Jeff Noble recently shared this quote from an adult living with FASD, "Expectations are premeditated resentments."
I receive Jeff's updates via FB and they usually come at a time when I need them the most.
This particular quote came when I was once more evaluating how we parent Joseph and wondering if we protect him to much. Here are some of the things I was pondering:
-Do we protect Joseph to much
-Is our parenting preventing him from achieving new goals
-What if the naysayers are right when they say Joseph will never learn self regulation if we continually monitor his environment and remove things that will overstimulate him?
In short, I was doubting myself. Then I saw, "Expectations are premeditated resentments," and I knew that, yes we are doing what is best for Joseph.
If I expect him to "act his age," and he doesn't, I get frustrated and resentment towards him gains a foot hold. If instead, I remember that he cannot regulate himself and do all I can to keep him calm, we are both happy.
When I tell him to clean his room, because a 9 year old should be able to do so, I am tempted to become upset when he melts down. If I tell him to pick up the paper scraps, a more manageable task, he will do just that and I have an opportunity to praise him. Success, again!
He doesn't attend activities unless Dean or I are able to be by his side. He regulates off of the people around him, just like an infant. Letting him run and play with his peers, even if those peers are his siblings, means things will go wrong and he will come away feeling bad about himself, and his parents will be frustrated by yet another issue to resolve. If we have him play with a toy nearby, while we visit, he has fun and we don't become frustrated.
On his higher functioning days, it is so tempting to let give him more freedom, but without fail, we regret it. I need to keep reminding myself that life is so much easier for him when we keep his world small.....remember, "Expectations are premeditated resentments!"