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cruel to be kind or just cruel?

(9 Posts)
Hormonalmoaner Thu 23-Jun-11 08:31:12

Dd (5 next month, ASD with huge sensory issues) got upset last night, well actually we both did. We were looking at the ipad talking book of toy story 2 and played the song where Jessie the Yoddling cowgirl sings about being out grown by the little girl that used to own her. It's sad. I probably fall somewhere on the spectrum and find certain things overwhelmingly sad or scary that other people wouldn't. Don't know if it's nature or nurture but dd is shaping up to be the same. I reasurred her and cuddled her for about 45 mins, we finished the story and had a nice bedtime. she never wants me to say good night so complained a bit when I left her. then she started crying again so I went back up to resettle her. then about 5 mins later she started crying again. so I went up again... (rinse and repeat)

after 4 trips back upstairs I felt I was being played. there were real tears but they were stopping as soon as I appeared and she was VERY chatty she'd been up about an hour later than bedtime at this point so I put my foot down and said I wasn't going back up and if she got up again she would lose her Jessie doll for the night (favorite toy) she started crying again a few mins after I left her but didn't get out of bed. I called up to her to reassure her that I was there but tell her to GO TO SLEEP! eventualy she did. She was very grumpy this morning as she always is when she doesn't get enough sleep. but still a little upset and very clingy.

Should I have comforted her? I know she has issues controlling her emotions and she often says (when upset or tantrumming) that she can't calm down on her own and needs me to help her. my approach to this can be inconsistent (I know, I know...) when we are at home I tell her she needs to learn to calm down and I offer comfort and reassurance only when the screaming her stopped. I tell her she has to learn to calm herself as I can't always be around to help her. when we are away from home it's more difficult so sometime I end up hugging her until she stops (works quickly)

OrdinaryJo Thu 23-Jun-11 09:04:13

Honestly? If you think you were being played then you were probably being played. You know DD best - she was calming down on her own whenever you went into the room, wasn't she? I would put the upset this morning down to being tired and maybe try and have a chat with her after school.

I also have different strategies depending where we are - that's life, isn't it?

Starchart Thu 23-Jun-11 10:01:51

I tell my dd (NT 2.5) that she needs to shut her eyes and fall fast asleep because when she is asleep i creep upstairs and give her a kiss and a cuddle because she is my favourite girl.

Dunno why in the world it works but she smiles and goes to sleep hmm

WOuld something like that work? I think it is knowing that 'goodnight' isn't final. She hasn't been left until morning.

Starchart Thu 23-Jun-11 10:02:08

sorry, she's 2.9!

drivemecrazy63 Thu 23-Jun-11 10:19:34

i had to double take then i read that as 29 smile all dcs do play on it a bit NT or otherwise and it can be especially hard to get the good cop bad cop right Hormonalmoaner for a dc with SN so dont be hard on yourself you sound like such a brilliant mum very loving and kind your not going to get the balance right everytime and your lovely dd will always love you no matter what i love what starchart just suggested i needed that last night as DS found a tiny creepy crawly in his bed and freaked and he ended up in with me after faffing about for nearly 1 1/2 hours im usually very loving but very final its time to sleep now but last night he was so freaked out i felt sorry for him as he has such sensory issues and he kept saying he was imagining being covered in bugs sad and he couldnt stop itching bless

Al1son Thu 23-Jun-11 10:23:35

Parenting is judgement call after judgement call and we only get told if we've done it wrong.

At times like this your gut feeling is pretty accurate so I'd say you did the right thing. She still heard your voice for reassurance so what you did was a bit of a phased withdrawal technique.

If you go back lots one night you may set a precedent for future nights and then have to cause upset by breaking it.

Hormonalmoaner Thu 23-Jun-11 16:06:51

I already do the "I'll come back to give you a kiss once you are asleep" bit. (and make sure I always do after I promis it as I'm sure she'd know if I didn't!) It does soften the blow but now she's older she's more inclined to argue that it's not as good to get cuddles when she's asleep and doens't know smile

be prepared for logical reasoning fairly soon Starchart smile

Starchart Thu 23-Jun-11 16:10:57

LOL, fair enough. I wasn't pretending to know. TBH I'd have a better chance knowing how to parent my ASD ds than my NT 2yr old. She is confusion on legs and pretty gobby with it.

moosemama Thu 23-Jun-11 17:07:46

I'd say your gut feeling is probably the right one.

My ds is older (9) but he does this. He regularly comes downstairs telling us he's upset about this, that or the other thing and because he doesn't tend to talk about things that are bothering him, we are usually sympathetic the first time, talk it through and reassure him, have a cuddle etc, but if he gets up again we tell him to go back to bed and we'll be up in half an hour to check on him. Nine times out of ten he's fast asleep when we go up to check, but if he's not we just give him a kiss, reassure him quickly and tell him we'll talk about it in the morning.

If he does it again, we are quite firm and tell him to go back to bed and try to sleep, as the reason he's feeling worse about things because is he's overtired. He doesn't like it, but that usually works.

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