Being Patient Is Much Harder than Waiting
We can wait for a burger at a restaurant or in line at a store, no problem. Being patient with a toddler struggling to put their coat or shoes on or a child not being quick enough when we are in a hurry is another story. Much less, when they spill their drink or drop their plate, often, when they are being asked to hurry, (they are just getting good hand-eye coordination and spatial awareness) it is seemingly impossible to be patient.
It comes down to expectations.
Sometimes the expectations we have don’t match up with reality and instead of realizing this and adjusting our perspective we try to alter reality to fit our expectations.
This is not the best idea we have ever had. Unfortunately, many times we don’t even realize we are being unrealistic. We are running through life busy and it seems like a few extra minutes are going to make or break our day.
I know it seems silly when I say it like that. However, I can’t count the number of times that it used to happen in our house. It isn’t good for us and it definitely isn’t good for our children.
Not only do unrealistic expectations set these things up to occur again, they give our children the feedback that what they are doing isn’t good enough.
Setting this precedent is a slippery slope down the path of negative self-esteem and intolerance for imperfection that some children with autism already seem to manifest internally. It means as parents we need to be painfully aware of this and be in the moment with our children.
In 10 years will it really matter if it took 10 minutes longer to leave the house? Probably not, however the way we handle these things may make all the difference in our child’s self-worth and self-esteem.
When children begin to have unrealistic expectations themselves this can interfere with their play, school and self-identity / self-worth.
We should be careful not to correct them just because they don’t do things as fast as we would like, and especially not because they don’t do things as others do them.
A Unique View of the World
Recognizing and appreciating our child’s unique view of the world is something every parent should try to do regularly. As parents of kids who already have a unique view, we don’t understand fully that we need to understand and try to appreciate their viewpoint.
As parents, we can not expect a child who doesn’t understand our weird world to want to learn how and why we do things if we aren’t willing to learn about their world and why they do things the way they do.
As human beings, we are individuals each with a unique view of the world.
When we don’t understand someone’s point of view there are several common ways people respond.
- We are intrigued and want to learn more
- We scoff and immediately dismiss the idea or viewpoint
- We are apathetic, dismiss the whole thing and may or may not remember it at some point in the future.
Which path will you choose?
Our children are too important to take any other path than the 1st one. We need to be more patient. Take a few minutes each day to observe something that your child is doing. Figure out how to involve yourself in their play. Be cautious not to disrupt but to insert yourself a tiny bit showing interest.
If your child is one of those happy most of the time children you may marvel at how they are happy so often. Their world is just how they create it. When the stress is kept low at home they thrive, they learn and grow at their own pace.
When the external pressure gets to be too much, then meltdowns, frustration, and stress set in. These things are all made worse when you have a child that is going through an illness, getting molars, losing baby teeth, having changes at home, school or therapy.
There are so many things that can affect how a day in the life of our child goes that we often need to be a detective when it is a rough day. It is a great thing your child has you and you care enough to figure things out!
Our children deserve to be happy and loved for who they are just like any other child. In turn, they need additional guidance, assurance, and patience to become the smart, talented and understanding person they can become.
The best things in life are free
Luckily all of us can be patient with our children, it is free, no one else has to be involved. We can choose to consciously give our children this gift. Just like the gift of time and attention we can make all the difference in the lives of our children.
I’m so glad to meet you! I hope you will join me in our Autism Beautiful Parent’s Group on Facebook. Click here to join, we are just getting started but it will be worth it. Need more help understanding your child? Make sure you join us there! Read my article on eye contact here.
Have a Beautiful Day!