Wednesday, November 19, 2008
How do you discipline a kid when you're not sure he understands?
First off, thanks to everyone for the great feedback on yesterday's post about toys. I went ahead and created a list of good toy sites, let me know if you have ones to add!
Now, on to today's group therapy session. Max is typically an angelic kid. But once in a while, he hits. Like tonight, when we were sitting in bed reading books and he smacked Sabrina in the face because she wouldn't move over. I said "No hitting, Max! Do you want a time out?" He nodded yes.
Whenever this happens, I am just not convinced Max understands me. Dave, however, firmly believes that he does—which would mean Max is being a wise-ass when he says "yes" to a time out. Hard to imagine where he'd get that from, I know.
I always feel so badly enforcing time outs, although I know full well he needs those boundaries/consequences, just as every child does. I guess I feel that Max has already gone through so much trauma in his life, he doesn't need added misery. These are the illogical thoughts you struggle with when you have a disabled kid.
I think Max hits as a means of expression, because he cannot speak. Sabrina is fully able to say things to me such as "YOU ARE NOT MY FRIEND ANYMORE!!!" and "I DON'T THINK THAT'S A GOOD IDEA!!!" and "MOMMY!!! I. TOLD. YOU. TO. LET. ME. WATCH. THE. PRINCESS. VIDEO. SOME. MORE." Stuff that she'll get a talking-to for sounding so disrespectful. But Max, who doesn't yet have the words to say such things, can't let off steam that way. So he acts out the only way he can, by hitting.
Which discipline issues perplex you?