16 days to go. 12 pages of notes…a far cry from where I began.
I have often received comments about how ‘God gives special children to special people.’
I don’t know how I feel about that. Do we get the special children or do we simply learn how to ‘be’ to help our children be able to do and be their very best? Several times while writing this blog I have wondered to myself, “Have I always been this way or has being Tucker’s mom taught me this?”
My mother describes me as being a ‘tiptoe through the tulips child.’ (Which, by the way, I did not know was an actual song until today. I was searching for an image when I came across the Tiny Tim song…seriously, that’s kind of creepy.)
I still don’t know…but I do know that he has made me a better mother and a better human being. If you’ve been reading for a while you may have already noticed that I’m fairly calm. My ‘getting excited’ is more about fresh pie, drinks with friends, and a kissy face message from my husband in the middle of the day. I don’t often get fired up in a negative way.
So, maybe – maybe I did get Tucker on purpose.
I don’t swear at my children.
I don’t call my children names.
I don’t react negatively towards my children.
I don’t yell.
I am not a yeller. Never have been. Now, I have yelled – but it has to be pretty extreme for me to get there. If you’ve heard me yell it’s because I am in extreme duress, sadness, and/or confusion. I don’t yell to pick up toys, I don’t yell to clean the dishes, I don’t yell because of laundry, I don’t yell to modify behaviors, I don’t yell to turn down the television or get off the xBox.
I just don’t think anything good ever comes from screaming at the people we love (or anyone else for that matter). I have a calm soul and probably listen to too much Nora Jones. To me, yelling creates a negative cycle. I yell to get something done – but he’ll never know the reason why. I want my children to always know there is a method behind my madness…there is a reason I want them to do something.
Maybe it’s because we need to go somewhere.
Maybe it’s because the ‘thing’ isn’t good for them.
Maybe it’s because I need help.
Unless I talk to them they will never really know the reason. Why does that matter? For their children, for their spouses, for the people they meet. If I yell, it’s the only ‘method’ of discussion my children will learn – and I’m not so much into that. I want them to be better than that…better than yelling.
My mom used to tell me when I babysat, “Make sure you leave that house better than you found it.” I transferred that advice to life…leaving the world a better, more peaceful place than how you found or experienced it. Let’s be real though – I also don’t yell because Tucker has autism. That’s the truth and most other parents of children on the spectrum will recognize that fact. Yelling never works. It does, however, cause children to react in one of two ways:
- Completely shut down.
- Respond in physical violence.
In his younger years he would respond in violence. He would lash out towards the yeller or throw/break something. That something wasn’t always soft…I was never on the receiving end – but I did see the effects.
When he comes across a teacher, parent, or coach who yells he often just doesn’t understand. He will stop listening. He checks out. That ‘trusted’ adult has lost him. Too bad for them.
I just don’t believe that shouting, yelling, or screaming really adds to the success of humanity.
Do I have moments when I want to yell?
Sure – and in this moment I pause. I take a breath. I look in his eyes. Those eyes which are a part of me.
I sit beside him and tell him why I am frustrated, I ask him about his frustration. We talk about what happened and how WE can do better the next time. Just like people should when they want to create change.
True change doesn’t come through force…true change does come through thoughtful, calm, engaged discourse.