Older Children = Less Time
Toleration And Love
I have 1 child in our home who is hard for the other children to get along with. HE is the youngest and has a twin brother. He is 11 years old. He is happy, fun loving and a great all around good kid, but he just seems to rub the other children in the family the wrong way. He has strong opinions, knows how to push buttons, teases all the time, always thinks that he is right and won't listen to his siblings thoughts or ideas much. It seems that he will do things just to bother the kids. I know that he feels their negative feelings for him. He really has a big heart. He is very kind to me. He and I have a great relationship. He is always doing kind things for me and making sure that the other kids treat me well. He is getting to be more and more dishonest. He is not a hard worker and is constantly trying to get out of work. My 13 year old and 17 year old daughters basically just tolerate him and you can tell in their behavior that they don't have great love for him. He will then do things to push them away even more. I am really concerned because the feelings are not peaceful and I don't want have the kids just tolerating him. I want there to be love between everyone. He is learning how to accept no answers and consequences. One thing about him is that once he has been given an extra job, he usually then just goes about doing it so happily and thoroughly. My question is how do I go about building greater family love for this child? How do I help my other children feel love for him and not just tolerate him? How do I help him start feeling better about himself?
- Family vision for all
- Uncovering why he might feel the need to attention seek with siblings. Could have a behavior habit. Could have a personality conflict. Could he be manipulative.
- What is the character of the other children?
- Teaching appropriate sibling relations
- Mentoring sessions
Staying Consistent And Working With HF Autism
I love my family and feel so happy here. I know my kids are thriving and enjoy each other. We have pretty much two major problems...well, the top two. :P
One is that it is tiring to be consistent! We have a regular morning routine and chores expectation that must happen before breakfast. It has always been in place. But, I feel we go through it every day with everyone. We have all ages here and little people are still getting the hang of it and I am not as consistent myself at getting things done on time in the morning as I have a newborn that keeps me up in the night. I am sure the solution is consistency and example, but I feel like I fail more often than succeed. Part of me wants to give up the expectation to take the stress off, but it does not seem like it should be a big deal either and that life skills are interwoven in the expectation.
Second, my oldest has tendencies with high functioning autism. Super brilliant, hyper focused, little natural empathy, serious rule-observer (not keeper, though, just policewoman), etc. The issue I most struggle with is that she has two or three challenges that just kill me. She sees the negative side and expresses it, focusing on pain or fault or simply how things won't work out. She is very slow to get something done, especially if it is a consequence. It is exhausting to try to help her see she is not using her power of choice well by stubbornly dragging out a consequence, but ever since she was little, she seems perfectly content to stay in consequence-land rather than have a great time having fun with the family. I feel my high positive energy that comes naturally just gets zapped by 10 am as I interact with her. And, lastly, she has turned the physical violence of her childhood into cutting others down and criticizing in the family. This is very hard on me because I love all my kids so much and it is infuriating to see one mistreated. I fear my own feelings toward this precious girl when she acts this way. I find exercise brightens her and I do try to help her get out and go for a run as often as my postpartum, exhausted body can manage. But, it is a short-lived solution. Loss of privileges is painful to me more than her because she just drags out consequences and does not seem tremendously moved at heart by it. Please help, Nicholeen. I would really like all her greatness to shine past the childish weaknesses. And, as I mentioned in the first issue, I would like to have a clean house and orderly, responsible kids without feeling like a machine to get us all there.
- 1. “things done on time” when you have a large family with small children and a newborn baby might only happen every one day out of ten. That is just how it is. Children take time. You are right that consistency is important, but it shouldn’t create stress for you. In fact, the consistency should be a source of peace for everyone at home.
- There is always more time. Don’t forget that. If you must stop by a certain time, just stop chores and then do them later, at play time. If you pre-teach the children about if they don’t get done by the deadline then we will stop and just do them later then they will do the best they can and accept it when they have to do more later.
- With a newborn you could have body chemicals that are causing more stress. You must stay calm. Your calmness is the real consistency.
- It sounds like you might be allowing your to do list to take over the tone in your home.
- 2. Set time limits to her tasks. Have positive motivations for her. Since she focuses on the negative and seeks negative attention you need to help her focus more on the positive. Do you praise her enough?
- It sounds like she needs constant pre-teaching so regular mentor meetings will be helpful. It will also give you a time to talk about the good.
Needing To Connect, But Not Wanting To
In regards to connecting when you don't want to. I remember you saying that often when you want to disconnect that is the thing you actually need to do with your children instead. So if you are irritated, impatient and/or mad, you obviously need to connect to God and somehow humble yourself enough and then you connect to them. Easier said than done. What is the best way to choose not to be proud? Do you have any experiences or examples of changing your own heart and them being about to connect without blowing up?
- Identify the lie. Focus on the truth.
- Pre-teach myself about what skill I needed to use and then execute the plan.
Why Don't You Like Sexual Education In The Schools?
I saw you talking about sex ed in schools on Facebook. I guess I always thought you would be in favor of sex ed because there is a part in your book about teaching kids about sex stuff. Can you please explain why it looks like you are against sex ed in schools?
- This is a great question. I am not opposed to teaching children about reproduction, maturation and sexual boundaries but timing and teaching methods REALLY matter. And, some of the things taught today are not healthy.