awareness and your concentration is impacted. This is definitely not what we want.
Though the objective are the same for both of us : helping her, ensuring her well being and activating her brain then why do we argue, get hyper, get stressed, retaliate and yell. We probably conclude that the stressful situation due to her health condition takes a toll on both. But we cannot play the blame game here, the solution is in our own hands. We need to do a favor to our self.
There is a simple solution. Modify your tone. Whenever you are conversing, whether you justify a particular task or you provide your point of view, or introduce a controversial topic or give a contradicting reply etc, do it in a relatively softer tone than you have been doing. It works wonders. After you start applying it in your daily conversation, the awakening will happen on the other side too. You will be amazed by the results. Initially you will have to do it with awareness and consciousness. Gradually it will become a part of your conversation style and then your habit. Consequences are awesome, you will always have healthy conversations and will look forward to work as a team in the no-conflict zone of your home. Not to forget, the ultimate beneficiary is your child.
There is another tip shared by Sudip, Peu’s father; difference in opinion are natural and due to various reasons we might get into arguments with each other. But retaining the unhappy/bitter mood for hours is damaging. Instead, in a few minutes, trash the bitterness, forget and move on. This too is a gradual process and will not happen overnight but put in a conscious effort to get over with the situation and thoughts.
Every situation has a silver lining; during one of our heated discussions we discovered Peu’s (diagnosed with CDKL5 disorder) cognitive maturity. As we argued, Peu swayed her head side to side looking at us one at a time whenever it was our turn to reply during the conversation. It was an eye opener. She seemed to understand everything and probably was laughing at our silliness.
Your thoughts are welcome!.