Sunday, May 30, 2010

Rules at different places

I've been asked how I've dealt with different rules at different places when the children were little.

Well, I've always had my own set of rules that needed to be obeyed everywhere on the world.

These are, what I consider, normal rules like:
  • shake hands when you say hello.
  • don't start telling your own stories when grown-ups are talking, unless it's necessary.
  • don't keep taking cookies, but you can take one when you're asked if you want one.
  • use your handkerchief when you need to sneeze
  • don't take toys with you
  • etc etc

The last one was added after all my kids saw a visitor put a handful of lego in his pockets and wanted to leave.
Ofcourse I kindly asked the lego back.

I also taught my children that at different places different people are the boss.

They were used at an early age to eat a cookie with a plate under it at another location. Not my idea, but "the boss of the house" wanted it that way.

And at the farm of friends children had their own room when something was celebrated with free access to chips and drinks, and the fun of running through the house and everywhere else, except the stables.

Especially autistic children experience difficulties dealing with different rules.
So I developed the habit of taking different bags to different locations.
That way they already knew at home where they were going and what to except.
It's called conditioning.
So when I took the green bag they knew we were going to Anita, who didn't like children to take toys through the whole room, but wanted them to play in front of the large window, and when I took the bag with the blue flowers they knew we were going to Margret, who always had the best cake of town and who enjoyed them building large towers and didn't mind that the whole place was covered with lego rails and trains.

When the girls grew up I was amazed that they accepted different rules at different places so easily.
Without any fuzz they accepted the differences and they were able to adjust in an easy way, whereas the boys all needed to find a routine for each different place.

One thing didn't change though.

My oldest cmplimenting the host for the wonderful tiles on the loo.
I don't know where he heard it the first time, but he's made many people have a laugh when he was a pretty little boy.


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