Self care, toileting, showering, direction, staying on task, meals, etc. are just a few of the little things for which our son (Joey, who is 34) needs our help. Often he gets “into some groove” making it hard for us to get him out of it. It could be:
- getting in the groove of some negative conversation that we can’t steer in a different direction.
- watching his team losing and we can’t do anything about that groove except to change the channel (which we sometimes have to do when he is getting out of control and angry).
- which socks he needs to wear today: white socks around the house and with his tennis shoes when we go out; black socks for work with his work shoes. He knows the “groove” of the day depending on the socks I get out. Most of the time (and when one of us hands him black socks) he starts fussing saying, “NO WORK TODAY!”
Suffice it to say it’s often like “pulling teeth” to get Joey ready and out the door on a work day … but on this particular day, Joe told him to go get dressed, and he DID! We hadn’t set out clothes, but Joey picked it out everything on his own! (Generally things like colors, patterns, and the season make little difference to him. It’s all about “favorite.” Favorite color, favorite team, or favorite “try to read my mind, Mom!”) He came out of his room with a nice sweatshirt (appropriate for the day!) and pants that indeed matched … but the biggest thing? He had on black socks! That means he knows today is a work day, and he’s willing to go. There was no fussing … not one bit!
That might not sound like a big deal to some, but in this house it is a BIG DEAL! We won’t expect it to happen again anytime soon; but should it happens tomorrow we’ll welcome it!
When Joey does something like this that’s a BIG DEAL to us…..we make it a BIG DEAL, too! Maybe you have some things you do for your child (special needs or not) to understand that you just approved of their good decision, right choice, or action. Feel free to share with us things that work for YOU!
MAKING IT A BIG DEAL:
- Make up a little “way to go” cheer.
- Verbally affirm the good choice of the action the child made.
- Taking the child somewhere they’d been longing to go.
- Giving a special food treat (for Joey it would be an Oreo – and morning is just as good as at night!).
- Share this ‘big deal’ in earshot of the child while you tell a friend.
- Blog about it!
- Reinforce another time of day how happy/proud you were of them for this good choice.
- At the end of the day, compliment them asking if they can “try” it again tomorrow!
We love making a BIG DEAL out of a little or BIG DEAL! WAY TO GO, JOEY!
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