Far be it from me to offer anybody parenting advice. I mean that sincerely, I am certainly no expert but I have learnt so much through my foster care journey and through floundering my way through my son’s Autism diagnosis.
I have been presented with a number of, shall we say, ‘unique’ little behaviours over the last 8 years and if there is one thing I have learned is that there is a reason for all behaviour. We have all, I am sure, had times where we thought our precious little angels were “just trying to push my buttons” but the fact is undesirable behaviour usually stems from a child either a) trying to communicate that they are not coping with a situation or b) attempting to regain some control that they perceive they have lost.
I would like to share my experience with you of the first one today if I may. I have learned through trial and error that when my son ‘appears’ to be behaving badly by not cooperating, refusing to give me eye contact, running away from me that it can certainly look like open and bare-faced defiance. Poor Ethan has been judged by many people including teachers of being just that; a defiant, naughty little boy. What lies behind his behaviours though is Ethan simply not coping with his current circumstances. This could be anything from a change in his routine sprung on him to a poor social encounter where he ‘perceives’ he has been rejected. And you know what, I think that is true of all children not just children on the Autism Spectrum.
My number 1 tip, go in to the situation your child is creating with a view to understanding what is really going on for your child. Not only that go in with a goal to also help your child understand what’s going here. Brainstorm with them:
“Oh, so you felt like Oscar was rejecting you when he said he didn’t want to play with you anymore?”
” What do you think you could have done to avoid getting so angry that you punched him?”