Something that I find ,myself battling with is setting a boundary and keeping it in place with my daughter. Cognitively she is completely aware of and understands right from wrong…..but seriously, sometimes I just want to throw my hands in the air and shout “Really?! Are you actually kidding me !”
So the other day we were driving home from an appointment, she asked if we could stop at the petrol station to get something to drink. “Sure we can” I reply….we all know what a hungry or thirsty child turns into right….and I desperately needed a coffee so we stop off. I say to her she can have some ice tea or water…the next thing, while I’m waiting at the counter for my coffee, she comes and asks me if she can have a Monster energy drink….firstly, cudos for her actually asking me, but this is how our conversation went…keep in mind I can’t say a direct “no” as she also has demand avoidance…
Her: Can I have a Monster energy drink?
Me: I’m sorry my angel but I don’t think that’s a good idea and we agreed on either ice tea or water.
( in my head, however, I’m saying to myself WHAAAT THE ACTUAL….)
Her: But why not??!! (Now she’s starting to get angry)
Me: Because it’s really bad for you and you already know what we agreed on getting.
Her: * lots of explicit language* followed with “I ******* hate you!!!”
And she proceeded to storm off to the car, which was parked right in front of the shop where I could see it…I keep calm, get my coffee and an ice tea for her and go to the car. Well, the drive was super peaceful and I quietly drank my coffee while she silently raged and eyeballed me the whole way home.
Neeedless to say, she didn’t speak to me for the rest of the day until the next morning.
And all because I wouldn’t let her have a certain drink…….this is our life
This was actually a very calm reaction from her. Meltdowns happen every day, some last hours and some last a few minutes. Now that I actually understand her a bit better and she understands herself better after getting her diagnosis we are more equipped on how to handle her meltdowns and how to spot the signs before she hits the red zone. But sometimes they come out of absolutely nowhere.
Her psychologist Said to me a few weeks ago that I need to lower my expectations as a parent and not expect that she will sit at the table with the family for dinner, she will eat and leave the table, not expect her to sit with us and watch a movie, I can’t take her with me to the shops because it’s a full sensory overload…..it’s a whole new world of parenting and a whole new language to learn, and that’s ok. The biggest thing is not to force them to stay at the dinner table, rather let them go and sit quietly….lower the expectations of social interaction even with family…it’s really really hard but rather do that and always remain calm than have the massive breakdowns..