Hurt Feelings: how do you deal?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-09-2010
Hurt Feelings: how do you deal?
2
Fri, 07-16-2010 - 9:29am

We have always had issues getting my 3.5 yr old PDD-NOS son dressed in the morning - screaming/refusing/etc.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-25-2003
Fri, 07-16-2010 - 9:57am

I don't do it in the moment, but after the fact -usually at bedtime when he is calm and we talk about our day, I will bring up the incident again and discuss what he has learned from it. I will also explain that I didn't mean to hurt his feelings, but there are reasons why we do the things we do, and it is not always easy to see what those reasons are until something bad happens. I will explain that I have lived a long time and I need him to trust me.

Then we use it as a teaching tool. if -for example- he refuses to wear a caot when it rains, I might gently remind him of the "jammie incident" and why it is important to listen to your parents.

For my own hurt feelings, that is harder. If he is out of control, I tell myself "it's not him, it's the Autism" over and over again.

For those times when he cries because he is different and has no friends... well, that still breaks my heart. I do find solace in knowing who he is and that he will "grow into himself" i.e. that adults can and do appreciate him far more than kids, so by the time he is one, life will be easier for him.

But it is cold comfort when he is sad *now*.

-Paula

visit my blog at www.onesickmother.com

-Paula

visit my blog at www.onesickmother.com
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-2003
Fri, 07-16-2010 - 11:36am

That was actually kind of a positive experience for your son. (Hard, yes, but positive!) He responded to peer censorship, and suggested a solution to his problem. A lot of kids on the spectrum couldn't have done that at 3.5. My daughter couldn't have. (If she had even realized she was being judged negatively, and if that bothered her, she would have just shut down.) That he cares about what the other child thought is actually a good sign for his development.

NT kids learn most of their social skills from the children around them. Peer pressure gets a bad rap because it's always discussed in terms of risky, anti-social, or immoral behavior. However, it's also the way we learn to fit in smoothly with our social group. Sure, one reason not to be rude to the teacher is that she might take away your recess and call your mom, but for many kids the real reason is that they don't want to be thought of as obnoxious people by parents, friends and teachers. Our kids want to be "good", too. They just don't readily pick on the clues that should tell them what "good" is in a lot of situations.

That aside, hurt feeling are always miserable. I've been tempted to drag 4 year olds to their parents when they couldn't stop asking my daughter about the extra hair that comes with her medication (for a medical issue). I have scolded older boys at the park when they were clearly bullying. My husband has chewed out teachers for not managing their classes in ways that promote a friendly environment for all the students. We chose a school with a largish population of "quirky" kids just to avoid some of the hurt feelings. I drag my 3 year old along to Girl Scout meetings so I can volunteer and help avoid more. I'm overprotective and still it's not enough. She gets hurt, and she shuts down or blows up, and I can't fix it and it sucks. It sucks.

Still, I know she has to live in the world, and we try to help her grow through these hard lessons. When our daughter was younger therapists had us role play difficult events several times, having her take different roles each time, in an attempt to get her to see other points of view. Then afterward we'd ask her to offer ways she could avoid, or respond to, similar problems down the road. We generally skip the role play now, but we do have long talks that end in devising a new "social rule" to help guide her in the future.

A book I can recommend, loosely on this subject, is "It's So Much Work To Be Your Friend". My husband even saw the author speak, and he was impressed (doesn't happen all that much). It has a lot of good, frank, practical advice on helping our kids develop friendships and work through the associated difficulties.