Wordy Wednesday: bullying vs Rude vs Mean


Ugh! I want to pull my hair out. First spring break and now some random state holiday. These kids need to be back in school. They are getting on each other’s nerves and mine. Every 5 seconds it’s “he did this….” Or “she did that…”. They keep picking on each other and everyone’s tempers are thin. I don’t know how many times my kids have approached me this past week and I have that ask them if they are tattling or reporting. However, the positive is that- they are learning the difference. Want to teach your kids the difference? See here how I did it.

It has been a learning process over the years to figure out how best each child learns. It took me a while and even now I get confused on who learns best which way. Because of course it can’t be the same for everyone.

Those moments was brought on one day at our doctor. We went to a appointment and the nurse triaging me asked how I learned best. I stopped and had to think about it. Telling me didn’t work; I’m a visual learner. She gave me the choices and I told her it was all of them. I asked what that meant. She explained that if they ever need to teach me how to administer a drug or treatment they will be able to do it in a way I will understand. Why did that shock me so? Its brilliance. So I got to thinking why don’t teachers stop and asses which child learns what ways. It might help millions of children excel in school and life better. However, since I can’t impact that many children, I can at least set mine up for success. I realized I can teach them in their best learning style, and once they are older I can teach them the best way for them to study. But until then they will stand next to me while I’m on the couch tattle telling or reporting on each other.

I finally had enough of them and sent them to their rooms for some quiet separate time. However, before my son left, he let out one of those replies that makes your blood boil as a parent. My mom referred to it as the “f” word; FINE! Oh hell no, you just did not throw that word at me little boy. But, oh sure enough he did. His eye brows went up and his eyes got huge as he saw that look of evil spread across my face.

He walked over to me, head hung low, and said he was sorry. I stopped even madder now. Does he even know why he is apologizing? No, he just saw my reaction and via all our social stories and experiences, knows that face means he is in trouble. Autism, sometimes I hate you.

I ask him why he apologized. He said because he knew I was mad. I asked him if he knew why I was. He said because “I don’t know”. I tell him what he said was rude to me. I asked him if he knew what that meant. He replied “mean”. I stopped and had to think about it. Rude does mean mean; but it means more than that.

I started getting angry with myself. I realized I had never explained to him what rude and mean meant. How can I be mad at him for not teaching him yet we don’t talk like that. I simply can’t. No one can. So I stood there trying to find the right explanation of the word. It was hard. And I basically skirted around it. I just didn’t have a good answer. So I had to find one.

First thing was I knew I could not define the word with the word itself. So I can’t say mean means mean. Instead due to Bug’s way of learning, I needed to come up with concrete examples and definitions. While looking around I ran across this article by Signe Whitson, written a few years back.

She writes about the differences between bullying, mean and rude. Perfect! And since we are school age now it is great to teach them about bullying.

The one thing I want to also teach my children is how to recognize what bullying is. We all know how being bullied can effect ones ego and self esteem; but if one of your deficiencies is social how are you going to realize you are being bullied? It’s a horrible set of circumstances. I have already seen it happen to my children and seen what it can do when they don’t understand what is going on.

Here is another resource our ABA gave to me today:

www.socialthinking.com– super flex


A Mommy Moment

A dad creates a reading app for his Autistic daughter– Parents are making milestone happen for they own kids more and more. It’s sad to me thinking that there still are hole in therapy, resources and assistance. So much so we as parent have to step up and take that task upon ourselves. But sometimes I think that’s why I was given my children. Because someone knew instead of crying at all the little things that don’t make them “normal”, I’d just laugh and smile at them. To me they are normal. This is our normal.

Props to all those parents out there who stand up and fight for their children, who create apps and materials because there are none and who love their children unconditionally.

I have a friend who shared recently one of the most heart touching insights into being the mother of a ASD child. With her permission I am gonna share it with you (grab your tissues)-

“As I lay in the bed trying to fall asleep, I find mysslf stressing over the upcoming school year. I constantly worry about C being the new kid. I worry if he will have to endure the bullying he did the last few months in Hawaii. I wonder if it’ll be worse. I’ve found myself pushing him to be “normal” often out of my own fear. I’m constantly reminding him about talking to himself, making silly faces, playing with his hands, and the list goes on. I know that many of these things are autism related but still I push him to be normal. The reality is, he is NOT normal….he’s EXCEPTIONAL! Through all his quirks, he’s the first kid to help someone. When kids bullied him, he forgave them because “God says we should forgive”. He is always respectful. He always says ma’am/sir. He’s nearly been hit by a car trying to help a lady who’s bag flew into the street. He believes he should always be a gentlemen. When I ask him why is he always Happy, his answer is “because I have a lot to be Happy about”. The fact of the matter is, he is not normal. Those qualities/traits make him better. They make him stronger. They make him a young man wise beyond his years. I challenge all parents who have a child who isn’t considered “normal” to post about your EXCEPTIONAL child. Share with the world who they are and not what some feel they should be.”

Reading again, I still cry. I often “pick” on my kids when their quirks come out in public. I have even yelled at them and put them in time out. I often forget they have ASD. It’s a hard realization to face for any parent that your child is not similar to others. I want my kids to fit in and act socially acceptable. I don’t know why I do the things that I do.

But it’s not right. I took me a while to stop stressing and getting upset over their stems. Hubs has a harder time with it still. I think men are conditioned different than women. What Hubs sees is failure. That he (Hubs) could possibly has the “bad sperm”, or wonky family history. But it doesn’t matter if science discovers its a gene passed down or a massive mutation after birth. It’s nobody’s fault. It’s only our fault if we do nothing to help our children and stop trying to understand them.

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