Walk in our Shoes

I’m sure that people often think that I am too firm or rigid with Evie. When I talk to her I keep my instructions short and clear.

 

She needs to not have overcomplicated instructions…

 Sit on the chair

Rather than “Go and find a seat in the living room, sit down and wait.”

 

Evie is the queen of procrastination. She can divert your attention in umpteen different directions. It is so important to keep things direct and simple to help her.

 

If I give Evie an inch she quite literally takes a mile. She’s not unusual in that I know! What people do need to understand is that once Evie has learnt something it is much harder for her to unlearn it than others. This was one of the fundamental things that I was taught by Evie’s Speech and Language Therapist when she was tiny. When anyone has learning difficulties it’s important to understand this. For this reason, we have always treated Evie exactly the same as we would treat any of our children. She has to know when she is in the wrong. She needs to know what is socially acceptable and what’s not. It can be very tempting to make excuses for Evie and to allow her to get her own way. I’m not saying that she doesn’t ever get away with things as she does. But I treat her exactly as I was treated and as I would treat any other of my children.

 

I won’t deny that some aspects of her behaviour aren’t challenging as they are. Most things will pass in time. Her sensory issues often make things harder, she struggles to cope with many situations which causes stress for her and us too. She needs constant reinforcement about some things. I’ve often blogged before about how Evie is a free spirit, she does as she wishes or would do if she didn’t have guidance and correction.

 

You make think that this sounds harsh, that I’m too strict but I’m not. This is to help Evie for her later life, for her independence and yes it’s also to help us for the future too. I would love to be able to allow her to do what she wants without question, but life isn’t like that and I wouldn’t be being a good parent if I didn’t do otherwise.

 

Evie is a player, she loves to entertain and make people laugh. Her life’s aim is to make you giggle and laugh. No matter where we are, if she is in that mood you stand no chance. Now this is fine generally but sometimes, she needs to know that she isn’t the centre of the world. At school for example, she is fully included. This means that she has to do what the rest of her class do and rightly so. Her 1:1 often has to have a battle of wills to ensure that Evie complies. Each morning when I drop Evie off at school, I give her 1:1 a heads up about the type of mood that Evie is in. Some days Evie is unwilling to co-operate, she wants to do what she wants regardless of what she knows (and yes she does know) she should be doing.

 

Evie is so socially aware. She’s an astute little thing. She knows how to manipulate you and situations to her absolute advantage. Her 1:1 knows her so well. She employs the same tricks that we use in order that Evie can learn.

 

Today I’m aware that a friend was challenged in a local supermarket about her parenting style by another mother. This mother seems to have taken exception to my friend correcting her son’s behaviour and asking him to do as he was asked and to return something that he had removed from the store. My friend was so terribly upset by this incident. My friend was told by this other mother that she couldn’t speak to her own son like that, because he has Down’s Syndrome.

 

To my friend, I know that you are a good parent. I know that what you did, is what I would do and I’m sorry that this happened to you. I’m sorry that someone thought that they had a right to correct you when you were trying to teach your lovely son. From what I’ve seen he is a delightful young man and he has been taught well by you. No one has the right to tell you how to parent him, when they have no idea about him, you or quite frankly what has happened.

 

As we all know parenting is hard enough without being criticised by other people. I often feel other’s eyes on me in the shops or public places when I am talking to Evie, when I’m reinforcing my words with Makaton. We don’t need other people sticking their two penneth worth in and criticising us thanks very much. I’m certain that others think that they could manage aspects of Evie’s behaviour better than me. I may seem strict but I make no apologies for it. Evie is Evie and I know her better than anyone.

 

We each walk our own paths. We don’t know others’ stories and we ought to be kinder and less judgemental of others.

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8 thoughts on “Walk in our Shoes

    1. I just imagine what would happen if I didn’t keep saying no and stopping her…chaos. Or she would get seriously hurt.

      The young man today was being corrected about something he had done. His mum was absolutely right to say what she did. I would have done the same. The woman who said something to my friend was bawling at her, like that’s going to help!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I have been trying to get this through to my hubby and grandma. As they will happily give Ivy food off their plate even if she has the same food on her plate and she refuses to eat it. So when they were at work and I had her alone, she thought she could throw her food on floor and have my food after she refused to eat hers because she wanted mine. She learnt the hard way mummy wasn’t sharing her food or making her anymore.
    2 days of hardly any food and she soon gave in and hasnt moved from table since or bugged me or anyone else for food since.
    Now we just need to tackle her lovely habit of biting and nipping from nursery.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My son is everything like this ladies daughter and it seems more. He has goods moments but dose not last long. I always worn him before we enter anywhere but very short lived. When we are out, he behaves like he has never been out before. At home he is almost great. He is a very love in child and I love him so much for that but boy it’s hard work.

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  3. A very upsetting story. On a recent visit to Foxes Academy, the founder gave me 2 pieces of advice: set firm boundaries early on, and let your children go.

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  4. Interesting, because on the flip side of this I imagine many others judge me for not being a strict parent. However, with PDA (Pathological Demand Avoidance), I really do have to analyse every situation minutely both in advance and on the go, and I could assure anyone that it is not just me letting my girl ‘get away’ with things. Of course we have boundaries, and she knows right from wrong, but it’s more likely that I wouldn’t be telling her in the usual strict manner how to put something back in the right place, for example. I’d do that in the way that suits my girl best… and it’s very hard to explain how that works to other parents who don’t have to live in this way. I’m lucky in that I know the difference, as I have a non-autistic girl who I could parent strictly and it would work just fine.

    Either way, it is no-one’s place to interfere with how another parent chooses to manage their children. Many of us (and I include myself, although I try to do it a lot less these days) do still make snap judgements about parents doing things differently to how they would, but that in no way means they can intervene.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely. We all have to adapt our parenting to what works best for our children and us as parents.

      Non judgemental is definitely the best way forward.

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