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Help! Feel like a terrible mum(6 Posts)
I’m so ashamed of myself because a couple of times I have lost my temper with my son over homework.
He does it fast enough most nights but on a few nights like last night it has taken 2 hours when it should only take about 30 mins. I find myself speaking harshly telling him to hurry along.
I know this is exactly what I should not be doing but I seem to do it as i just feel stressed. My son then gets upset . He also points out that I expect him to take a break when he feels overwhelmed so he can avoid getting to the point where he loses control of his own emotions but I don’t manage my emotions- what a hypocrite i am!
I apologise to him when I lose my temper and say it was unfair of me but it shouldn’t get to the point that I need to apologise.
He has ASD and is 9. His teacher said he is getting on well with the work in school and working fast.
I just feel anxious about his future. He is getting on well enough but I am always on edge when we are out in case he gets upset about something. I think this makes me more grumpy and stressed as a parent -like we had friends over to visit with there new baby and my son was being too boistourous around the baby and getting very vocal when I tried to get him to move away. I’m just a bit sick of the whole thing and how his behaviour impacts so much on us even though its not very extreme compared to some.
My friend is a very calm parent and seems so nice but her son is very laid back and has no issues - he has never had a tantrum - no wonder she is such a nice parent!
Any tips on how I can stop being so grumpy and horrible - Although I should probably just follow the advice I give my own son on trying to stay calm .
Don't beat yourself up! We all lose our patience from time to time. Parenting an autistic child definitely requires a lot of input.
I would suggest you just try and change what you can to avoid the trigger points for you both. So homework:
Speak to his class teacher / Senco - 30 mins sounds about right for homework; if he's spending longer then maybe he can stop after 30 mins and finish at school?
Ask them what reasonable adjustments they can offer to help you.
If it's taking a long time because he's struggling with some aspect of it then again speak to class teacher
Does school have a homework club he can go to (they sometimes run them at dinner times) - that way he can clear a lot of his homework at school?
Don't compare yourself or your DS to other people - everyone is different, and what works for one child wouldn't be right for another (and yes some kids are more compliant by nature, but I wouldn't swap my son for one of those!)
Be aware that situations like visiting friend's houses probably are stressful for him / make him over excited, so maybe meeting in a park when he can run around might be easier.
It's just looking how every situation can be defused before it gets there really.
It does take a lot of energy though, I do know.
If you haven't already done so, read The Explosive Child by Ross Greene. It's recommended so much on here because it's such a good book.
☕️ and 🍰 for you.
Thanks, sensible advice. I am going to see certain evenings as a flashpoint for me getting annoyed and work on avoiding it. It only seems to happen on a certain day of the week when we get in late and have homework to do and everyone is asking for snacks and drinks and the baby is tired and crying.
I got really cross with the whole legs in armholes of clothing, shoes on the wrong feet, forgetting to put pants on first routine the other day. She can't help it (well when the pants go on the head with a giggle there's an element of fucking around naughtiness in there) but I got cross. I'm human, it happens. Most parents don't have to contend with describing the order clothing goes on in minute detail every single morning with a child her age.
Passed another mum looking flustered on the way to school as well who has a child with ASD - she just looked at me and commented "socks"... and my reply was "pants - swap you?"
We had this exact homework issue. DS can update self start easily.
I spoke to the teachers and said I would differentiate his homework if they were happy for me to do that.
Then, at the start of the task, i’d look through it and explain what I wanted him to do. If I let him begin, then suddenly tried to change it half way through, he had a melt down.
Also, simply stopping after 30mins never worked. Children with ASD tend to be sticklers for rules, so if they knew they needed to finish it and it was still not done after 30mins, he would either sit there for ages trying to do it or have a melt down.
I know it’s hard, but on that stressful night, try to plan ahead. Pre think what snacks/drinks you’ll need and pop the baby in a playpen or similar and tell your DS you are focusing on him but you might need to attend to his sibling at some point.
If it’s homework like spellings, try breaking them up into smaller chunks to learn at different times.
For art based projects, try to keep left over boxes/bottles etc so he can go and self start from his stash whilst you see to the baby etc.
If there is something that’s quite open ended, give him a short list of choices ....would you like to write a poem about pirates or the weather? For example.
For many children, they need work breaking down into much smaller chunks than many teachers give, in order to self start/finish.
I think you must be doing very well to even get to the point where you can do homework...
I have given up on it as a battle that is not that important at the moment.
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