So I have been noticing that we now have new problems with Michael at bedtime. He cooperates, to a certain extent with the routine, but then will end up moving at a snail’s pace and slowing down when he needs to keep moving. When I gently and later impatiently remind him that there is no time to finish the rest of his routine, he is shocked. Sometimes we have a little fight, other times he is just bewildered. I see we need to get started earlier and earlier until he learns how to tell time and what to expect when he goes slow. I also am wondering if the stalling and slowing down is due to his dislike of the nighttime and sleep. Separating has always been hard. He was so upset the other night when I told him I not only could not do massage, but I could not lie down with him due to the lateness of the hour. I am slowly seeing what changes we need to make in the bedtime routine.
I have decided I will be giving Michael a little more choice in what he includes in his routine, and also that he must do this in a reasonable time. He is pushing me away a bit now with the onset of puberty by openly saying he does not want to tell me certain things about his day, yet then at night there is this desire for me to put him to bed, lie down with him, not Dad. I think it is the push/pull of maturity and the fear of loss. He will also say, “tonight is our baking night. You are not working.” He is happy and wants to spend time with me, yet then hugs and kisses are restricted. So typical, yet there is an autism twist to it. “You can kiss me on this cheek, not that one.” He likes us to call him by his full name now only, not a nickname. Before it was only everyone else, now Mom and Dad too. All these rules and pulling away means he is growing up. New ways of handling this stage are being developed, and I am glad that now that we have a behavior management plan in place, I can see where he is truly struggling , where he is testing, and where he is hurting. I know more how to help now.
Exceptional Parents, are your Exceptional Children doing the push/pull/back again thing? Are they at that stage? Maybe they are just clingy all the time and driving you crazy. Remember, there is always a reason for their behavior. They are trying to figure things out in the world. Stay calm and patient as you learn to read their signals, and remember, you and they will grow stronger together as a result. Until next time.
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