It can take a life time to learn how to deal with our emotions and as we cognitively develop we become wiser about them.
As a parent we teach our children about so many things and when they play with other children more lessons are being learnt through play. However when a child has a disability of some sort, learning about the emotional stuff can be a bit tricky.
My son who was born with VCFS knows all about the happy feelings, yet can still be inappropriate about when to be happy. He knows how to express anger by chucking a big tantrums or annoyance by whinging and getting on our nerves and of course he also experiences sadness.
What has inspired me to write this post?
Well recently my son’s tantrums were getting a bit out of control and prior to us coming up with an awesome strategy we would say “WILL YOU STOP WHINGING!!!! or “ENOUGH SIT ON YOUR BED……….BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH”……ARHHHHH BLAH BLAH BLAH ARHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!
Cough cough I have a sore throat now and I am feeling quite traumatized!!
So, with a bit of gained wisdom and prayers we came up with the sticker chart and it has been working a treat. When Zachy begins to chuck a tantrum we say that is a bad choice and I am doing to ban the ipad. When he makes really good choices we reward him with a sticker that goes towards something he really loves, like a watch.
This has been successful now for a few weeks and has made a huge difference in the way Zachy has been interacting with us and others. Yet, something happened on Sunday that alerted me that somewhere along the line we have failed to teach Zachy that sadness is okay.
A song was being played at church and suddenly he said “I don’t like this song” “turn it off turn it off this is a sad song” He then started bawling his eyes out. This was not a tantrum or a kid just wanting his own way, this was sad emotion pouring out of him. I bent down and said “it’s okay” then he said “I don’t want to whinge”
I then realised that he was confused about what he was feeling and thought how on earth am I going to explain this one to him???
Again, last night I was watching The Voice when there was this amazing performance by Mitchell and Fatai I could feel the deep emotions of it and was really enjoying when I heard a little voice coming from his bedroom say “I don’t like this song” “why??” “It’s sad”
Once again this is not a child just wanting his own way but someone who is experiencing real emotions. Lately he has been talking a lot about his two deceased grandparents and I am sure that he is missing them. Children whether typical developing or those with a disability experience the pain of sadness and it is us adult people, who need the wisdom to teach our little ones all about emotions.