Parenting a Child with Autism, Emotional or Behavioural Challenges?

The simple process that really helps, continued…

  • Validate your child’s experience. Avoid judgment of your child’s behaviour or perspective. It is usually “the last straw that broke the camel’s back”. We don’t need to talk about the straw! Often children need an opportunity to release a backlog of frustrations so don’t take this opportunity away by fixing it.
  • Be present and patient without solving the problem or rescuing your child from their dilemma. E.g. “Oh, it’s frustrating for you when your train falls off the track mmm?” Stay until the child moves on; meeting their need for connection will give you more time and space once they’re fuelled up on connection.
  • Boundaries are important and can be delivered calmly, using an empathic tone of voice E.g. “You have big kicks in your legs right now. I won’t let you kick me, I’ll hold your leg away and you can kick the couch.” We often deliver boundaries with aggression. It takes practice to change this and state boundaries with care. This models assertive communication – such a great skill for life.
  • And before you do anything new – pay attention to your capacity. Take your self-care seriously. Schedule your wellbeing activities and monitor their effectiveness. Would you expect someone to turn up to provide childcare saying they’re burned out, not in the mood or tired? Take your role seriously and take responsibility for your self-care. You are very important to your children.

By the way, this process supports all children and adults too. Imagine your partner doing steps 1-6!


If you need support to change things in your family dynamic, to find happiness and calm for yourself or your children, contact Andrea for an appointment  today: ph 027 5412 518, email andrea@andreagraham.co.nz , or visit the website www.andreagraham.co.nz.

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