So one of my teacher friends posted a link to an article about the fidget spinner craze on her Facebook page and naturally, I went to go take a look. My son doesn’t have one of these..in fact the first one I’d ever seen was the one my nephew got for his birthday over Easter weekend.
The article started off fine. But when it got a little sanctimonious, that’s when I got all ragey and Hulk smashy smashy.
- Teach children that “boredom” is a normal state of human emotions. Help children to recognize the signs of boredom and help them develop functional strategies to deal with it. Don’t take the responsibility of constantly entertaining your kids, as they need to learn to self-regulate through boredom.
When my son complains that he’s bored…oh I teach him alright. I teach him that if he comes to me and complains of being bored, I’ll find something for him to do (making his bed, cleaning his room, helping me with dishes, reading, whatever) and then he won’t be bored anymore. And what, exactly, are you supposed to learn by being bored? That it sucks? That you need to be better at entertaining yourself? I don’t know. But I do know I go to great lengths to avoid hearing “I’m boooooored.”, even if it means that I’m running myself ragged to keep him moving and involved in some sort of activity when summer comes.
- Put a conscious effort to train your child’s delayed gratification skills. Avoid using technological babysitters in cars and restaurants and train his ability to just sit and wait. Teach your child to sit at a table until everyone finishes eating. Limit snacking between meals.
A conscious effort..hmm. Ok. I don’t even have well developed delayed gratification skills MYSELF. And I’m supposed to teach my child to have delayed gratification skills? Granted..I do my best. He doesn’t get what he wants when he wants it all the time. And electronic babysitters (as the article calls them) are what keep me sane. You can have my son’s Kindle Fire when you pry it from my cold dead hands, lady.
Limit your child’s access to technology. In addition, unplug from your phone and share quality time with your child.
I do share quality time with my child…through playing video games. It’s what he’s into and it’s how we bond. End of story.
- Offer your child opportunities to spend time outdoors, especially in green space.
My son is a self-confirmed indoor person. He’s got allergies (thank you pollen and Mother Nature) and so he’d rather have his arms and legs cut off with a dull spoon than spend any significant time outside. And I’m more or less OK with that. According to these people, I SHOULDN’T be but eh. They can go suck rocks.
- Provide regular opportunities for high intensity, high duration exercises such as biking, hiking.
It’d be easier to get a camel through the eye of a needle…or get Trump to admit he’s a racist homophobic son of a motherless goat than to get my son to do high intensity, high duration exercises.
It’d be easier to get a camel through the eye of a needle or to get Trump to admit he’s a racist homophobic son of a motherless goat than to get ME to do those kinds of things too.
- Bring calmness into their lives by listening to calm music, sitting around a fireplace, having a calming bath, reading a book, drawing, or playing board games.
Ok..this made me chuckle a little. When we were building our house, one of the questions we were asked was “Do you want a fireplace?”. No. This is Texas…it seldom gets cold enough here to warrant a fire and I just saw it as another hole in my house that was totally unnecessary. We do read together, for about 20-30 min at bedtime. Board games I have no patience with because they’re long and tedious and I can never remember the stupid rules.
- Offer plenty of sleep in technology free bedrooms.
This is probably the one thing I’m doing right because while he does plug his school-issued laptop in in his bedroom, he doesn’t have a TV or a game system in there. So yay, point for me, right?
- Train your child’s ability to complete monotonous work, such as helping with cooking, setting a table, making his/her bed, or folding clothes.
Oh yay..another point for me as I make him help with dishes sometimes, I make him keep his room clean, make his bed and put away his clothes after I’ve folded them.
- If your child truly needs a fidget, provide him/her with a low stimulation fidget, such as a stress ball.
I am convinced this is why my son has so many stuffed animals. Some of them are firmly stuffed and hard to squish, which gives him one kind of sensory input. Others are less firmly stuffed or have been squashed down over the years and give him a totally different kind of sensory input. And the sensation of having them all piled on him when he goes to sleep helps him sleep. So yeah…there’s that.
I really hate when articles about parenting come off as so sanctimonious..like if you’re not following their path, you’re OMG DOING IT WRONG WHAT”S WRONG WITH YOU? There is no one path for raising a neurotypical child, let alone one with issues of any kind–mental, emotional, psychological, physical. I’m going to do things the way I know how to do them and every parent…EVERY PARENT..screws up their kid somehow. Nobody’s perfect and nobody ever raises the perfectly well balanced child. Ever.