It has been entirely too long since I've posted on here. I miss it! But there is another milestone in our family, Jackson is a First Grader! His first day of school was yesterday, and he rocked it. He looked stylish, got a "good-behavior" stamp, and made a new friend! My mama-heart was full yesterday.
Things have been a bit difficult lately with him. He has been responding very negatively to any criticism or correction, which of course is an essential part of parenting. We have been trying to fill up his love tank with positive encouraging words, but still when we have to correct, he lashes out, says horrible things about himself, even being physically violent with himself. It completely breaks my heart. It is interesting to note that this behavior is only manifested around me. Therefore, I seem to think it is behavioral, and I must be responding to him in a way that makes him want to continue the behavior. I usually try to stop the violence, tell him how much he is loved, etc; I try to point him to the Truth of the Bible and let him know how much Jesus loves him, and he needs to love himself. I try to tell him that even God disciplines His children, and that we are all sinners. He HATES to think of himself as a sinner, don't we all?
It's interesting that Jackson is really only acting how most of us feel sometimes. We don't like to be corrected or disciplined by God, or by anyone else, and we often find ourselves spouting off non-truths in the midst of our disappointment in ourselves. Jackson is teaching me a good lesson, that we are NOT failures if we sin or "mess up," we all do it, and we are still LOVED. We need to love our imperfect selves because God does! And also, sometimes when we're upset, we just need a hug, not words.
This parenting thing is tough, and ASD is tough, but actually Jackson's behavior is really just a visible example of many of our internal states; he is just vulnerable enough to put it all out there.
I continue to pray for strength and guidance through this time, on how best to deal with this behavior, but I also thank God for showing me my own sinful self and how He loves me through it, in spite of myself.