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13 Jun 2015, 1:13 pm

How do you help your kids cope with their big emotions?


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I am female, I am married
I have two children (one AS and one NT)
I have been diagnosed with Aspergers and MERLD
I have significant chronic medical conditions as well


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13 Jun 2015, 1:53 pm

Empathy and acceptance, and, when possible, someone else to chime in and be supportive.

Any emotion in particular you mean?



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13 Jun 2015, 2:00 pm

Anger is what I most want to help my son with at the current moment.

He isn't physically aggressive (anymore). He can sometimes say verbally aggressive things.

He is very quick to make conclusions about interactions with others and he is often mistaken about their intent--which he responds to with sudden outbursts of anger.

I want to help him slow down, not jump to anger so quickly (or find ways to transform it into something useful), and to not shut down communication with others (after making hasty conclusions). Also, I'd like him put his altercations in perspective--every tiny slight makes for the "worst day ever" and is a possible reason to never be friends with so-in-so ever again.


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So you know who just said that:
I am female, I am married
I have two children (one AS and one NT)
I have been diagnosed with Aspergers and MERLD
I have significant chronic medical conditions as well


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13 Jun 2015, 2:08 pm

I've observed success by parents who say things like "that's very strange and sometimes, we just don't understand why people do things" or "she doesn't feel good about herself so sometimes she bullies" and it seems like giving an explanation that doesn't require an angry response and showing calm yourself helps. Also "let's think about what your choices are" and going over choices for how to deal with a frustrating situation.

Another thing is rewarding my child with something for appropriately advocating for herself when frustrated rather than sulking, shutting down, criticizing, etc. so she learns what to do in other situations but practices with me .



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13 Jun 2015, 2:34 pm

I will try that, thanks.

I think my child will have 100 follow-up questions and comments though. :P (and most of them will be shouted..)

I like the "lets think about your choices" idea. I recent tried to make him a little paper of calm down ideas because, after talking we realized that he has solid calm down methods at home, but not at school or out and about. So, we were trying to brainstorm some more.

At home, he likes to:
-find an isolated spot
-get his lovey
-cuddle

When out or at school, he does immediately look for an isolated spot...it's just not always available.

Then, I think he sits and stews about how he doesn't have his lovey to help him feel better.

(He isn't allowed to bring lovey to school, but *was* allowed to bring it to summer camp and chose not because of possible peer reactions.)


I am always calm in these situations and so is his father. In fact, my son has admitted to being "bigger" so that we notice him more. I think he is sometimes seeking validation through exaggerated emotions.



When my son is calm and feels validated, he can usually make mature and empathic decisions. (Having enough responsibility at home is the other piece of the puzzle for keeping him as regulated as possible.)


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So you know who just said that:
I am female, I am married
I have two children (one AS and one NT)
I have been diagnosed with Aspergers and MERLD
I have significant chronic medical conditions as well


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13 Jun 2015, 4:23 pm

screen_name wrote:
Anger is what I most want to help my son with at the current moment.

He isn't physically aggressive (anymore). He can sometimes say verbally aggressive things.

He is very quick to make conclusions about interactions with others and he is often mistaken about their intent--which he responds to with sudden outbursts of anger.

I want to help him slow down, not jump to anger so quickly (or find ways to transform it into something useful), and to not shut down communication with others (after making hasty conclusions). Also, I'd like him put his altercations in perspective--every tiny slight makes for the "worst day ever" and is a possible reason to never be friends with so-in-so ever again.


Sounds like my daughter (9), though she is getting somewhat better. A couple of things I've noticed (or she's flat out told me). It is of no use to try to work through the issue in the heat of the moment or when she is still feeling highly emotional. She simply can't hear me, even though I am trying to help her process things. She told me what she needs me to do is to simply empathize with her in the beginning. To feel bad for her for the way that she feels and see things from her perspective (even though she may be wrong). Then, once she feels confident that I "feel bad" for her and "understand her" and "not take the other person's side" she has promised to listen to me to try to find other ways of dealing with the situation. So far, this has worked OK. It is very hard for me not to just jump in and start explaining what the other person might have meant or that she might have misunderstood something, but I have to do it, because that is what she has asked me to do. She seems less eruptive when she feels she does not have to "prove" her POV.

The thing that I find interesting about my daughter is that when she is an observer, she can fairly often correctly identify what happened, what the people's motivations might have been, and what could have been done differently. But when she is one of the central actors, she completely loses this ability. I either get "That is NOT what they were thinking!" or "How am I supposed to know what they were thinking!" shouted at me when I try to get her to take other perspectives. It can be very frustrating.


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13 Jun 2015, 4:37 pm

That sounds like a good plan, and kind of what my son seems to be asking for as well. I'll try it. Thanks.


_________________
So you know who just said that:
I am female, I am married
I have two children (one AS and one NT)
I have been diagnosed with Aspergers and MERLD
I have significant chronic medical conditions as well