As a parent to special needs kids, I think it must be a requirement to have patience. Every mom I’ve met with special needs kids seems as though they have the patience of Job. However, whether you have patience or not, at some point, their behavior will require discipline.
The key is not to let it hit your boiling point and react to the behavior in anger, screams, and the wrong words that you can’t take back!
Discipline is about correction, not about them being too loud, writing on your wall, or taking their brother’s toy. Discipline is about sharing with your child how they misbehaved, how they were disrespectful, and were disobedient. It’s also about encouraging them to do better next time by saying you believe in them and that they can do it.
True correction doesn’t require you to raise your voice or respond with harsh words. However, it does insist on us teaching, explaining, and loving. It does entail us loving our child for who they are and being able to separate the person from their behavior. Your child’s not bad. They just did a bad or disobedient action.
Adding the layer of special needs can be a real challenge, too, since they can respond differently to various circumstances around them, depending on their illness. Of course, a child with autism or Asperger’s Syndrome will respond differently than, say, someone with Down Syndrome.
One of my twins screams quite often. I think some of it is his personality, some is his lack of communication abilties right now, and some is just the fact that he’s 2 years old. However, it’s up to me to figure out if his screaming is communication frustration or if he’s throwing an attitude my way that needs to be corrected. Fun, fun!
Something I’ve learned is that remaining calm gets a far better response from him or any of my kids!
Speaking of responses, we discipline much better when we respond instead of reacting. Responding calls for thought ahead of action. It requires working through what’s happened and what needs to be said mentally before anything flies out of our mouths.
No one ever said this parenting thing was easy. And unfortunately, hospitals don’t give us a parenting manual with our kids when they send us home after the birth. They just say “Congratulations!” and send you off. It’s up to us to work out all the kinks. After having done this for 11 years and with 4 kids, I get a much better response from my children that initiates change when I respond instead of reacting to their bad behavior. I believe it’s because they can feel the love that comes through the correction that way instead of the anger that comes through the screams. Correcting in love keeps your relationship healthy and happy!
How can you respond better the next time your child needs correction in the area of respect, honor, obedience, and love? Those are the real heart of the issue!
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Jessica Stone is a wife, mom to 4, and owner of her own businesses in the fitness and essential oils industries. She has 3 special needs children, one which has an undiagnosed neuro-muscular condition that limits her mobility, and her twins are currently receiving therapy for sensory defensiveness, physical mobility, fine motor skills, and speech. She enjoys sharing what she has learned through her trials, experience, research, and tools that have helped her children’s health with other parents who are looking for support, encouragement, and helpful information. Get her FREE eBooklet Five Steps to Losing Those Last 10 Pounds today for simple steps to help you trim up and fit into those fashionable clothes you’ve always wanted to wear! Connect with Jess live today on Facebook!