Tag Archives | behaviour

Wow, my boy is just full of great surprises!

So the Christmas holidays are officially over, I couldn’t be happier with how well my boys handled all the late nights, long visits with family they don’t know and everything else.

What truly impressed me were the little moments in between.

We gave Cameron (my 5yr old with Autism) a Nintendo DS Lite and gave Tyler (3yr old without Autism) a Leapfrog, both are handheld video game systems… this way they have something to do when they do have long visits with family, or long drives.

What was truly amazing was when Tyler picked up his brother’s Ninentdo DS, which was clearly too complicated for him. At first, I expected Cameron to tell him to stop playing with it, to take it away from him but to my surprise, he instead showed Tyler how to turn it on and play with it!

The next day, I was doing dishes and asked Cameron and his older cousin to find all of the dishes around the house for me. Again, he did as asked and for his reward, he received a kinder egg (chocolate egg with a toy inside). His cousin, jokingly, said “where’s mine?” and without a moment of hesitation, Cameron split the egg in half and gave half of it to his cousin!

Granted, that’s only 2 wonderfully amazing things over the course of close to a full week, but I’ll gladly take 2 over none… and certainly take 2 over meltdowns.

You have to understand, I got some great Christmas presents myself but not much ranks as high as seeing my boy do so very well. By the way, his chocolate sharing didn’t go unrewarded. I made sure to share some of my Christmas chocolate with him as a reward for being such a good kid.

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The excitement is building and I’m not sure I can take it anymore!!

I’m so conflicted.. I mean, on the one hand, it’s so wonderful and amazing that my boys actually “get it” this year. They’re genuinely excited for Christmas, for toys, for Santa, for opening presents… with 9 days left, I told Cameron that there were 9 “sleeps” left until Christmas and ever since then, I get wake up calls each and every morning reporting to me how many sleeps are left. This morning, it’s 2 sleeps left.

The problem is that the morning reports are coming earlier and earlier. It started at 7am. This morning was 4:45am!

Christmas CrazyIf that wasn’t bad enough (bad on Christmas??), their excitement level doesn’t taper off through out the day… and it certainly doesn’t fade or stay constant as we get closer to the big day either.

The boys seem to hurt themselves more, become more and more defiant and just all around wild with every passing day as we draw closer and closer to Christmas.

This morning Cameron climbed up on the rocking recliner that spins… long winded description but necessary, you see.. he stands on it. Something that rocks and spins is not something an unwieldy 5 year old should be standing on. He’s fallen several times and this morning was no exception. Now he has a nice purple line down his rib cage where he hit the coffee table.

Have no fear though, he’s fine… they’re quite resilient.

Anyway, the moral of the story is that when you want your kids to get excited, just remember that you asked for it.

It’s the 23rd today, and I may be jumping the gun on this one, but I’m fairly confident in saying that in less than 2 days, when the boys wake me up earlier than ever, excited about what they find under the tree…  it will have all been worth it.

Especially if I get to sleep in the next day.

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A calm talk with my son about rewards, consequences and his behavior

As I have written about before, Fridays tend to be the worst day of the week for Cameron, every week he goes to school, deals with his little brother, has to deal with us parents and come Friday, his behaviour becomes a real issue.

This passed Friday was no exception, he woke up in a bad mood, being defiant and talking back to us in regards to just about everything. A simple request such as “Cameron, can you please put on your socks?” was met with him yelling back at us “No! I not go to school, I not put on my socks!”

ScreamingThere’s only an hour between his wake up time and the bus arriving but his defiant, lashing out behaviour was more than enough for me to send him to his room long before the bus arrived. He continued to yell back at me from the room.

I waited for only a minute before calmly walking in and sitting next to him on his bed.

I said to him “What good does it do for you to behave bad like this? Will it make me want to give you treats and let you play games?”

He shook his head “no”, without saying a word.

I then said “Today is Friday, which means that tomorrow you have no school. Do you think you’ll get to have lots of fun tomorrow by being really bad today?”

Again, he shook his head “no”.

I continued “Do you think I’d be happier and want to do more fun things with you this week-end if you were a good boy?”

He nodded his head “yes”.

Along the same path, I said “do you think being good at school today will mean having more fun this week-end?”

He nodded again, “yes”.

This was important, because without having ever said a word, he agreed with me that behaving good means having more fun, getting more rewards. He also recognized that behaving poorly meant getting less treats and less fun.

So finally I asked him “are you done being grumpy? Do you want to try hard to be good now so we can have a good week-end?”

He nodded “yes”.

We left his room and continued to get ready to go outside. While getting his snow pants on, he finally spoke, saying “Dad, I’ll be good today, I promise.”

Sure enough, he came home from school with a big smile, telling me that he had no thinking chairs (time outs). I checked his book (from his teachers) and they said that he must have really turned it around because he had a really great day at school. He listened well, he participated in everything and had no time outs.

Now, I recognize that this won’t change things for the rest of his life but it’s a huge breakthrough, one that I know can be repeated. He’s proven to me that he understands the consequences of his actions, even the ones he has little control over, such as his meltdowns.

And while he will still lash out and be defiant, at least now I know that I can work with him to get through it.

It’s hard sometimes, as parents, to stay calm and try the ‘logic’ approach rather than just letting them stay in their room for a while “to think about it”. It’s especially hard if your child has Autism and you have no way of knowing just how much they understand or can process. But it’s still worth trying anyway because you may just be pleasantly surprised… as I was.

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