Parenting 101: Shh! The Kids Are Listening
With my sons Asperger’s diagnosis came the need for me to watch what I say around him. I still have the occasional slip up and drop the F bomb in his presence but overall I’m careful. He knows he shouldn’t repeat the bad words, he just doesn’t understand why. It’s not just the curse words we have to watch out for though. We have to watch how we explain things and answer his questions. We have to be matter of fact with him, or else who knows what he’ll do or tell others.
The most recent “incident” has me caught between laughing my butt off and waiting for a phone call from the school.
While I was at BlogHer in August there was an Adult company handing out mini “toys“. I forgot that I had one in my bag and there it sat in my bedroom, still in the wrapper.
I’m usually very careful about what’s readily visible in my bedroom since my son is always rummaging around in there. Tonight he was looking for something and I didn’t think much of it. He came out of the bedroom very excited, holding a wrapper in one hand and the adult toy in the other. I was paralyzed for a few minutes.
“Look mom! I found a vibrating pen. Can I keep it?” I stayed silent while I tried to choose my words. What do you do in that situation?! Then my observant child followed his initial inquiry with “Where’s the writing part?”
Knowing he most likely wouldn’t understand the actual purpose of the “vibrating pen” I opted for a more delicate approach. I grabbed it away, told him it’s not nice to go through Mommy’s things and gave him a cupcake. Hey – don’t judge me, it works!
This was an awkward situation, but luckily it happened in the privacy of our home. The next one I wasn’t so lucky. While driving to Maryland to Ruby Tuesday John was singing a song – a very inappropriate song by Rodney Carrington, mind you. Dameon was curious about it, asked a few questions and then dismissed it. It wasn’t until the waitress came to our table that I cringed and wished for a pair of ruby slippers.
“Welcome to Ruby Tuesday, would you care to try our Shrimp Fondue?” She said in one of those annoyingly chipper tones. We declined and she took our drink orders. As she was walking away my son – my darling, darling boy – screamed at the top of his lungs “Can I play with your fun bags???!!!” He followed that up with ”If you love your country you’ll show me your chi chi’s!”
Yup. Dad had to have a little talk on inappropriateness. He doesn’t have a clue what these chi chi’s he speaks of are, but he saw Daddy finding humor in it so he thought everyone else would too. Needless to say we got some rude glares, people started whispering and I’m pretty sure the elderly lady across from us was praying.
The moral of this story is, whether your child has a disability that inhibits their impulse control or not – watch what you say and do. They will always repeat it and it seems to happen in public!