tuesday, july 11, 2006

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what is it with tweenagers? right around the age of 11 or 12 (sometimes a little younger), they turn bossy and sensitive and lose their damn minds. i honestly don't know about boys, my son is autistic and any bossy stuff he does is more of a mimic of what the girls have done than anything he does himself, but every one of my girls has gone through this stage. and some days, ya just want to shake 'em real hard . . . or worse.

froggy has just started this lovely little stage, but the only one she has to boss around is taz (unlike the older 2 girls who had her and taz). taz isn't easy to boss -- he's a lot more cantankerous than other kids, less likely to listen, more likely to argue with her and tattle. so, the peace we finally managed to get in this house is again being disrupted because taz not listening turns into a major argument over anything.

like it's not bad enough that we're having problems with him doing what we want him to do, she's gotta add to the problems by trying to get him to do what she wants him to do?

the really sad thing is that with a lot of it she's actually trying to help. granted, it is that stage for her, but she's not being as arbitrary in her bossiness as most girls her age. it's not, "go eat the dirt so i can see you eat dirt!" it's more like, "don't do that thing that saxy and mom don't want you to do!" so, she's not really being contrary. problem is, taz won't listen to her. he barely listens to us.

and yes, taz is developmentally hitting is tweens/teens as well! which makes it kind of a scary time for us -- we really have no idea what to expect. apparently argumentativeness and being determined to do what he wants to do is part of it. this is actually not much different than before except he's a bit more sly (or tries to be), a bit more argumentative, and a bit more determined. the tantrums from ages back have returned -- not as bad, but they do happen. we've had to find new ways to work with him, to show him his behavior is wrong. getting him to do chore-like things is a constant struggle -- not that other kids are happy to do chores, but we literally have to be on top of him about it every minute till it's done. all in all, it's both a difficult and interesting time with new challenges for us.

but we do not need miss froggy trying to step in. he's not reacting well to it at all, and that only makes it tougher on us, especially when she crosses over into things he isn't quite capable of doing, like today's bit with the math.

we've been trying to have taz and froggy practice math and reading every day, both to keep them in the schoolwork habit and to keep them up on their skills. i found a couple of pdf books with problems that i print out for him, and these books have the answers so i print those out as well and give the answers to froggy so she can check his work. for multiplication and division, he needs a calculator. today he got a problem wrong but had the right answer under another problem, so she kept telling him not to use the calculator. she assumed he would understand the right answer was right next to the problem he had to fix, but he's not observant in that way. it even took me explaining it to her several times before she finally backed off. she's just not at the point where she understands that he thinks and sees things differently.

the other side effect of these arguments is that he will begin to deliberately cross the line and do things he shouldn't, like messing with the cats. which ends up leading to more problems as we try to get him to stop.

and, of course, miss froggy herself has gotten more argumentative, more nosey, and just plain more of everything -- all a part of starting to create her identity separate from her parents. while it is interesting that they both kinda entered the tweens together (though, like i said, any bossiness on his part is more mimicry -- he'd be happy to just sit some place and stim if we'd let him), it's also resulting in more disruptive days.

i used to want twins when i was younger. i'm kinda glad i didn't get them.

word of the moment: creativity

imaginative ability: the ability to use the imagination to develop new and original ideas or things, especially in an artistic context

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