How to handle kids touching you and being loud when stressed

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Stefani
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19 Aug 2018, 9:32 pm

Hi, I was wondering if anyone had any coping mechanisms for dealing with kids touching you. I have 3 children (5 years ASD, 3 years highly sensitive maybe ASD, and 11 months NT). Usually, I'm ok if just one is being loud or moving around a lot, but when 2 or more of them are crying I have difficulty maintaining my composure (especially if I am already stressed for some other reason- usually when my husband is out of town). I end up yelling and then apologizing, but I was wondering if anyone had any coping tips to help. Thanks!



elsapelsa
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20 Aug 2018, 1:50 pm

Really hard.

I don't have any good coping tips besides giving yourself as much alone time as possible and chances to recharge so that you have energy to spare for such instances.

Build yourself up - eating well, exercising and just taking care of yourself. My youngest will happily do yoga whilst I am on my exercise bike for 30 min, for example. I can leave mine to have a bath together whilst I clear up after dinner. Any little sliver of time - use it to have some head-space. Delegate: get them to help out, give them tasks. Ideally practical tasks rather than looking after each other as that tends to work easier.

Do you wrap? When mine were the ages of your youngest I would often strap them on my back. Depending on how heavy they are that might be something for the highly sensitive 3 year old or your nearly 1 year old. If you use a solid woven wrap they can become almost weightless and that allows you to be close whilst having yours hands free to do other stuff.


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Magna
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20 Aug 2018, 2:25 pm

Ear plugs. Or, I own like six of these:

Image

And, yes, I do wear those headphone things around the house if my kids are noisy, or I'm stressed and they're noisy. My wife and kids think nothing of it. They all know Dad has overly sensitive hearing.

I have a three young nieces, one of whom who has ASD and epilepsy. They are far louder than my kids and have no concept of using "inside voices". I wear ear plugs when I'm around them.

I would definitely recommend ear plugs or the headset things. Otherwise you'll keep yelling at your kids when they overwhelm you volume wise and that won't be good for you or for them.

I hope that helps you. Trust me, I know where you're coming from on that.



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20 Aug 2018, 4:26 pm

Stefani wrote:
Hi, I was wondering if anyone had any coping mechanisms for dealing with kids touching you. I have 3 children (5 years ASD, 3 years highly sensitive maybe ASD, and 11 months NT). Usually, I'm ok if just one is being loud or moving around a lot, but when 2 or more of them are crying I have difficulty maintaining my composure (especially if I am already stressed for some other reason- usually when my husband is out of town). I end up yelling and then apologizing, but I was wondering if anyone had any coping tips to help. Thanks!



I separate my children when they fight or get wild. I also send them to their rooms when they don't stop touching me and that is after they have failed to listen and if they keep pestering me and not taking no for an answer. I have taken stuff away too. Won't stop fighting over who gets to sit in the chair, none of them can sit in it. Can't stop fighting over the TV, none of them get it. Won't stop pestering me about wanting me to blow up a toy, I threaten to cut it up if they don't stop asking me because I will not blow that thing up. I made them blow it up themselves and they quit after a few blows because it was making them dizzy and they got bored with it quick so I told them "That's why I don't want to blow it up so don't ask me to again or I am throwing it out."

And I didn't even buy that thing for them, my mom in law did. I don't buy inflatable toys for my kids because I don't want to blow it up.

This has all worked with me and I have stayed consistent so my extreme threats work too lol and I have taken away so many toys from my kids because they wouldn't pick them up. My daughter does not miss them and my son has just gotten rid of some of his stuff because he didn't want to pick them up lol so it was easier for him to just have me take it to Goodwill for him. Like how hard is it to pick up your Sonic doll off the floor and bring it to your room lol? But nope he told me to give it to Goodwill so I did. He did not miss it. Kids. I remember when I was 8, I stopped playing with certain toys at my grandparents house because I didn't like picking them up so I tell my kids, "don't like picking it up, don't make the mess." "Don't like bringing your things upstairs to your rooms or to the basement and doing many trips, don't bring so many of your toys to the main floor" whenever they complain about me making them doing so many trips picking up their stuff and bringing it back up to the rooms or to the playroom in the basement. I also say I am taking it all away if they don't clean it up because I will not live in a messy home. I have actually had to get rid of some of their things to be consistent so they know how serious I am. They can decide for themselves if they want it or if they want me to take it to Goodwill, their choice. I was picking up my stuff since I was five and I learned as a child, don't like cleaning it up, don't make it. Except no one ever told me this stuff, I figured it out on my own so I am telling my kids this now.


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Stefani
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20 Aug 2018, 9:28 pm

Thanks guys, for the suggestions and sympathy. I tried wrapping with my first. I don't have a lot of upper body strength and the wrap itself irritates me. I got a regular carrier and find that really useful when mowing the yard with the youngest. I'll try getting a pair of ear plugs, that sounds like it may take the edge off. Their mess doesn't bother me usually, I try to keep most of their toys where I am not spending most of the day so I don't see it. Thanks again!



eikonabridge
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21 Aug 2018, 2:53 am

Stefani wrote:
... I have difficulty maintaining my composure (especially if I am already stressed for some other reason- usually when my husband is out of town). I end up yelling and then apologizing, but I was wondering if anyone had any coping tips to help. Thanks!

Well, parents have responsibilities. One of the factors that may make you take some actions that end up making children cry is ... time. There is finite amount of time in life, and parents have responsibilities to get things done within time constraints. So, that's the priority: getting things done. If the children cry in the process, that's something to be handled later. Sure, you may have caused resentment in your children. But you can remove their resentment.

And how do you handled it later? In your case, you have apologized ... but, is that an effective strategy? If that were effective, I guess you wouldn't be asking for help here.

I talk to my children, through their eyes, using my hands. When they were younger, my children were non-verbal. I "talked" to them by drawing pictures and writing down words. When they were a bit older, for important messages, I write them letters or articles, sit down with them, and read to them or have them read it with me. Another thing I do is, I go out with them on a one-on-one basis, to have fun. For example, I'd take my son to elevator rides, and my daughter to have ice cream. Things like that. Then, in the middle of the fun event, I'd take a break. And then I'd talk to them. When they were younger, "talking to them" always meant talking, drawing pictures, and writing down words, all at the same time. Nowadays they are 8 and 10 and are both verbal enough that I rarely need to draw pictures anymore.

In the case of you taking actions when you had to take them (e.g. when my children were younger, very often I had to interrupt their activities because we had to go somewhere), you have to explain the rationale behind your actions to them. You have to explain to them that you have made a logical decision that is ultimately the right decision for everyone. Again, you do your explanations afterwards. Either at bedtime, or outside the house while having fun.

What I do is to connect their bad moments to their good moments, and vice-versa. I always tell them: "sometimes life is tough, sometimes life is fun." Once I achieve to connect their good moments to their bad moments, their resentments are gone, for good. I have never failed once to remove their resentments. Sure, my children still can get frustrations from new situations. But they don't have recurring tantrums. I've made sure to snip out their bad feelings on a regular basis.

- - -

It works both ways ... once upon a time, I saw our borrowed antique violin lying on the big bed. I started to scream at my son. I scolded him. I said: "Don't you realize that if you put the violin on the bed, people can accidentally break it?" While I was scolding my son, I realized that my daughter was unusually quiet. I then looked at her, and asked her: "Were you the one that put the violin on the bed?" My daughter sheepishly nodded her head. I turned around to look at my son. He had tears in his eyes. He told me: "Dad, sometimes life is tough, sometimes life is fun." I felt so proud about him. "Thank you! That is true." I told him.

See, instead of asking for apologies, we tell each other facts, like the fact that sometimes life is tough, sometimes life is fun. Strangely, by telling facts, we achieve magic that other families cannot achieve.

Have your children ever told you "sometimes life is tough, sometimes life is fun"? Wouldn't you be proud when one day they tell you that?

There is a reason why my children are always happy and smiling. From the day they were born, I've always treated them as equal-rights fellow human beings.


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Stefani
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21 Aug 2018, 12:38 pm

I get where you are coming from, not apologizing for a rational behavior or action taken and I agree with that. At the same time, if I react at a level 8 when it's a level 3 situation, or if I wrongly accuse one of them, or react when it's my sensitivities and not anything to do with them, I think it warrants an apology. While my action may be understandable, it's not justifiable. As the adult, I am supposed to take actions (more coping actions to manage my reactions) to control myself or at least remove myself. That was the reason for my post, to get some more coping ideas. I don't yell all the time, but I want my kids to grow up knowing that they have a right to be respected and expect respectful behavior from me. Even if I mess up from time to time, and when I do they'll get an explanation and an apology. Usually, it goes something like, "I'm sorry I yelled, we aren't supposed to yell are we? (They shake their heads no). I was upset and that's not your fault. (Taking responsibility for my actions). This is what I expect next time....(dont pull my hair/run with your toothbrush in your mouth/sit on the baby/use your inside voice, etc)." And we hug, but trying harder to skip the yelling part with some coping ideas. Because, moreover, usually the yelling is because they have not done anything. But I am stressed and they're touching me a lot, being loud, or both, and moving around a lot around me. Not any fault of their own. So it reaches a boiling point where my ears are tingling and my heart is racing trying to keep up with all of them while managing normal parenting.