If you, then, though you are evil, know how to
give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give
good gifts to those who ask him! Matthew 7:11
For six years I worked at a Christian university and loved
it. I was even blessed to have an opportunity to teach a number of courses to
young people who were preparing to live their lives in service to God. But even
though I was once a teacher, being a parent has made me more
See, I have been on a leave of absence from work for three
days now, taking care of my newborn son. I am enjoying it immensely, and
learning some valuable lessons along the way.
Lesson #1: (Not) Ready, Set, Go!
When preparing to go on an outing, don't put your child in
his car seat too soon. My mistake was it was one of the first things I did.
Then I packed the diaper bag. Then I got my personal belongings together. By
the time I was actually ready to leave, my son Parker had been in his car seat
for 10 minutes and was screaming bloody murder. He was bored, uncomfortable and
frustrated. Once we got moving in the car, he calmed down and fell asleep.
Nevertheless, I won't make that mistake again. Next time, Parker is the last to
get ready to go.
Lesson #2: Skin on Skin
Give your kid what he wants. The doctors and nurses in the
hospital where Parker was born stressed that for infants, skin on skin contact
with both parents is essential. Especially during feeding time, let your baby's
skin touch your skin. Makes sense, that's pretty much how it's done during
breast feeding. So today, I took off my shirt while I gave Parker his bottle.
(It's not a sight you want to see. Thank God there is no photographic evidence.
) With just a diaper on, he was sans shirt, too. I put his back up against my
chest and rested his head against my arm as I began to feed him. Parker decided
he wanted more of snuggle time with daddy, and scooted himself over so that his
head was cuddled up against my chest. It was very cute. And it melted this daddy's
heart. I didn't protest.
I have learned more from my son than I will ever teach
him. While autistic children often have difficulty bonding, don’t assume they
won’t make connections or develop relationships. It might be more difficult,
but it is possible. Even as an infant, Parker was cuddling up to his daddy and
he has been a daddy’s boy ever since.
you are a parent, what is something that your child has taught you? Thank God
for that right now in prayer. What is something that your child wants that you
can give him or her? Often times, they just want more of your time and
attention. How can you demonstrate to them that you are listening to them and
want to provide for their needs? Pray about it and make a commitment today to
spend more time with your children, whatever their age! Take action soon,
before you forget your commitment, and make it happen.
Labels: autism, Autism Awareness Month, children, Matthew 7:11, Parker's Story: Essays on Autism and Awesometism