This podcast struck a chord for me as a mom and you may experience a similar feeling as you listen to this episode. Your child may have had difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep or experienced anxiety at bedtime and you know how exhausting that can be for the entire family. Even if bedtime has been smooth sailing, you will relate to the struggles many moms face; that is, being more present when our children need us.
Author Terah Boyd was struggling through a difficult time with her family. Out of the blue, her two-year-old daughter began having severe anxiety at bedtime. Forcing the toddler to comply quickly turned to misery. After a year of difficulties, this mom slowed down, took a look at herself, and found the answers. Later, her daughter was diagnosed with Autism and being neuro-diverse.
Learning to be Present
In this episode of a Healthy Bite, Terah shares these answers with parents and children—particularly those in the Autism community—through her new book, Showdown At High Moon: Queen Takes a Stand.
Society has created such a high standard, and most parents feel pressured to adhere. We are always rushing to keep up and stay on point, so we appear to be the perfect family. Often when we feel stressed, we go on autopilot as a coping mechanism. But when parents zone out, we can miss glaring or subtle signs that something is amiss with our kids. They may need extra attention, or they may be missing milestones and need professional help.
Terah was able to connect with her daughter by slowing down and truly paying attention to her daughter, setting her standards and ignoring critics, and entering a guilt-free zone. By doing these things, Terah set them both on a path for happier, healthier lives.
One night in the middle of a melt-down, I just started singing to her, I made up a lullaby right there on the spot. She responded well to it; we started singing it together every night; she would even sing it sometimes during the day. I could see it was calming to her. It was something to hold on to; I don't think she felt she had that before. We need to encourage our children to be confident and talk to their parents about their fears. And for children with Autism, we need to see the child before the diagnosis.
Showdown At High Moon includes the lullaby lyrics. Terah also recorded the lullaby so parents and children can use it as a comforting tool alongside this endearing story.
As I listened to this song, chills covered my arms as it completely took me back to my years as a young mother, putting my babies to bed. There were several lullaby albums that I listened to with my children and songs I sang to them. This song would have definitely been added to my collection.
Listening to Terah's soothing voice, I could feel how much heart she put into this lullaby and felt an immediate connection to her in the sphere of motherhood. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did. Also, as a mother who is way past the bedtime struggles stage, and as one who has children on the spectrum, I can say that this phase of motherhood doesn't last forever and the goal of being present is one that is worth pursuing.
About Terah Boyd
Sparking growth and maturity in people's lives, Terah Boyd is an Autism Awareness Ambassador, Psalmist/ Inspirational Speaker, singer, and author. Two of her three children are on the Autism spectrum, and her daughter is also neuro-diverse.
Terah uses every opportunity to advocate for children with enhanced needs, especially when it comes to education. There desperately needs to be a reform of the educational system when it comes to options given to those who think differently than us. It is also so important to support mothers of those amazing kids. She offers advice on managing the many many challenges that come with parenting a child who requires more than average at her website www.terahboyd.com.
If your child has bedtime struggles such as anxiety or sleeplessness, you can listen to Terah's music on Spotify.
About the Book:
Showdown At High Moon: Queen Takes a Stand (April 2, 2020)
Queen Bean is not going to put up with bedtime anymore! It's too scary, and it's time for things to change. But when that time comes around, things don't go quite as planned. With the moon high and time running out, Queen faces off with a little “Mommy Magic.” Although Showdown At High Moon is about bedtime on the surface, there is much more depth.
Often well-meaning parents can get caught up in the schedule and pressures of life, and instead of engaging and staying checked in with our kids, we rush them around and push for conformance. Terah Boyd pulls from her own experience of frustration at Queen's behavior during bedtime. She failed to see until much later that she was not neurotypical, but a neuro-diverse child.
When Queen was later diagnosed with Autism, all the pieces began to come together. As a mother, Boyd started to see where she missed this piece of the puzzle. Showdown At High Moon serves as an excellent tool for any child at bedtime, but it also reaches out to those with special needs. And it's a great reminder to parents to not just be there but to be present, to engage and to refute outside pressures or expectations from getting in; so we can adequately parent.
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