R is a screen addict.
If we let him, he would watch shows and play on the computer several hours a day.
In fact not only does he want to watch shows but they have to be totally on his terms – he wants the remote and he wants to rewind and fast-forward to EXACTLY the segment he wants to see
I struggle with this screen addiction
On the one hand he has learned a lot from the computer – from fine motor skills to teaching himself to read and spell and math etc
At the same time this addiction takes away from "playing time". Plus I think also feeds into attention deficit and also
Most of the time I am somewhat decent about keeping screen time limited but with all the travel these past 2 weeks he has been honing in a lot to the screens
Yesterday I decided to just bite the bullet and took away the remote and turned off the computer ( thank you Julie for the inspiration to live life unplugged )
R threw a first class tantrum and also demonstrated his ability to manipulate
Angry Dervish dance ( I am mad at you )
Followed by banging his head but always mindful of his safety – banging it on a cushion ( I am in despair )
Then pushing me out of the room ( I no longer love you )
And when all else failed – sitting on the floor with tears flowing down his huge eyes ( oh poor pitiful me )
As I marveled at his ability to manipulate, I also realized that many a time being a good mother means not being the fun mother
I held R nose to nose and told him that I loved him so much I did not mind him being angry at me.
We went on to have a great evening outside on the slide and the swings.
So often it is easy to excuse our special needs kiddos bad behavior as a byproduct of their special needs
Because often its true.
The over-sensitive child can so easily be seen as the rejecting child and so on
And while we do need to make accommodations for things that are really un-helpable –In our case R's problem with eating a lot of textures( we are still pureeing veggies for him ) or his problems with sleep ( he sleeps with us still and has a late bed night )
On some other things we do not make accommodations. Like in our case throwing ill mannered tantrums – even when a lot of them arise because of the special needs.
For some kids they are really unable to manage their tantrums due to sensory challenges - – In R's case I truly believe he is testing his boundaries
Now mind you this does not eliminate the tantrums- R is no angel – but we are really single minded in giving him the message that we do not like it.
I am a proud mother of an autistic child.
But I would be mortified to be the mom of a really ill-mannered one
Special needs or not, the rules still apply