No matter the child, no matter the situation, waiting for emotions to cool and for the situation to pass, can make all the difference in your ability to connect.
The following is a story from the mom of an Aspergers child:
As we drove to school one Monday morning, out of the blue my ten year old son said, “Mum, I want to say sorry for what happened on Thursday.”
My son is an ‘Aspiekid’ – he has traits of Aspergers, meaning he was born with a different kind of ‘wiring’ in the brain than most of us. One result of this is that he sometimes gets very distressed about things that others would consider insignificant or even ‘stupid’ to get upset about. He finds it harder than most people to move past these upsets, and when this happens I call it “getting stuck”.
‘What happened on Thursday’ was that he got “stuck” on a very small additional homework task, became very distressed and was emotionally and mentally unable to complete the task. Instead, after about an hour of distress, unable to calm down any other way, he fell asleep.
When I first began learning Connective Parenting, I used to think it didn’t always work, because Bonnie says that children respond to fairness and logic – while a child in an Aspie meltdown certainly does not. But I was making a mistake – skipping over the second step in the connective process. The first step is to acknowledge my child’s difficulty, the next is to wait – for as long as it takes. I learned the hard way that it doesn’t matter how long it takes, because there is simply no point trying to move to the next step – working out solutions – until the agitated person (child or adult) can get calm. For my son, that often takes a long time, but no matter how long it is, I simply have to wait.