I speak to so many of you worried mamas offline. I was once like you — scared about the future, dreaming of fearful “what-if” scenarios, wondering if my kid jumped up and down in excitement over a surprise Disneyland trip if this might, in turn, make him jump up and down 1,000 more times and he’d develop a compulsive tic that resembled a springy clown from a jack-in-the-box.
In fact, what if he started obsessing about clowns or, worse, started shouting the word “Clown! Clown!” when he was supposed to be sitting quietly on the tram or paying attention in Circle Time?
I want to tell you that none of those things ever came to pass which is a great thing for me, my kid, and any people on public transportation or at public school who have a terrible phobia of clowns.
What I did start doing, however, was the best thing that could ever have happened since my son’s TS diagnosis. It was a cure I didn’t think would be more powerful than a Tic Tamer, Bonnie Grimaldi Vitamins, NAC or Gluten Free/Dye Free/GMO organic elephant poo from India — but it really was magical. It was called Faith over Fears.
“Oh, man, this is not what I wanted to hear,” some of you might say. (In fact, you one mama in the Midwest who has been Googling for cures all night… I just heard you groan from here.)
To your “arrgs” I want to say, “I know. I wouldn’t have wanted to hear my advice at the beginning either. But I wish someone would have told me anyway, because it’s the best cure there is.”
It looks something like this:
Fear: Obsess over his neck spasm.
Faith: Encourage the things he loves.
Fear: Banish the “Stuff You Can’t Stand” management.
Faith: Teach him moderation and time.
Fear: Obsess about invisible bullies.
Faith: Be intentional about encouraging real friendships with kind-hearted people.
Fear: Obsess that he’ll feel weak.
Faith: Surround him with family that make him strong.
Fear: Worry about impulsive manners.
Faith: Remind yourself that TS is not an excuse for bad behavior. Surround him with lovely ladies for encouragement!
When you remember to focus on your child’s gifts, not his tics, TS will be something he has, not something he is. And that, my friends, is the cure for this maddening disorder — both for your child and… bonus… for you.
Until next time, hug that ticker of yours today!
PS — My boy started fifth grade today, along with his sister and Miss L who started fourth. I can’t believe it! They had a great morning. Hope your babies are doing OK, too!
I wouldn’t be anywhere without my faith. Yes, Aussies do have faith! :-D