How To Avoid Making Consequences Sound Like Threats-My Exceptional Parenting Dilemma


So I am moving into a new area with Michael. This area is one where he continues to push the envelope in seeing how far he can have freedom while professing his love for me even if he is being rude and disrespectful, and me trying to sound cool, calm, and not fazed by his obvious preteen angst to see how far he can go. This goes well some nights, and on other nights, not so well. You see, I am also trying to master the art of not only staying calm(which other than this hour change week I do pretty darn good, I must say, 🙂 ) , but I also want to stop threatening Michael with, “You don’t listen, and you won’t get so and so.” It’s getting tiring even to my ears, and though I know he is still learning about consequences and learning for the sake of learning, I still do want him to aim to do something not due to me threatening that he will lose something else, but because he sees the merit of doing it.

We are still using the token system, but rather than tell him each time he lost a chance or gained one, I just wait the day out and tell him how he has done. So far, it is going well. I don’t want threats to be part of our relationship, even if the end result is him listening. It is so hard when he does everything to push my buttons, but last night I looked at a particular challenging bedtime routine and asked myself- what is Michael trying to tell me? There was a mix of swearing, mocking me and other family members, ripping one of my possessions, imitating me counting down to him getting ready. It was one in a serious of annoying and frustrating experiences this week since the hour change, but for the first time in awhile I looked, really looked at what Michael was trying to accomplish. When he calmed down and apologized  to me, fixed what he broke, and got ready for bed and was having his glass of water, I asked him what was bothering him. He shared it with me and apologized again. He was sad when I told him there was no time for bedtime story, massage and me lying down with him due to his antics, but he understood. I was also glad that I had seen what was behind his behavior: ovvertiredness, fear of going to bed as he hates nighttime, and worry about the next day what he would be facing at school. The evening ended on a good note.

Exceptional Parents,  how do you stay calm with Your Exceptional Child and avoid making threats? How do you let what they say not phase you in order to teach them to remain calm and composed in the face of stress? This is not an easy feat, but one that is so important. When your child sees you love them no matter what, but they lose self-respect and your respect by acting out, they will start to learn to find other better ways to get your attention and regulate appropriately. Until next time.


I am a writer, speaker and parent coach whose son with autism is opening my eyes up to living life in a whole and balanced way. I am passionate about helping other parents of exceptional children thrive as individuals and in their relationships with their children. For more information on my coaching packages, or for a free 30 min consultation session, contact me at


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