Deciding to take a step back or to be more authoritative

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League_Girl
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05 Dec 2013, 5:30 pm

mikassyna wrote:
League_Girl wrote:
My ex boyfriend who was on the spectrum also cared what people thought of him but because he worried so much what people would think, it actually affected him and me. There is a level of caring of what others think and not caring what others think. Some people do one of these too much it affects them while for most people, they are in between. Too much of anything is bad and too little of anything is bad. It's usually social anxiety when someone cares too much what people think.

My mom also told me what not to do or kids will tease me or think I'm weird. I never saw it as negative. Some here have called it blaming the victim because you are telling them what to change so they won't get teased or get negative reactions, etc. but I think that blaming the victim thing is being overused and thrown around by people like the word bullying is.


When I was a kid, I remember being angry when I was told to act a certain way. I thought it was just my mother being overcritical/mean to me yet again. Even if she explained to me (which I can't remember) that people would make fun of me for doing something, I still didn't believe her. Nobody else told me those things, and unless someone specifically and blatantly made fun of me over something I was doing, I simply didn't believe that what I was doing was wrong. So, I could chew like a cow with my mouth open, but unless someone OTHER than my family told me it was horrendous, I simply wouldn't believe it. I think it is still like this for me now. If my husband criticizes a behavior of mine, I get angry at him for it. After all he's supposed to love me warts and all, right? So unless someone else points something else out to me, I just don't believe my husband is being anything but self-interested and critical. I guess old habits are hard to shake. :oops:


Well now you know, now you can start believing them now when they tell you.


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League_Girl
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05 Dec 2013, 5:44 pm

Mummy_of_Peanut wrote:
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I am glad he has a choice. The truth is, when I was a kid, I was subtly odd (as evidenced by the way other kids treated me) and to this day, I still don't really know what I did "wrong." I just know that I was a target for kids inclined to find a target. Sometimes I feel that if I would have only known what I was doing that was "weird," I might have embraced being weird at a younger age instead of trying for so many years to fit in. It would have saved me a lot of heartache. It was very hard to have no idea why certain kids didn't like me, even though I felt like I was doing everything right.
I think we're very alike. I had no clue what I was doing wrong, still don't really. I have a kind heart and would never do anything to deliberately hurt anyone, but kids used to take exception to things I'd said or done and would get really angry with me. I think part of it is that I missed hearing things that were happening in their lives and a simple question like, 'How are you?', would be responded to with an angry, 'How do you think I am?'. Maybe their gran had died and I wasn't 'in the loop' and only found out months later. I didn't know how to respond and never understood why I got such a negative response. It made sense when I did find out, but months later was too late. What's odd is why they didn't think to just tell me what was up. Why did they assume I should already have known? I think some of them were so full of their own self importance that they couldn't conceive someone not knowing. I would have been a good shoulder to cry on, but never got the chance. I also had my appearance judged and laughed at on a daily basis.

My parents were oblivious to what was going on and didn't know what to advise (or that any advice was needed). They still think I'm just perfect and my mum in particular appears to be in awe of my intelligence and knowledge (which is lovely but misguided). The only thing I ever remember my mum feeling the need to help out with was when I told her some kids were laughing at my shoes (brown ones that my aunt had bought for herself, but they didn't fit well). This had gone on for a couple of weeks before I told her. She immediately told me that I wasn't going to be wearing them again. But, I was picked on and treated disrespectfully every day and they never even knew about it.



I wonder why parents don't tell their kids what they are doing wrong. Are they just too polite to tell them or are they afraid it will hurt their feelings or is it because the kid never complains how they are being treated? I think it can hurt the kid more if they don't know and then it can be their choice if they want to do something about it or not. You can't force someone to change but you can try and encourage it and it's always the person that chooses to change, you didn't do it, they did. Even therapists don't change their patients, they are just there helping them because they want to change so they pay them to help them do it. It's the same with parents too, kids change because they want to and they just helped them with it. It's called a learning attitude. It's impossible for someone to change if they don't want to change and a therapist won't be able to do it nor anyone else if the person doesn't want any help.

I also think it would depend on the child. If the kid doesn't believe you until it happens or it makes them feel they are being victimized then I don't know then what else the parent can do to help them. It's not just about bullying, it can also be about kids thinking your kid is mean or rude or weird or kids not wanting to play with them or inviting them over to play. I bet that kind of kid will have a harder time in life than the rest of us who don't see it as negative when told because at least we do know and know what to do about it to make our lives easier and happier. But our parents would have to know how we're being treated before they can help us or they won't be able to tell us.


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Mummy_of_Peanut
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05 Dec 2013, 6:15 pm

League_Girl wrote:
I wonder why parents don't tell their kids what they are doing wrong. Are they just too polite to tell them or are they afraid it will hurt their feelings or is it because the kid never complains how they are being treated?
For me, it was a case of my parents not being aware that there was anything up. I never told them a thing about my unhappiness at school. They witnessed some of the goings on that happened in the street, but always thought the other kids were being nasty, never that there was something about me that might be causing it. Also, my mum is very probably on the spectrum too. She just saw me acting like her and thought it was all fine. She was picked on at school too. But, she's not as self-questioning as me, so still thinks all these people she has fallen out over the years were always the ones at fault. She's not at all like me now, although maybe she was as a child. She's argumentative and easily offended, so I'm not going to be the one to tell her that she's causing the fall outs. We all have to be careful what we say to her, as she'll go off on one, without warning. Is that my future? I hope not.


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05 Dec 2013, 7:00 pm

Mummy_of_Peanut wrote:
InThisTogether wrote:
Mummy of Peanut, how old is she again?
It was her 8th birthday on Saturday.


My daughter just turned 8 herself. I have not done any of this with her directly yet because she really doesn't recognize that she is different than the other kids. To be honest, I don't think she is being targeted, either. She has been blessed with having three huge things in her favor. She is exceptionally attractive (I know, all moms think that, but I have been approached about her modeling. She has truly gorgeous long, dark, thick ,curly hair, fair skin and huge hazel eyes with eyelashes so long they hit her glasses when she wears them. It is a striking combination). She is bright, and she is a gifted artist. Her classmates are in awe of her talents and I honestly think it makes them basically overlook her social deficits. And she doesn't appear to do so many "odd" things to draw attention to herself. She does dress differently than many of her peers, but I think they all see it as part of her creativity. For her, it really is a social skills deficit. She doesn't always read and respond to social situations appropriately.

Anyway, I am rambling...At 8, the information wouldn't have been as helpful for my son, I don't think. You might actually have a little time before you start working with her in this area if that is what you choose to do. One thing that might help get the conversation started is Michelle Winner Garcia's Super Flex stuff (http://www.socialthinking.com/books-pro ... rriculum32) if you haven't already tried it. Zette mentioned it earlier with the concepts of "expected" vs "unexpected" behavior. That concept really hit home with my daughter.


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05 Dec 2013, 7:20 pm

League_Girl wrote:

I wonder why parents don't tell their kids what they are doing wrong.


Like Mummy to Peanut's parents, my parents didn't know. I assumed it was all my fault, so I was too embarrassed to talk about it. I just kept thinking if I tried harder, I could fix the problem. The problem with that thinking is that if you don't know what the problem is, no amount of trying is going to fix it. In fact, in retrospect, I probably made it worse because my attempts to "fix" it were probably even more clumsy than my initial behavior.

With my son, I really struggled with it for a totally different reason. When my kids were younger, I was very into the ideal that people should accept my kids the way they are. That they shouldn't have to change for anyone. That they are perfect just the way they are. And that if their behavior is not hurting anyone, other people should just accept them, quirks and all, and prize them for their strengths.

The idealist in me still believes this.

But the realist in me understands that even though this may be the way it should be, it is not the way it is. I started to suspect that my strict adherence to my idealist beliefs, as noble as they may be, was probably hurting my son because I wasn't helping him to learn the things he needed to learn. He lives in the real world, not the ideal one.

I also struggled because I really do love my son's quirks. I am absolutely aware that if you took away the part of his wiring that leads to his quirks, you would also be taking away the wiring that leads to the things that I prize most in him. I didn't want him to feel ashamed of who he is, or to feel that he was broken, or not good enough. And I feared that if I started pointing it out to him, that he would start to hate who he is. Fortunately in our case, this fear was completely unfounded. He simply views it as knowledge that he does not have that I do. He really seems to understand that the problem isn't really with him, it's with people's perceptions. He still chooses to do much of his "target" behavior at home and when he is with safe people. And he also does not look down on others for their "errant" perceptions, which was also a fear I had. He just makes adjustments when it suits him. He is happier. And he takes great pride when he is able to self-identify something that makes him a target. Empowered. That is the best way to describe what it has done for him. I would like to think that my very deliberate approach, to include never saying that he was doing anything "wrong," has helped this be a positive experience for him.


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12 Dec 2013, 4:09 pm

For all of my talk about letting the kids be if it doesn't bother the child....I made my (now) 7 year old change pants before school this morning because he spilled milk on himself in a way that made it look like he wet his pants a little.



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12 Dec 2013, 6:14 pm

screen_name wrote:
For all of my talk about letting the kids be if it doesn't bother the child....I made my (now) 7 year old change pants before school this morning because he spilled milk on himself in a way that made it look like he wet his pants a little.


<sigh> welcome to the club.


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05 Jan 2014, 9:46 pm

mikassyna wrote:
League_Girl wrote:
My ex boyfriend who was on the spectrum also cared what people thought of him but because he worried so much what people would think, it actually affected him and me. There is a level of caring of what others think and not caring what others think. Some people do one of these too much it affects them while for most people, they are in between. Too much of anything is bad and too little of anything is bad. It's usually social anxiety when someone cares too much what people think.

My mom also told me what not to do or kids will tease me or think I'm weird. I never saw it as negative. Some here have called it blaming the victim because you are telling them what to change so they won't get teased or get negative reactions, etc. but I think that blaming the victim thing is being overused and thrown around by people like the word bullying is.


When I was a kid, I remember being angry when I was told to act a certain way. I thought it was just my mother being overcritical/mean to me yet again. Even if she explained to me (which I can't remember) that people would make fun of me for doing something, I still didn't believe her. Nobody else told me those things, and unless someone specifically and blatantly made fun of me over something I was doing, I simply didn't believe that what I was doing was wrong. So, I could chew like a cow with my mouth open, but unless someone OTHER than my family told me it was horrendous, I simply wouldn't believe it. I think it is still like this for me now. If my husband criticizes a behavior of mine, I get angry at him for it. After all he's supposed to love me warts and all, right? So unless someone else points something else out to me, I just don't believe my husband is being anything but self-interested and critical. I guess old habits are hard to shake. :oops:


It's that way for me, too, misskassyna. I would also feel "attacked" when someone drew attention towards the "coping items" I used for my anxiety and sensory issues, and when they would tell me, "You're too old for that" or "Leave that thing in the car." I just do what I please these days- my mantra has become, "They don't know how I feel on the inside day in and day out, so they're not in a position to tell me what to do." If I want to carry Dory in my pocket or bag, and take pictures of her in public on my phone, so be it. It's not hurting anyone.


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06 Jan 2014, 9:28 am

I agree it can be difficult to know how to handle a situation. My dear daughter was identified in Kindergarten by the school as needing social skills training and they started right away with her. I think this really helped her to understand that others look at the world differently than she does. There were many occasions when I would tell her that something she was wearing/doing might draw attention to herself and she may want to rethink it. However she was absolutely terrified of the other kids noticing her - she really wanted to just blend in.

Sometime she would change her behavior/ clothes or whatever and sometimes she wouldn't. But I think giving her the choices helped her understand that it is okay to be who you are and if you are comfortable in your own skin, it doesn't really matter what other people think. I am very proud to say that now as a teen she is very comfortable with herself and understands that she has her own style - she is completely fine with it and doesn't really care what the 'other' kids think or say.

However I will say that this has actually made her MORE popular - to her astonishment - because she doesn't even try to fit in with the other girls she gets noticed and because she has a strong, positive personality she is admired and liked. Now I am sure there is still some bullying and mean comments, but she simply doesn't care. I often wish she could teach her younger sister that way of thinking. :D


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