I've been thinking a lot about the grief lens that Facebooklockout recently posted about from the perspective of someone going through it. I hope I understood the post. It's been very helpful to me, as we are on a weeklong vacation currently, so there is a lot of my son's behavior to examine on any given day.... First, it is helpful because it helps me take the blame off myself. I've also been aware of tendency to blame myself, as if I could make some simple parenting changes that would cure my son of his ASD. So I really find it helpful to change the lens. The "he would do better if he could" lens has been a good start, but it doesn't help me go underneath the behavior. But the grief lens, this one helps a lot. So I tell him something that is bad news to him (it's a school day, or his sister is having a sleepover, or it's going to be a warm day) and he melts down. Was it the way that I delivered the news? Could I have set it up better? Could I have been more sensitive? I tend to go into these thought processes (which is better than moving into resentment, like "Why is everyone so hard for him? Can't he just learn to deal with things he doesn't like for once?" Which I have worked hard on.) So, currently, when I move into thinking about what I might do better to deliver bad news, or I think about whether we really have to go to Grandma's house tomorrow because I know it will be hard, and he will probably sit there silently all day, then I inadvertently move the goal post. I come across as uncertain, I don't act as a leader, I adapt what I know we need to do, or I act like a beating post. And then maybe his day is "better" because he doesnt have to do the thing, or he takes it out on me ) even though I teach my kind not to take out their anger or feelings on other people!) So, the bottom line is, when that focus is shifted to me, and I can be blamed and he can be the victim, is he really having to face his own grief? Grief that he looks at his sister and sees she doesn't struggle as much as him, grief that he's done things that make her scared of him, grief that he wants to do something but it feels harder than it should, grief that the world doesn't work how he would like, grief that he sees Jeeps on the highway and we still haven't bought one, despite how much he has lobbied us..... I don't take away all of his difficulties, by far. I do enforce school, visiting family, chores on Sundays, behavior at the dinner table, and other things. But there is so much we have taken off his plate, because we couldn't keep up the structure needed. Right now his video gaming has gotten out of control. We miss seeing his face, we know it's not good for him because he's sitting inactive and doesn't even want to stop to eat. Yes, it's fun and sometimes social, and we live in a cold climate, but it's also a huge headache for our family. When we get back from vacation we want to have a schedule and screen limits. My husband and I know we will have to "babysit" him while he is off screen while he adjusts, and maybe beyond. And we both have demanding jobs where we need to hyper focus, and we tend to work at night at least an hour or two. But we will have to make some changes. We will get our son's thoughts and try to make a plan together. Does he understand the reason we want a change? When will he use the gaming hours? What will he do with his off screen time? How can we help? But at the end of the day, it's helpful to me to plan ahead for the grief. I know he will go through it all. It will be intense. And we might make changes along the way if it really doesn't feel right. But I will try to let him go through it, and trust he can handle it.

Posted by sophieno at 2024-01-02 12:25:25 UTC