The Antidote to rigidity .... RELINQUISH
So many of our children face various versions of having to have things a certain way- and in no way is this a fault of their own but a symptom of their diagnosis. Largely due to fact that they need to feel a sense of footing in the world to help balance themselves as they try to process the chaos of overwhelm and intensity. (Kind of like the way we as parents tend to need more stability when we get overwhelmed.)
What is the answer for parents when helping children become less rigid? Relinquish.
By practicing this we will be helping them gain a greater sense of rhythm and balance in their lives.
Next time you feel your child becoming rigid think to yourself... what can I relinquish this week?
Where can I give my child a greater sense of predictability in their life by RELINQUISHING my own need to have things a particular way?
… Maybe it’s actually OK if they want 5 different spoons to eat with, or they want to wear the same shirt everyday… Some of these things may make more work for us... but when it comes to our children in the long term you will start to notice they will become less rigid because there’s less to push against (in turn actually making your life easier in the big picture).
Of course you as parents decide what it is that’s most important to you when it comes to not budging on a decision that you’ve made... there are obviously many things that we are going to stay strong about and not give our child control over- Anything having to do with the safety of our child, a clear boundary that we’ve set, etc…
But I encourage each of you to find places in your life where you can RELINQUISH... to support helping our children gain a sense of greater control over themselves and the world around them.
This is a great lesson for us all, and yet another reason our children on the autism spectrum truly are our greatest teachers. Thank you sweet children.