This will be a reoccurring theme during this blogging journey. I was especially thinking about this today because I engaged my own class in conversation about words. How do we use words? Why do we use the words we use? How do we put words together for maximum impact? How do we co-create a more civil community through the use of words? What does ‘civil’ mean? For what it’s worth…an entire 50 minutes devoted to words and it was pure bliss.
I’m a nerd, I know. I’ve come to terms with that – and I’m okay.
Know who that is? PBS’ Word Girl. Every time I talk at length about words the ‘Word Girl’ jingle goes through my head. Be sure to check her out at http://pbskids.org/wordgirl/adventures/
“At some point he’ll just have to learn to be quiet and still.”
Am I kidding? Nope. People really do say this stuff. I’m a strong believer that people are inherently kind. So, I try to believe that when people say this stuff, they aren’t saying it to be mean. In fact, in a strange twisted way…I think they are actually saying it to be a ‘parent helper.’
The answer is actually fairly simple. There are simply some behaviors that he may never learn. Being quiet in public places just happens to be one of them. I liken this to telling an overweight person they should lose weight. No sh*t! (please excuse the vulgarity…but this topic really gets me fired up).
Really? You’re a genius. You mean it would be better if my child sat still and quiet in this space?
I NEVER thought of that.
You must be a brain surgeon.
The problem is this…if he could have learned by now, he would have. If he could…he would. Trust me…
I have tried.
His teachers have tried.
His babysitters have tried.
His coaches have tried.
All people who love him have tried.
What we can do is provide coping skills, plans, and ideas in these situations.
So, when his sister had her dance program we made a plan and communicated that plan to him IN ADVANCE (other spectrum moms are laughing right now…I guarantee).
He could take the iPad and headphones. He could sit in the back row with his stepdad (Matt) (so I could sit closer to the front). When it was his sister’s turn to dance Matt would gently nudge him. He would immediately take off the headphones and turn off the iPad and watch his sister dance. When it wasn’t her turn, he could turn it back on.
He wasn’t bothering anyone – there weren’t any people in the back 5 rows. Yet, someone just HAD to say something.
Really. Do you think, for a moment, that we would just make this choice? Alright, maybe some would – but constantly explaining just gets tiring!!! Now, I realize that some may think this is rude, but trust me – of the two evils – this is less. Much, much less.
If we hadn’t had the iPad he would have been up and down, crossing his legs this way and that, talking out loud, asking how much longer, asking when Estelle was going to do her thing, telling us his editorialized opinions of each dance.
Please understand that it is important that he supports her sister, please understand that it is important that we do things as a family, please understand that we’re a bit ‘special’ in our needs – all of us.
Because we are united, as a family.