FROM SIMONE – Have you had the experience when you hear a joke that you think it’s the best one ever, you think you are going to tell your other half or your friends and they will laugh until their stomachs ache and you tell them and they go “Yeah all right, funny, ha”? This is just a silly example but people reacting in different ways to us to the same stimulus is very common. It is in fact a new stimulus for us, a new feeling to deal with, when someone we care about does not agree with us.
After several years volunteering at the Son-Rise Program week-long seminars in London and Raun Kaufman Lectures, my experience is that these events, apart from the useful information, carry a contagious atmosphere of joy, of positive energy that empower you to want more for your child and therefore be more likely to succeed in getting what you want for your child. We forget however, that the people in our lives are not there at these events, they haven’t experienced what you have so what do you do?
What I have been doing for the last 5 years I have been running my son’s Son-Rise Program is to use exactly the same principles and techniques I use with my son, with the people in my life, in a way that my life becomes a Son-Rise Program. I’ll give some examples:
Joining – I’ve noticed I used to complain my other half didn’t join me in what concerned our son’s autism, when I started talking about it, his attention span was as short as my son’s, so I joined him in his interests because that was all he was prepared to do at that time. I noticed I never took interest in English Football so I started asking questions, I never asked about his music, his main hobby, and I started to listen to it with him. Just like it happened with my son, there are now many more things we do together because I enjoy doing them as I never stopped to check how fun they could be. We strengthened our relationship and I slowly gained more terrain that now I can have longer discussions about our Son-Rise Program.
Eye Contact – I’ve noticed when I discussed Son-Rise with my family I didn’t look them in the eye, already assuming they would disapprove and I didn’t want to see the look of disapproval, when I started looking at them firmly in the eye my message became firmer, more assertive.
Persistently requesting – When dealing with a NO from the LEA (Local Education Authority) I said OK then I went back five minutes later and tried in a different way, then tried again, and again, and again.
Changing my beliefs – When explaining to my friends about the Son-Rise Program I used to lower my head, and lower it, and lower it until, by the time I mentioned that my son wouldn’t be eating the chocolates they brought him for Easter or watching the DVD they bought for his birthday, because he didn’t watch TV, I would be as hunchback as the fellow in Notre Dame, in my belief that they would disapprove or be offended. Then I worked in changing my beliefs, in thinking I was such a cool Mother promoting a healthy lifestyle in my house and I would throw them the news with all my 3E’s, Energy, Excitement and Enthusiasm!
Being an Example – I noticed I wished my son thought vegetables were fun but I didn’t think they were fun, so I bought a bunch of vegetables and cut them all in different shapes and started eating them, it’s amazing how many I got to know that I never thought about eating before, my new hobby was looking for exotic ones and experimenting with them. My son? At three years old before we started Son-Rise he only ate custard creams and crisps now his favourite snack is raw rocket leaves with no dressing or salt, just as they are, and carrot sticks, celery sticks, we don’t need to count our five a day unless we are playing counting, all because I dared first!
My message today is all you want from other people dare to do it first, be an example and show them you are having fun and they will follow because FUN is contagious!