FROM BECKY: I was recently working with an amazing Mom who who is using The Son-Rise Program with her 26 year old son. One of his repetitious and exclusive behaviors was to run up and down the stairs to their house in and out of the bathroom again and again and again. Sometimes he would do this 50-60 times per day!
This wonderful Mom was concerned that this wasn’t useful for him and that he would be worn out. Operating from that perspective, she then would give him puzzles to do and take him for drives in the car to distract him away from this behaviour.
Sometimes when we see a behaviour that we can’t relate to or we wouldn’t see ourselves doing, we assume that the person doing this also must share that view point. She herself would have been tired out if she had done this activity to the extent her son did but that doesn’t mean it applied to her son. Maybe it actually energized him, perhaps he needed to feel where his body was in space, it could have been a need for control and predictability when others were wanted him to stop.
Whatever it is, there is a reason he is doing this that is very real, otherwise he wouldn’t be doing it. We all do things repetitiously, we listen to our favorite songs again and again, when we find a meal we like, we tend to eat it over and over, we might clean the house in the same way each week. It’s predictable and familiar to us and we trust it, and know that it works for us.
If we relax and trust that our children know how to take care of themselves then we will open our minds up to the possibilities and therefore be much more available to help them. This boy was not interested in doing a puzzle or going for a drive, he simply wanted to run up and down the stairs. So what often applies to us, does not apply to our children.
I would love to hear of ways that you have seen the purpose to your child’s repetitious and exclusive behaviours.