I am the mom of an eight-year-old child with special needs. He has challenging behaviors and severe ADD, as well as speech delays, educational delays and a myriad of other issues. It is hard to categorize him, so I usually describe him as “just not like other kids.” If most children are on an upward […]
Posts Tagged ‘Challenging Behavior’
I was having lunch with some friends the other day, and one of my friend’s two sons was having a really tough day. They were both sick, and we were all hungry as we waited longer for a lunch table than anyone with children under the age of four should EVER have to wait. And, as her boys continued to melt down, and her patience also waned, it reminded me of something my dad and stepmom told me not long ago.
We were in a restaurant and there was a young child loudly crying somewhere in the place. My dad, who hasn’t always been known for his patience, sat there stoically showing zero irritation. It was almost as if he barely noticed. But later, my parents explained their attitude about children acting up in public. Basically, it came down to this: you don’t know whole the story.
I have a nephew who is on the autism spectrum. His mom, my stepsister, is one of the best moms you’d ever meet: patient, loving, kind, smart and of course, fiercely committed to meeting her kids’ needs. In spite of her superior parenting skills, my nephew, when he was younger, regularly melted down in public. Certain things just didn’t sit well with him. He was terrified of balloons. Of open ceilings with vents and pipes exposed. Of loud noises, like a blender. Consequently, it was quite possible that if he encountered a strange environment, or even a familiar environment that suddenly included something that he wasn’t okay with, he voiced his fear. Loudly. Repeatedly. For the most part, my stepsister learned to recognize things that he’d have trouble with, and she was usually able to manipulate the situation (or avoid it) if it was going to be overly challenging. (His therapist also worked with him on these things, of course.)
The lesson my parents learned from their grandson was this: you don’t know the whole story.
You don’t know what sorts of challenges the child and the family are facing, be those issues chronic (like a medical condition, hardship) or acute (a bad cold, a poor night’s sleep). The parents of the child screaming in the restaurant, throwing a gigantic tantrum in the grocery store or acting out at the neighborhood park are not necessarily bad parents who “let” their child misbehave. They’re just parents who have a child who, for one reason or another, is having a hard time.
Kim had a long list of errands, and grocery shopping was her least favorite item. Trips to the store with her 3- and 5-year-old were frustrating. Demands for sugary cereal and snacks never seemed to stop. To stop the whining, she typically let each child choose a favorite. With the constant protesting taken care of, […]
Janie has a pretend world that is very real. Arms crossed and head cocked, no words are needed to convey her refusal to swim. She knows that the sharks will surface just as they did in her recent dream. Sarah tries hard to stay focused in class, but she is so preoccupied by the buzzing […]
As if it isn’t challenging enough to raise children, most parents believe myths that make them feel confused and inadequate. These horrible myths can spoil the joy of raising your children. You may have never realized how intensely these beliefs affect you, but they do. After you identify the myths that color your daily life, […]
Life was going pretty well. The morning routine was smooth and rather peaceful. We got out on time and no one was late. The family room stayed fairly neat. The dirty laundry was where it should be. Preparing for bedtime was a breeze. The kids listened and followed directions and were obliging. Then, all of […]
“My child won’t eat anything but Goldfish crackers or pasta and butter.” “I’m trying to get my child to eat, but he refuses and chokes and gags when he tries to eat.”
Parenthood is an exciting journey and constantly offers caregivers an opportunity to grow and learn. On the other hand, as parents we all face complex situations such as managing children’s challenging behaviors. The underlying simple truth is that children go through various developmental stages and, depending on character and temperament, react differently when facing change […]
Temper tantrums are just part of what comes with raising kids. All kids have them from time to time; of course, some have them more than others. But why exactly are they so bothersome? Temper tantrums can be both frustrating and embarrassing. They often happen when you are in a hurry to do something or […]
Maggie comes home from school and says she needs a cell phone. But she doesn’t want just any cell phone—it has to be an iPhone 4. After all, she’s in fourth grade and all of her friends have one. Maggie is relentless. She wants a phone. She needs a phone. Over the course of a […]