Saturday, June 23, 2018

I Choose Love - Parenting Autism

It was a quiet moment after dinner.  My youngest two were hiding off in the fort they had built behind the couch.  My oldest was working on a story on her computer and I was sitting reading.  Just a typical moment in our home when the younger two did or said something that annoyed the oldest.  Also typical was my daughter's response: "What the hell are you doing?"

We've been trying for the past year to get her to not talk like that.  Her argument - hell is not a swear word.  We disagree.  So I reminded her that that sort of language wasn't necessary.  She glared at me and as I looked back down at my book I could see that she mouthed or muttered something I didn't
quite catch but the sense was that it was pretty negative towards me.

Now when you're a sensitive parent, like I am, this kind of thing can be crushing.  It's been a struggle for more than a year now of her beating me up one moment to fierce loving hugs the next.

Welcome to being a parent of a hormonal teenage girl on the Autism Spectrum.

I did not engage her. I chose to bite my tongue.  Something I'm having to learn to do. This wasn't even a major interaction and was pretty minor in comparison of some of the episodes we've had.  Yet, as I sat staring at my phone, I couldn't help but look back to 5 or 6 years ago when not only was she a lot shorter but I was also her whole world.  Love wasn't a roller coaster of conflicting emotions.