Tough Parenting Moments

Monday, after school, in a fit of frustration, my son declared, “I am sick of Fremont and Clarmar.  Why can’t I be anyone’s best friend?”

I paused, knowing he can be sensitive, knowing that he had a bad day/week/month, knowing that maybe it will be better tomorrow.  “What happened?”

“Well, sometimes it feels like the kids are mean.  They don’t really want to play with me.  They don’t want me on their team.”

“Why don’t they want you on your team?  Do you think you can relax about rules on the playground?  Can’t you let some rules slide, and it be OK?”  I asked him.  I know he can be hard to get along with.  I understand that playground rules are different from real life rules.  I know the kids have forgotten that he struggles with this, and it makes sense since they are 7.

“I try.  I try to be nice.  I try to change and act like them.  I try to treat them the way they want to be treated, but no one really likes me.”

In that moment, I pause, I want to cry.  I am sad and I am feeling like a terrible mom.  We are constantly helping our son change.  We are teaching him social skills and trying to help him understand how others think.  He works on it daily.  He tries.  Even when he doesn’t ‘get it’ he still tries.  I know kids get frustrated with him at times, and he knows it too.  He is trying and trying.

The thing I feel bad about: When do others have to change?  Why should he go through life wanting and trying to be different to act like someone else?  If we want him to feel good about being a person with Asperger’s, then we have to accept him, quirks and all.  Kids have to accept him, and others do too.  It shouldn’t be a one way road for this 7-year-old.

After my flood of thoughts and pause, I said, “Well if you are treating others the way you want to be treated, then that is all you can do.  You can’t control others and how they treat you, but you can control yourself and how you treat others.  If kids at your school can’t see that, and accept you for WHO YOU ARE, then they are not worth it.  You are a nice boy, who is trying very hard.”

“I wish that was easy,” he sighed.

“Me too, I wish it would get easier, but that is life, Buddy.  It’s just a stinky part of life.”

Upon hearing the word stinky, he smiled and laughed.  Toilet humor took over and our conversation was paused.  However, I can’t stop thinking about it.

I pray that I can successfully guide these two kids through life.  I pray they know they are loved and accepted just the way God made them, without letting their little quirks be excuses.  No one ever said that raising kids was easy, and unfortunately, I don’t think the lessons will get any easier.

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8 thoughts on “Tough Parenting Moments

  1. I have an autistic child in my classroom. I heard about an incident where a large group of the other kids were unkind to her during PE and this continued to an after school event. One very special little girl in my class stood up for her. She took the side of the child being picked on even when her best friend was one of the bullies. She told me that she just knew they were not doing the right thing and she knew she needed to stand up for the other child. I felt so proud of her and couldn’t believe how much courage that must take when you are 7. McCartney will find that one loyal friend that will be by his side even when everyone else turns on him.

    The hard part is that even though autistic children have trouble with social situations, they really are perceptive to how others view them. That is the heart-breaker.

    • You hit the nail on the head when you said that they are perceptive about how others view them. That is my son. He gets it, despite his confusion. That is so tough. Thank you for your kind words and that is a wonderful story you shared!

  2. You explained life as best you can…it can be stinky. He will soon find a BFF and wonder what he did without him or her. :)

  3. you are a great parent. I think that as much as we want to “save” children from the sadness and frustration, he is every day becoming a better human because of his struggles! And of course, because you care so much!

    • I agree with you that it is struggles that make us better people. It’s so hard when it’s your kid, but I know in the long run, he will be better for it. Thank you for reading and leaving a comment.

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