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LaurenMK
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05 Apr 2021, 9:12 pm

I need advice on how to talk to my kids. I’m in the middle of a shutdown. Can only write right now, everyone is asleep. Figured I would do something proactive instead of beating myself up. I never understood children when I was a child myself, which makes it extremely difficult. My mother gives me advice, therapist, but I need ground rules explicitly laid out and sometimes, no matter how much parenting research I do it seems to be geared towards NTs. I want to make wonderful memories with my kids, but I do tend to have some sensory issues when it comes to others crying and higher pitched cries. Son, 7 is a bit easier for me to talk to. He is extremely intelligent and a pretty laid back personality. My daughter, 4 going on 5 in a little less than two weeks is very needy for attention and will do anything for it. I ignore negative behavior but the escalated screaming from it, simply hurts. Not really any other way to describe it, but that it hurts. My mind may be too analytical and I think I am always just trying to solve the problem. I show lots of affection and give positive praise. Also, split custody 50/50.



timf
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06 Apr 2021, 7:36 am

One parental trap to avoid is trying to provide you children with a continual stream of entertainment. This can be a problem with partial custody in that you want the time spent to be enjoyable.

Children need external discipline until they can develop their own internal discipline. Without discipline, they can face difficulties with drugs, criminal activity, or sexual diseases.

Here is a booklet of some of the issues with parenting Asperger kids.

http://christianpioneer.com/blogarchiev ... g%20v2.pdf

You may wish to mix entertainment activities with chores, volunteer work, or even athletic activities. You may wish to expose your kids to many various activities to see if they respond with interest to any particular one.

If your child has a tantrum, having him sit on a chair facing a wall until he can get his self-control back can be a mechanism to help him develop his responsibility for his own self-control.

Child rearing is often recursive and only slowly do the character qualities that you desire emerge. Parenting is more than providing pleasant memories. It is a difficult and demanding job, but preparation can be helpful so you should be commended for reaching out.



Juliette
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06 Apr 2021, 12:04 pm

Hey Lauren :). You’re likely doing a far better job of it than you realise. Parenting isn‘t meant to be easy, it’s tough. Children are meant to test us at intervals to ensure we mean what we say. They rely on us to be in control, keeping them feeling “safe and secure” at all times. Daily life can be made easier with some guidelines and simple strategies.

The setup of the environment is all important, allowing children of the ages you mentioned the opportunity to self-manage themselves for some of the time, while you are there to manage any challenges from the outskirts. You’re doing well to ignore the negative ... within reason. There’s a difference between a tantrum and a meltdown. Not sure if your children are on the spectrum, but regardless these strategies help all children. I’ve worked with both neurotypical and ASD children, besides children and young adults with other challenges and differences. These strategies work with all.

1. If you haven’t already, provide yourself and your children with a daily routine that works for you, and for them. This doesn’t mean running yourself into the ground, but rather, making life easier, not harder.

2. The rules are the rules. Anything you ask your children to do, should be followed through from start to end. If behaviour escalates, calmly direct them to what they need to be doing.

3. Do not raise your voice. Tone of voice is very important. Calmly maintain control. You are in charge of managing them, they must never manage you.

4. Consequences ... if a child is throwing a tantrum, crying/acting out due to not getting his/her way, allow them to work their own way through those emotions ... no need to punish with aversives. If noise is an issue for you, you are in control and have the right to direct them or move them gently but firmly to their room OR remove yourself for a few minutes of air to another room. When they’re calm again, they can be re-introduced back into the “play environment” once again with a calming activity(eg drawing/painting/playdough play with cutters, doll’s house, water play, books).

Children demanding your time can be managed when they know they have you for particular parts of their day. eg After morning tea, you share 2 books and sing some songs together with actions. At 3pm after a nap(if needed) you take your children to the park and push them on the swings etc, have a picnic afternoon tea. Bedtime = bath, teeth cleaned then 2 books, then sleep.

5. Be aware of your child’s health and sleep ... they may be behaving “off” due to coming down with something and/or sleep may have been poor the night before.

I’ve written some Behaviour Management Strategies for further reading, but if you have any particular questions, feel free to ask.
http://www.aspie-editorial.com/behavior-management-part-1/

http://www.aspie-editorial.com/behaviour-management-part-2/

I have 3 children on the spectrum(am on the spectrum myself), have managed children in schools and in my own business working with SEN children and children who’ve experienced trauma, loss and abuse in Australia, the US and the UK.

Your issues with sound sensitivity require respect and careful management too. You need time to yourself to unwind(eg a relaxing bath to look forward to at the end of the day, music, a book, a game) but remind yourself that there will come a day when the difficult days will be a thing of the past, for they will be. When things are tough, best to take it one day at a time and allow yourself breathing room/breaks. Be kind to yourself and rely on your ability to control your home environment in a positive manner, which in turn helps your children to cope and manage with their own day. They look to you for guidance, positive discipline(praise them when they’re behaving well) and as their role model. Accept that you’re only human and doing the best you can 8). X



magz
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06 Apr 2021, 2:20 pm

One thing I do with my children:
"Shush, you're so loud it hurts me! If you get quieter, I will be able to hug you."


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LaurenMK
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07 Apr 2021, 5:47 am

I really appreciate this. I’m still processing and applying it. Will check back after the week to report if it has been helpful. The weeks I have my children, unless I am up when everyone else is asleep, it is a bit difficult to put effort into a thoughtful post, but wanted to say thanks.



LaurenMK
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12 Apr 2021, 11:07 am

I want to say thank you to the individuals who responded. I reviewed all of the posts in great length and analyzed how it applies to my children to the best of my ability. The way you explained it to me has finally started showing success in application. Things have changed dramatically. Now for a follow up question..... how do you find ways to connect in an age appropriate manner? I am not sure if my expectations are too high in how they can or should be communicating with me.



magz
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12 Apr 2021, 11:25 am

LaurenMK wrote:
how do you find ways to connect in an age appropriate manner?

I don't :D
I care for connection and I don't even know what is considered "age appropriate".
With uneven ability profiles in ASD, I'm not sure the term makes much sense at all.


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LaurenMK
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16 Apr 2021, 5:41 pm

Understandable, however, I do have to be a parent and I believe that my unconventional thoughts on society and raising children will hinder there ability to grow in society. Both are NT so I do not always quite understand the significance of things they become upset about. When I was their age, I preferred to be with older age groups. Sometimes their imagination play is even puzzling to me. But I love them and just want to be my best for them. I love them so very much.



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16 Apr 2021, 6:11 pm

timf wrote:
Children need external discipline until they can develop their own internal discipline.

Without discipline, they can face difficulties with drugs, criminal activity, or sexual diseases.


That first sentence is amazingly profound, and it sums up why so many young, and now not so young people end up in prison today and they don't even know how or why they got there because the first sentence sums up the cause. Lack of discipline during the childs learning years of development leads to the child not having their own internal discipline when as an older child or an adult, which in tern leads to the issues of a lack of self control and all the traits that go with this lack of self control.

You have very good insight.

Discipline does not mean beating. Yes a smack to correct that will cause a "Sting" in a place that does not cause any harm like the behind, but never a force beyond that.
Beatings can cause future like issues with mental trauma and believe it or not, a lack of respect and rebellion in their future years. Discipline should ALWAYS be done in love and never done in anger. If you as an adult are angry, calm down first and then discipline realizing that you need to correct your child but not hurt them beyond a way to make them think twice.


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magz
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17 Apr 2021, 3:10 am

LaurenMK wrote:
Understandable, however, I do have to be a parent and I believe that my unconventional thoughts on society and raising children will hinder there ability to grow in society. Both are NT so I do not always quite understand the significance of things they become upset about. When I was their age, I preferred to be with older age groups. Sometimes their imagination play is even puzzling to me. But I love them and just want to be my best for them. I love them so very much.

Maybe they need to pick these "normal" society expectations from other people in their lives?
My brother's important part of social develompent happened in scouting. Mine - in music school.
That's my approach with my NT daughter - we're encouraging her to spend time with my husband's NT sister and in many groups where she can have contact with people and develop "normal" social skills.

Being true to yourself with your child is more important than being an ideal parent. If you know you lack something, you can encourage it from outside.


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09 May 2021, 7:03 am

My kids are all grown up and are all more socially adept than I am. If they are capable of learning NT skills they will eventually absorb them from the outside world. You are giving them love and acceptance - this is truly more valuable than any other trait or treasure they could have had.
Also, they see an alternate perspective and that they need to respect each person’s special needs - this is a valuable lesson in empathy.

Children can understand when you explain what you need. “I need you to find a new way to express yourself - please choose something you can do besides screaming,” Then practice with her on alternate ways to express herself. When she screams, say “use your other way” rather than “don’t scream!”. Turns a negative reaction into a positive one.

Worry less about what’s missing and cherish the moment - you’re doing fantastic.