The last few weeks have been really hard at home. Lack of routine due to Christmas break, teacher workdays, snow days, and the MLK day break had our schedules all out of whack. For any kid, that can be hard, but throw ASD into the mix and you've got some good times.
I haven't been as patient as I would like to be. I try, but I fail A LOT.
Last night, for whatever reason, it hit me. Some of the words that have come out of my mouth have NOT been encouraging and uplifting for my son. It helps that our sermon at church the last few weeks has dealt with the topic of our tongue and the harm it can cause. It's hard to find a balance between being a parent and discipline and having your kids respect you...and on the other hand realizing that my son isn't usually being disrespectful or beligerent when he behaves out of sorts, he's not often doing it on purpose to spite me or make me mad; usually, there is a reason behind his behaviors. And I have to then be the detective to figure out the reasons behind his unwanted behaviors and try to help him. It's such a different attitude than, "My child must learn to respect me." Because I feel like I also need to respect him and his differences. You don't tell a kid in a wheelchair, "Why can't you just be normal and walk like everyone else?" So why should I think Jackson should be "normal" and act like everyone else? Actually, I'm quite glad he doesn't act like everyone else, ha! But those words have actually come out of my mouth, "Why can't you just act normal?" And last night I was very sad when I realized that those words were not very kind or nice. I never want my son to think he's not "normal" or not loved because he doesn't act like his sister or friend. I want him to feel like I'm his biggest fan, trying to support and encourage him as he tries to find his place in this world like we all are. And I know that most of the time, he does feel that, but when I lose control of my tongue, it can be hurtful. I had a restless night praying for forgiveness and for help in finding that balance between accepting your child and molding him to be a better person at the same time. It's hard, sigh.
1 Thessalonians 5:11
English Standard Version (ESV)
"Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing."
Thank you J.M. for posting this on my facebook page. :) It's a good reminder.