If you knew me in my life outside this blog you would quickly learn that I am not one to tolerate drama. I do that by not getting involved in it in any way shape or form if it can be at all helped. If I know you (general real life you) to be a proverbial pot-stirrer; I will avoid you. I like my life comfortable, boring, and predictable. All grossly underrated attributes in my humble opinion.
Against my better judgment, and putting my comfort threshold at risk, I'm going to address a comment from yesterday's post. In yesterday's post I used the following scenario for my argument:
I once casually followed a woman around Target. Why? Because I wanted to see if she would really follow through with counting to ten and then getting in the car. Her son was busy in the back of the shopping cart throwing the grand mal tizzy to end all tizzies; hurling objects to and fro [also interchangeable with hither and yon]; basically acting like your average terrible two. Except he was about five. It was around the time that she had threated to "count to ten and then they were going to get in the car and I mean it!" for about the fourth time [at least that I heard] when I grew curious if she did, in fact, mean it. After she'd made the threat several times over, and by then had counted to infinity times pi squared; I finally grew bored with the scenario and, frankly, had run out of shopping to do.
I left. They did not. For all I know she's still there. Counting and threatening. And bobbing and weaving.
And it would seem that I ruffled a feather or two. The following comment from christina shaver prompted thought that just wouldn't leave my head until I wrote it down.
"Please stop judging other parents.
It could have been me at Target. And if it were and I knew you'd written this about me, I'd have a field day.
You would never know by looking at him, but I have a kid with special needs, and while it is no excuse for his behavior, it is still the reality that I need to deal with. Typical parenting does NOT work with kids who have special needs.
It could be entirely possible that this particular mom was just buying time and trying to keep a lid on things while she finished up some shopping. Taking it to the next level could very well have caused an explosion that would be way more unacceptable in public than what you witnessed. And maybe it was her decision that she needed to get these items more than she needed to deal with a blowout.
When you raise a kid with special needs, you're constantly having to choose between two lousy situations. That's something that I don't think most parents of "typical" kids understand."
First of all, we all judge other parents to some degree whether we say so out loud or not. There's nothing wrong with making judgments since it's how we determine our choices. If I were to send one of my kids to another's house for a play date, you'd better believe I judge that parent and their abilities before I send my child over to their care for the afternoon...
[and in some cases I've chosen to stay myself and supervise, like that one time? When I was friendly with another mom in Boy-Child#1's kindergarten class? And we would occasionally get together after school? But her son was kind of an ass to Boy-Child#1? And then he hit Boy-Child#1 in the face which shocked Boy-Child#1 because he was all, the hell? And said friendly mother handled the situation by assuring her son that instead of the TEN toys from Toys R Us he was promised, he was only going to get SIX. Yeah. Okay. buh-bye, then].
Secondly, my argument and point in yesterday's post was about parents who don't set boundaries [or the boundaries are inconsistent] and deliver hollow threats that have no real consequences; which can lead to negative behavior in the child. Let us say for a moment that the woman in the example illustrated above is a mother to a special needs child . Here is where I'll utilize the bullet points:
- If your child's misbehavior is caused by his special needs then you wouldn't be issuing the threat of counting to 10 and going to the car because you would already know that it would be ineffective.
- If you're issuing the aforementioned threat without intending to follow through and with the knowledge that it is ineffective, you are doing that child a disservice.
- If you're "just buying time and trying to keep a lid on things while finishing up shopping" and doing it by issuing hollow threats, you're still being inconsistent and doing your child a disservice. And if buying time means allowing him to hurl objects that don't belong to you but rather the store, is also unacceptable.
- If a parent isn't "willing to take it to the next level that may cause an explosion that would be more unacceptable that what was witnessed" is no excuse to say they are going to do something with the intent of doing nothing.
P.s. I also disagree that when you raise a child with special needs that you are constantly having to choose between two lousy situations. There are several women who are mother's to special needs children who read this blog (and I their's) and they have the most beautiful things to say about raising their children. While they may admit to challenges and frustrations I've yet to see any of them use any form of the word "lousy" when detailing parenting their children.
P.p.s. While I appreciate your apology you sent via email, it isn't necessary and you certainly don't owe me one. You're entitled to your opinion. Don't apologize for it.