Monday, December 03, 2007

Let your kids work it out.

I have blogged many times about my daughter,Savannah, who has Asperger's. She is a typical 16- year- old who just wants to make friends and fit in with everyone else, but because of this disorder social interactions are quite difficult for her. With the help of her speech language pathologist, she was introduced to a girl who was also having problems making friends, and they really hit it off. They had arranged a sleepover on Saturday and seemed to be getting along pretty well until late evening when the girl announced that she didn't want to stay any longer and wanted to go home. We tried to get a hold of her Mother to no avail and my husband even drove her home but she didn't have a key so he brought her back to our house. I felt really bad for her because I could tell she was quite anxious and I did not have a clue what happened to cause this problem. My daughter didn't want to talk about it and so I was totally in the dark. Finally I suggested that they talk about it and try and sort things out, but the girl said when she got upset she tended to stutter and so I recommended that one them use my laptop and the other one use the family computer, and chat on msn. They agreed to try that and I decided to leave them to it and go to bed. About an hour later I heard them laughing and they seemed to be having a great time. The girl's Mother came to pick her up after all, but she left in good spirits and the girls even made plans to play badminton together this Tuesday.

Sometimes we need to let our kids work things out on their own. I tried my best to get my daughter and her friend to talk about things, but that was pretty much all I could do. They both refused to talk to me and so my hands were basically tied. By leaving them alone and giving them some privacy they were able to actually work it out, first on msn through instant messaging and then a bit later, they actually spoke to each other and talked about the conflict they were having. I am still not sure what the problem was as neither one would tell me anything but the bottom line is they worked it out and without my intervention. I have learned a great lesson from this and know that when problems crop up in the future I am going to give my kids a bit of time to sort it out for themselves.

We love our kids and hate to see them hurt, so it is only natural that we want to solve their problems for them. In doing this our children do not learn to develop problem solving skills. If we give our kids the time and space to work it out on their own, more times than not they will come up with a solution. If the problem is so serious that they cannot handle it on their own, they know that they can come to us for love and support. Now isn't that what positive parenting is all about? : -)

Happy Parenting,


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