One Mom's Tips
I thought I might share some things I've learned along the way in dealing with different things.
The most important thing that anyone's ever told me is this "Trust your instincts,
your child better than anyone." Important lesson to always remember regarding that statement
you have the most vested interest in your child regardless of what any Dr., school, or other
person tells you.
The most effective way to deal with unwanted behaviors is to
find out what is causing the
behavior in the first place. I'm not saying excuse all bad behavior. But there is usually a
reason that they happen to begin with. Two key things I've found with my child that lead
to problem behaviors:
#1 Frustration--when my child has a problem communicating his feelings or feels
being understood. (sometimes this may include facial expressions; this happened to me he
thought I was mad and I was only in deep thought)
#2 Sensory Overload--for my child this is usually when there is too much noise
for a given
length of time or a big change of schedule. sensory issues for some include light, touch,
sound, smell, etc)
How do we deal with this? First we identify what the problem is. We use a step
plan to help B. learn how to deal with the situation in a more effective way. We practice
until he learns each step until finally he knows exactly what to do. You don't have to be
a psychologist or a rocket scientist to do this. Use whatever your child understands best.
It may mean play acting out such & such situation and walking them through it, using
puppets or writing a storybook using real or drawn pictures. But the main idea is that you
want for your child to have a plan that works for him instead of being on the defense
constantly. (Oh I know I said two but thought of one more.) Be sure to take the time to
listen to your child every day. You'd be surprised at what they will tell you or show you.
Can you just imagine never being heard completely?
This is one area that can be kind of sticky. Maybe you've been
really lucky with this and
maybe not. I've learned a lot of work arounds for this that have been helpful for my child.
It's called dealing with obsessions.
When my son's chief obsession was dinosaurs, I found you could use them to teach
about anything you ever dreamed of. Use your imagination it doesn't take much. We used
dinosaurs to do math, science, reading, english, health and every other thing you could think of.
Math: 8 dinosaurs + 2 dinosaurs = ? (addition)
The brontosaurus eats lunch at ? time. (telling time)
English: Learn the parts of speech using dinosaur sentences.
Diagram dinosaur sentences.
Reading: Read dinosaur books and ask questions
or let your child tell you about the book.
Health: What kind of foods do they dinosaurs eat to stay healthy?
Then try expanding on these and you may be surprised at how quickly
interested in learning about other things. One of those little volcanoes filled with dinosaurs
was a great reward for helping and yet another valuable learning tool. We used the
dinosaurs to do math and then expanded later to learn about volcanoes. We made our
own volcano for science and later went on to weather. With weather came yet another
math lesson you could measure rain and then go on to how to measure in the kitchen.
I could go on all day so I'll stop cause I'm sure you have the idea. One book I'd highly
recommend for fun science is "The Backyard Scientist" series.
When the obsession becomes a 24hr/7 day a week discussion
One thing that was kind of hard for a while was listening to technical details
air force 22--24 hrs. a day. Now I like to think that I'm a pretty good listener but gosh
sometimes enough is too much. When I started listening to this it was just a little while
each day but gradually it got to the point where I was being followed, even to the bathroom
with the air force. (How many people could actually stand someone standing outside the
bathroom door while someone told them all the technical specifications of an F4 or an A2?)
I had tried very unsuccessfully to interest him in other subjects.
Finally I explained to him that I was enjoying this but it was just too much of it. I told him that
after our chores were finished that at this certain time every day I would give him one hour to
talk about the air force. These were the rules we set an alarm clock and I had to listen only
and wasn't allowed to talk. Gradually he needed only 30 min's to talk about this subject.
The ultimate lesson he learned was that it's really not any fun to carry on a one way
conversation. This last one surprised even me because truthfully I would have done it as
long as he needed me too.
While I've said the above I hope it won't be misconstrued and the reader think
that I have
tried to extinguish my child's interest. He still loves airplanes. Every one of us I'm sure has
certain things that we are more interested in.
Someone wrote and asked me how we used airplanes and the air
force obsessions for
learning. So here goes! You can do all the same things as I wrote about in dinosaurs plus:
They're great for fine motor skills. We used a book we found at the library and
of the line paper airplanes. The fine motor skills it took to make these were cutting, pasting,
and folding. Then we involved math when we made geometric patterns and even used a
compass for some. Measuring was another math skill. Later we added designs colored with
markers and colored pencils. The paper airplanes helped with socialization too believe it or not.
He made all the kids on the block great airplanes and they had a great time seeing who could
do the best stunts and fly the highest & the longest.
They were also great for geography, history and science. These three were easily
together to study WWI & WWII and the history of the air force and eventually airplane history.
My son has developed many other interests but I'm sure that airplanes will always be with us.
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