As loving parents, we want our children to succeed in life. But sometimes, this pushes us blindly into overcompensation. We find ourselves frequently sneaking in and organizing our autistic teen’s school work to ensure they have a positive next day in class. Or we continue to do our kid’s laundry because we do not trust that they will do it themselves and that they will end up with no clean clothes in their closet. By not letting our kid fly on their own, we teach them that they are not accountable and lack responsibility. In turn, we presume incompetence, even if it only pertains to some areas of their lives. This can lead our children to feel that independence is either impossible or that they are flawed.
Parents that set boundaries are less apt to overcompensate for their children, but many parents find it difficult to set limits and end up overcompensating for their child when they are stressed or tired, feel guilty, or simply because they feel that it won’t work. But setting limits can improve your child’s behavior, reduce their anxiety, and help them to develop a greater ability for self-regulation. It also teaches them respect for and consideration of others.
Are you going to be the parent who believes in his/her child? Are you going to presume competence?
A pause in the right place at the right time gives your child time to breathe, time to consider, time to process, understand or summarize what’s been said, and time to prepare for what may be coming next