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DS wanted me to check if I am being mean

(26 Posts)
yawningmonster Sun 30-Dec-12 07:27:54

If your children are capable of doing the following....
get their own drink
get something out of fruit bowl to eat
walk down to bedroom to collect a wanted item
put a cd or dvd on
do you expect them to or do you do it for them?
I am happy to pour ds a drink if I am in the kitchen and ditto any of the other things if I am actually close to said item then I haven't got a problem with doing it.
Currently (keep in mind ds does have some special needs but as I said he is completely capable of doing all of the above) ds will holler for me to come to him and then demand I do something like those on the list. "MMMUUUUMMM!!! (I am at other end of house) I walk up the hallway and say "Yes DS" "Drink". "Yes, Ds you can have a drink" "You get it" "You are able to get it DS "MASSIVE MELTDOWN..."You are right there, other parents do things for their children, it's not fair, I'm thirsty, PLEASE! PLEASE! PLEASE!

So are my expectations too high or are his?
I do know that at times he gets overwhelmed which is why I am asking but getting me to do things for him is his default setting so hard to know when he is all tapped out and can't perceive his own ability to do it or when he is just milking it.

I will list this in Special Needs as well but wanted a range of opinions.

fourbears Sun 30-Dec-12 08:04:55

How old is he? I've got a 12 year old ds and he's obviously capable of doing a lot now and can certainly cook himself a simple dinner. When he was younger, I probably get him a drink, for example, half the time and encourage him to get it himself half the time. I wanted him to feel cared for but also able to be independent and self-reliant and not think his mum is just his personal servant! Tell your boy that looking after himself a bit is good for his self esteem!

yawningmonster Sun 30-Dec-12 08:08:06

fourbears that is the approach we are taking, that we are trying to let him be a big kid who can do things for himself and make sure that we have enough energy left to help with the things he can't do. He is 8 but about 2 years delay.

lougle Sun 30-Dec-12 08:40:33

As long as there is no question about whether he is allowed to do those things, then I'd expect him to do it himself. If there are times that he is not allowed to put a DVD on, or take from the fruit bowl, etc., then that might be more confusing.

yawningmonster Sun 30-Dec-12 08:45:41

lougle this is all in situations when it is clear he is allowed but doesn't want to do it for himself.

fourbears Sun 30-Dec-12 08:54:59

I think that sometimes it's not worth getting into a (verbal) fight about things. In the past we've had the situation that we get into an argument agout it. You get it, no you get it etc. I'd get very cross and the whole situation would escalate and I'd just think I should just have got him it, it's not worth all this. I think if you have independence in mind as a long term goal and let it slide occasionally day to day if he seems particulary adamant maybe it's better for the relationship overall. Maybe say I'll do it this time, it's your turn next time, ok? Kids eh?! So much juggling and balancing. The hardest job!

TheNebulousBoojum Sun 30-Dec-12 08:59:56

I've posted on your thread on the main boards, I think it's a good idea to encourage as much independence as possible within his individual limits.

Ineedmorepatience Sun 30-Dec-12 10:08:28

I agree that dc's need to gain independence but in our house I find that this is exactly what causes aviodance behaviours, if Dd3 asks me to do something and I say no you do it she would do the same as your son. In fact if it was around getting a drink or fruit she would probably just go without and moan very loudly that she is hungry/thirsty.

I would make her ask nicely and give loads of praise when she does do things for herself.

Also remember, if your Ds is delayed by 2 yrs he is like a 6 yr old and you wouldnt expect a 6 yr old to be that independent.

Choose your battles yawning dont be his skivvy but he will send you loopy if he is melting down all the time.

Good luck smile

porridgelover Sun 30-Dec-12 10:14:26

yawning I also get this partic with DD1 (undiagnosed), but also with DS (SN) so I dont think its uncommon.

I dont think your expectations are too high; if anything I think you would be doing him a disservice to be his skivvy.
Its appropriate for a young child to ask parents to fetch and carry for them....not so much for a teenager.
I look on it as a skill that they have to learn; just like putting on shirts, using the loo, packing a school bag.

I also do as fourbears suggests: when he/she do things for themselves (esp if they do it spontaneously) then I praise them. They love this. I try to keep my mantra as 'catch them out being good'!!!!

WeWilsonAMerryChristmas Sun 30-Dec-12 11:38:29

Drinks is tricky because he can get water out of the tap or a yogurt drink out of the fridge, but he can't pour himself a milk if it's a full 2 litre bottle IYSWIM because it goes all over the place. So we don't have a blanket rule. But for everything else I would say 'why don't you get it yourself' and if he said 'it's too tricky' (general get out clause) I would then say, 'come on then, let's do it together' and give him a bit of help/guidance - with the aim that next time he'd do it himself.

Or I'd say 'I can help you in 5 minutes but if you want it sooner than that, go and get it yourself' which gives a motivation but doesn't escalate or leave him hanging either.

zzzzz Sun 30-Dec-12 12:27:34

"help me to do it for myself"

You are not being mean at all. You are following sound and proven child car practices that were developed to teach children with delays and expanded to teach all children. You are a natural Montessori teacher! Wow. I'd read about her ideas on child friendly environments and build on your gifts.

Tell ds zzzzz said he is very lucky and must do as you say.

zzzzz Sun 30-Dec-12 12:29:08

wilson we solved milk problem ith a small jug. (and kitchen roll for spills)

WeWilsonAMerryChristmas Sun 30-Dec-12 14:04:31

blush I really should have worked that one out, shouldn't I?

JsOtherHalf Sun 30-Dec-12 17:51:47

Would a topster help with the milk?

zzzzz Sun 30-Dec-12 19:23:28

wilson grin

saintlyjimjams Tue 01-Jan-13 08:22:56

I make severely autistic ds1 (13, non verbal) get his own drink, clear his plate, take stuff to the table etc. If he's eating he's started trying to shout at me to get it rather than get up himself but if I sit fast he will usually eventually get it. I suppose if it became a huge issue a jug of water on the table would work.

I also send him off to fetch things, but he sometimes gets a bit lost in that case so might need my help sometimes.

In ds1's case independence skills are the most important part of his education really. He's always going to need 24 hour care so being as independent as possible within that boundary seems important

His 2 NT brothers try to avoid getting their own drinks as well. Ds3 I help because he can't reach the tap.

yawningmonster Tue 01-Jan-13 08:26:20

thanks jimjams yes independence is my aim...I don't know if ds will ever live independently but I do hope I can equip him to be as independent as he possibly can be....just a shame that this is contrary to what he desires as I think at least at the moment he would be happily dependent especially on me.

saintlyjimjams Tue 01-Jan-13 08:28:05

Has made me think. We regularly visit an outdoor cafe where he always wants sauce. He used to not be able to operate the sauce dispenser - needs quite a bit of welly and coordination and often queuing etc as well. So I used to always have to help him. Just realised I haven't done that in months. He'll bring it back for his brothers as well.

I suppose i treat him the same as his brothers - if he physically do it I expect him to.

yawningmonster Tue 01-Jan-13 08:32:16

thank you jimjams it is funny how sometimes things creep up on you and then one day you realise wow that behaviour has changed and I hadn't realised until now...I love those moments.

There is a 5 year age difference between my two and I sometimes have difficulty knowing what you would normally expect at certain ages even without the autism thrown in to confuse me further.

saintlyjimjams Tue 01-Jan-13 08:47:32

Ds2 would always prefer to have me do stuff for him, so I am really having to hang back with him (he 's NT but always been like this!). I see it as a personality trait in his case. No SN at all. He's off to secondary school in sept do really needs to be able to open a bag of crisps himself lol.

Ds3 was born fiercely independent so in his case it's more getting him to accept help when needed that is a problem.,

yawningmonster Tue 01-Jan-13 08:56:52

always a challenge...I do wonder if ds would have the dependence trait with or without the autism...I suspect so...he just can't see the point in doing it if someone else will...he would still sit in a stroller to be taken anywhere if I let him away with it!!!

DD seems to be somewhat in the middle and flips between dependence and independence ....though things are a bit clouded with toddleritis at the moment.

sazale Tue 01-Jan-13 12:37:50

My dd 14 asd (very complex and demand avoidant) told me that she asks me to do things so she can make use of me before I die grin

She will text me from her room to get her a drink (which I don't) as her legs don't work!!

bigbluebus Tue 01-Jan-13 18:16:56

Sazale Your DD sounds like my DS (16 HF ASD), although he shouts from his room rather than texting - as my phone is not usually near me when I am in the house, so he would not get an immediate response. He is a firm believer in "why do something yourself when you can get someone else to do it for you"!. He is more than capable of carrying out most tasks, but has always had this lazy streak. I think it is partly due to the fact that his older sister is severely disabled so we have to do everything for her. We have always been careful to teach him how to be independent, but sometimes it is just quicker to do things for him otherwise we'd never get anywhere!

When he started school, his TA called me aside one day and asked if I could put him in a polo shirt instead of 'formal' school shirt on PE days. When I asked "Why?" she said, "because he can't do the buttons on his shirt, or tie his tie". The truth was, that DS had learned to do both tasks (except the collar button) but had told the TA he couldn't do them so he could get her to do them for him. I soon put her straight - but it was interesting to see that he had quickly sussed that he could get away with being lazy at school too!

He is the only child I have ever heard say "It's not fair that I have to walk when DSIS has a wheelchair". He walked everywhere from the age of 2 as I could not push a wheelchair and a buggy at the same time!

So my advice to you OP is persevere with getting your DS to carry out any tasks for himself that you feel that he is capable of doing.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Tue 01-Jan-13 18:33:01

DS1 has similar problems - imo they really are not being 'lazy'. DS1 can pass for normal but is unusually passive (according to Daphne Keen). Therefore he doesn't get himself a drink when thirsty or food when hungry and is genuinely distressed that I am not pre-empting and meeting his needs. He finds it hard to understand increasing independence as the child gets older as these skills of independance are not automatically acquired. As far as he is concerned it is an indication that his parent no longer loves him if they do not get him a drink and I have to explicitly teach him otherwise.

yawningmonster Tue 01-Jan-13 19:13:46

keeponkeeping I think there are huge elements of that going on for us...ds feels adrift when we ask him to take increasing responsibility, he takes it personally. It is almost like it is nothing to do with the fact he can do it and more about the fact of why would we not want to do it for him when we did do it when he was 1 or 2 etc....the way he goes about asking now that is something else and is drilled in. I think though that while it is absolutely reasonable and necessary for ds to increasingly become independent it is also very frightening for him as he hasn't got the understanding of why independence would be desirable.

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