Consistency Is Key-How To Set Boundaries With Your Exceptional Child

I realized  as soon as the words were out of my mouth that I would have to follow through. Oh no. There would be no outing to the park tonight as the evening before Michael was not listening and had lots of inappropriate behaviors towards me. There had been times I’d missed this cue and not reacted by giving a consequence in time. What had this caused? Inconsistency in how Michael looked for attention and got it from me. Dad has been having the same problem. We realized that due to him being a very detail-oriented kid who needs to know what is happening at all times, we also needed to be more aware of setting more boundaries as to what is acceptable and not. In trying to move away from a strict schedule and trying to teach Michael to be more flexible, we had forgotten to set boundaries on what is appropriate for him to say or do.

Michael is a sensory child. He will want to hug or squeeze you. He will also sometimes come in your personal space. We are now realizing we need to remind him about each person’s personal bubble and how important it is to respect that. We also need to teach him what is appropriate to say or not. All our exceptional kids have their quirks about behavior and expectation. Just remember that as a parent we all forget from time to time to keep the universal rules in place. With kids with ASD and  different brains, however, a common rule set is really important to keep families functioning smoothly and expectations clear. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. Write down family rules: This is good in any family, but especially in exceptional ones where kids can have an idea what to expect.
  2. Have a rewards  system for good behavior: If your child responds well to it, have a rewards system for good behavior with details on what they could earn.
  3. Both parents need to have same set of rules: It’s important that rules apply across the board with both sets of parents.
  4. Praise the good: Sometimes as parents we forget to look at the good behavior and only focus on the bad. Change that mindset.
  5. Have stable routines: Have a stable bedtime, daytime and all other times family routine. This will help your child feel more secure.

Exceptional Parents, how do you keep consistency in your family for behavior and other things? If you are not always doing things the same way, stop and think how this is affecting  your child’s and your stress level. You can solve so much  anxiety and stress with keeping consistent in how you respond to your child and other family events. You will see how this will help you all as a family grow stronger and be happier. Until next time.

I am a writer, speaker and parent coach. I blog about how my exceptional son with autism and type 1 diabetes is raising me to a better human being and exceptional mom. My mission is to empower other exceptional parents to trust in their parenting instinct while letting their exceptional child open their eyes to all that is possible! For more information on my coaching services and to download a copy of my FREE EBOOK “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” see my website,

2 thoughts on “Consistency Is Key-How To Set Boundaries With Your Exceptional Child

  1. I love your rules. I think we adults often forget that children THRIVE with boundaries. We see them as constricting (they can be, but aren’t always that way), but really they are guidelines. When we know what’s expected of us, we know what to do. Thanks!


    1. Thank you! I sometimes forget that my son needs them, but usually learn when there are too many open ended options that he freaks out. He does great with structure and a good deal of predictability, kind of like his Mom. 🙂 Thanks for your comment and for sharing!


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