FROM WILLIAM: Part of a child’s life is to learn you do not always get what you want. This applies to autistic children as well as neuro-typical children. For any child a main part of their focus on a day to day basis is to get what they want exactly when they want it (i.e. food, drink, the toy, computer, a ride in the car, etc.) So here you have a child focused on getting what they want and us the parents deciding what they can have or not have. This is one of the roles we have as a parent – to set boundaries on what we want our child to have or not have.
As parents we also want our children to be happy – we love them and we want them to feel good about themselves, about us, the situation and the other people in their lives.
For many moms and dads holding these two ideas, controlling what my child can have or not have and wanting them to be happy individuals, can cause a major impact to the effectiveness of their parenting. The way to hold both these ideas in harmony is to be easy and relaxed when your child gets unhappy when they don’t get what they want. As a parent it is our job to control what your child can do or not do – you are always assessing what you believe is the best for them (i.e. I don’t let my 9 year neuro-typical child play out in the street at 10pm at night even if they want to.) No matter what, my child will always protest (cry, whine, make themselves unhappy, tantrum, hit, etc.) about something I have stopped them getting – this fact is unavoidable.
The key to parenting effectively when setting boundaries is being comfortable when your child gets unhappy. Remember that your child is learning a valuable life lesson – you don’t always get what you want no matter how hard you cry, hit, scream, tantrum. In fact to give them what they want when they act this way will encourage this behavior to happen again and again.
When you set your boundaries be strong, love your child and allow them the space to get unhappy and learn that you don’t always get what you want even if you cry, tantrum, etc. If you have a older child, on the austistic spectrum, who hits or hurts others and are unsure how to apply this – please contact us we would love to support and help you.
Love and smile
JUST LOVE THIS!!!! Had a lot of experience working on this with you guys this past week!! Thank you for helping me with this and helping me feel so comfortable with setting boundaries!! You are just fabulous!!!! ~Jen & Charlie
Thanks for this important reminder, William. I am getting more comfortable when my children express themselves through tantrum, crying, aggression when they can't get what they want right away. It was always the judgment of other people (perhaps my judgment of what other would think of me) about why I was letting my child cry and cry. I'm going to be more conscious of when I'm routinely encouraging behaviour I don't want.
Have an awesome day!
I have a 15 year old with atipica autism. Her mornings are loud and very upsetting for everyone. She gets physical with her 9 year old brother and cries pulls tantrums, is aggressive verbally as well. I have tried everything and feel so bad. She's exausting, I wish I could learn to set more boundaries. I wish someone could advise me on what I'm doing wrong!