To turn, turn, turn...

There again, another lyrical reference in my post title. That's pretty hilarious that I realized that about myself.

Anyhoo, I love the "spectrum" of responses that I got to my last post. Mandolin Mom sent me a text message saying, "when are we going to hear YOUR opinion?" So fair is fair.

When I had this group discussion in person, there was also a spectrum of responses. My final statement was that there isn't a "catch all" comfort phrase for everyone for every situation. In other words, a phrase may speak to one positively and offend another. I think that is what diversity is all about. Acceptance and tolerance is another issue...

I personally find a lot of comfort in knowing that everything happens for reason, season, or lifetime.. That thought gets me through (and will get me through) the toughest times of my life. Knowing that Someone Else is in control is very comforting and it allows me to enjoy my life.

It reminds me of the strategy that The Teacher gave me: "take away his control." In other words, I couldn't give The Elder a choice of what he wants to eat, to wear, to go, etc. I, as his care-taker, took care of that for him. He did not need to be responsible for such things. He did not need to worry about those things and build up his anxiety which came out in very impulsive, aggressive, and frustrating ways. I had a really hard time with this strategy. I was so used to giving him a choice of 2 things, mainly to just get a response from him since he did not answer open-ended questions. "Do you want oatmeal or grits for breakfast?" when I should have actually just said, "We are having oatmeal for breakfast." or "You will wear a coat to school." Again, SO hard for me to do. I still catch myself giving him choices where I shouldn't. (To clarify, picking a movie, toy, game, etc are fine choices. It was his basic needs that I needed to take full control of.) Shortly after starting (not perfecting) the strategy, we started to see a huge difference....he was "freed up to be a kid, have fun, relax, and be happy."

Similarly, I can act out impulsively, aggressively, and in frustrating ways when I'm trying to be in control and do it my way when it may or may not be obvious to me that I am not in control. It gives me much sympathy and empathy to my Kiddos when they are fighting me on things that they can't wrap their young brains around. There are just some things in life that I feel I will just never understand, but can rest in the assurance that somehow, somewhere, it is fulfilling its purpose, even if that purpose has absolutely nothing to do with me.

Great discussion guys! I might do this again sometime. I'm out of town this weekend but will do the drawing for some mystery prize from the responses to the last post (so get them in quick if you haven't got til Tuesday!!).

By the way, sorry I'm so behind writing at everyone's blog (including my own). I've been away from my computer a lot lately and have been reading posts on my Treo and it is a pain in the you know what to submit comments via a Smartphone! I shall return! Thanks for continuing to visit here and welcome new readers/commenters!

4 Responses to "To turn, turn, turn..."

Marla (visit their site)

We learned that too with M. Sometimes giving choices does increase her anxiety. M often says, "Tell me when to stop." or "Tell me what to do." There are times when she needs me to tell her exactly what is needed. Of course we too find ample opportunity for her to make her own choices.

Susan (visit their site)


I find that, in my life, eliminating moments of choice makes my life go much smoother. I like to make a plan and stick to it. My husband and I are very different that way. I'd plan dinner for the next week solid if he wouldn't think I was insane. I am a planner! I like to cook a big pot-o-something on Sunday and eat it for lunch every workday. This eliminates money spent, calories frivolously spent, etc. That's just me. He, however, wants to decide on the spot what he wants to do.

Sorry - I know this deviates from your topic... but I just got on a roll!

Sounds like you are makes some amazing progress in all areas of life! I am envious!

Jen P (visit their site)

Marla, I have to tell The Hub sometimes to tell me when to stop. I actually call him at work to call me in 30 minutes to make sure that I am doing what I'm supposed to be doing! Ha!

Susan! I think that is great! You and The Hub are a like in that way. I would LOVE to be that way but by the time I'm trying to decide what I want to eat I realize that maybe I should have made a big pot o something the past weekend so I would have something to eat. I'm so glad the hub thinks of it. Sometimes I steal his work lunches! Ha!

Elissa - Managing Autism (visit their site)

Lovely to hear your opinion on it all...
... and I too find it comforting knowing that everything happens for a reason, season, or lifetime..