Many kids in the playground know that Amor and Nathan have special needs, they have seen how I help Amor to become more generous (and share swings or learn to ask for it politely) by me modelling what polite is. In time many kids give way, model politeness and thus help Amor become more polite (instead of being irritable, rigid and unwilling to share toys or the swing).
However, yesterday was different, a boy, who was neurotypical but just as rigid as Amor 😂, sat on her favourite swing. She declares that swing “Mine!” and no one else can use it. Btw, “owning” one swing is a big improvement from when she used to declare that all 4 swings in the playground was hers, and she would shout at everyone who sat on any one of them. Praise God for her growing flexibility! 😁
Back to the stingy boy, who was much older by the way, I modelled asking politely and helped Amor to explain that that was her favourite swing. He looked like a “no, I’m the king” kinda child (just like my Amor 😂) so I asked Amor to be ok with the boy saying “no” to her request. But poor Amor had a tough time dealing with it…She had no choice. He said he would use it for another 10 mins then give it to her. Poor kid must have felt the pressure of Amor’s Mom but my intention was to help Amor negotiate for the swing herself. It must have been a hard 10 mins for Amor. Later, we asked again, politely 😄, and he reluctantly moved, because his understanding friend convinced him to let the swing go.
In that challenge Amor learned to ask as politely as she could muster in that situation, it’s ok if the child says “no”, it’s ok to wait then ask again in persistence. In the end she was just happy to have “her swing”. Though I know it was difficult for her, tantrum level wasn’t so bad.
The world is full of challenges, even for a 10-year-old who only wants her favourite spot on the swing. There will be times with most awesome, generous people and there will be those, who we wish would understand us more.
….but whatever the world gives me, already I have been blessed knowing I have the tools I need to help Amor cope in social settings #SonRiseRocks!
Praise God for His never failing guidance in this journey!
I don’t have a photo of that challenging day. But I do have a photo of another day. Amor on her favourite swing, blessed by a child who happily lent Amor a baby doll and stroller.