Familiarity Brings Out Michael’s Exceptional Emotions

So I learned last week that when Michael gets comfortable with an individual, he will start testing with rude behavior and actions. Comforting on one level, not so much on another. But, at least it now makes sense why he’s getting along better with me on the weekends when I work. He’s with Dad all day, so he gets the brunt of the behavior, while Mom is temporarily like Dad coming home from work. I even  witnessed this “familiarity breeds contempt’ behavior with a close family friend the other day. Michael worships this friend, but was acting out at her house like he does at home. Amazing. She said it too. He is comfortable with me so does what he does at home. On one hand, I am relieved that he is doing neuro typical behaviors, but of course, on the other hand, this is highly unacceptable behavior, and it is challenging for all of us dealing with what he says and does. Part of raising a child, any child, particularly an exceptional one. Sigh.

An interesting offshoot of this behavior though, has been a return to loving his teachers. He told me last night at bedtime that his current teacher is his “girlfriend” his “teacher girlfriend.” Then he smiled and said she is different from the summer girlfriend he had at the pool at few years ago, a cute little girl. Puberty here we come! I am getting a glimpse into that too. It was funny and cute, and really interesting to see how when he shakes things up on the home front, his teachers are his BFF people and so forth at  home. He keeps me learning about his brain, and how he is making sense of his social world and navigating who he needs to be nice to and who he needs to listen to. I think he is starting to see that it is all adults, but that is still challenging for him, to say the least.

Moms, how do your children act around you and others? Is there a difference, and do you notice them favoring you more when you have been away? You know, the old saying, “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” What does their behavior teach you about them, about yourself? Michael has shown me how to look for clues in how he is feeling and now I can see the behavior pattern quite well. You’d be amazed what growth happens when our children test us and themselves. Keep looking for those clues and growing along with your children. Until next time.

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