Monday, February 26, 2007

Mr. Rogers

Toss out the fad parenting books. Dump those "raising your kids better than your mom raised you" idiots. What has been the most helpful for me raising my guys?

Mr. Rogers.

We have the glories of TiVO. My husband insisted on it. Not being a TV fan, I didn't really care- now I'm a very happy peson. I have taken to having Mr. Rogers going while Joey is in therapy. It is not only incredibly calming, but a wonderful way to get language to use for talking to your kids. We talk all the time about giving Joey language to use. I think we forget that, not having raised kids before, we need language, too. Here is a wealth of language- talking about making things, and emotions, and people, and all sorts of stuff that is important to kids just Joey's age.

One thing about faddy books, they don't work for kids with autism. Fad "discipline" and the latest modes for getting kids to do what the parents want them to do just aren't very helpful for a child who is on the edge of not even hearing you. Timeouts make no sense. Bargains have no meaning. With Mr. Rogers, you have positive and proactive ways of helping a child, because Mr. Rogers always keeps in mind that children are people. Behaviors have reasons. A child isn't screaming or crying just to annoy you. Here is a whole daily program about considering what a child's world looks like, feels like, how it works and doesn' work, and how to talk about what is happening- in simple, clear language, just like you need for an autistic child, or any child.

What would Mr. Rogers say about raising a disabled child? "Well... he's still a child, right?"

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