Stop me if you have read this before: Kaitlyn thrives when her routine is kept. I’ll put that in writing again, Kaitlyn thrives when her routine is kept.
Now, when I write “routine,” I do not just mean keeping her on the same schedule all the time. Yes, that is part of it, but only a part, not the entire meaning. Kaitlyn’s routine also includes her manners and her discipline. By that, I mean that she responds so much better when not only her schedule is maintained, but also when there is a consistent delivery of disciplinary expectations and consistent expectations of appropriate behavior in regards to her manners and overall demeanor. And Amber and I strive to maintain a consistent approach, and we are successful most of the time.
Now, I know that some people, maybe even a lot of people, may disagree with our parenting style and approach. I get that, and I am fine with that. People can disagree all they want, but really are only doing so in a vacuum of interaction that lasts at best a few days; most are short in duration but long in advice. While we know not everyone will agree with our style and approach, I would think that at the very least, there would be some respect shown. This is not always the case, and I do not understand that at all.
When we take Kaitlyn out of her comfort zone for any length of time, there is work to do for us when we get home. That is natural, and does not include any deprogramming that may occur while we are away. And it is the deprogramming that makes our return home often be a multiple day battle to get Kaitlyn back on track. I highly doubt that there is ever any intentional undermining of our parenting, but the end result is the same. When Kaitlyn is shown or told that certain rules do not apply or too much latitude is given, she takes it way to the extreme. In her Aspie mind, all of the rules are now null and void, and she can do whatever she wants. Not the case.
Parenting is always full of challenges, and parenting a child with Asperger’s requires the total of both my energy and Amber’s on a daily basis, and then some. Sometimes, we start the day behind on energy because we are that mentally worn out from the day before. Like tomorrow, we will be behind in the count to start, and it will probably be Thursday before we get to even; that is the result of just being out of routine for three days. Strive and thrive.