WOW, It has been busy here and I have so many things I want to share, but they will have to wait till a later date :). Today God has put it on my heart to focus a bit on discipline.
Disciplining a NVLD child, a child with Aspie’s, a child with special needs or really any child can be very tricky. I have been praying and asking God to help me in this area. Kae is very dramatic and is highly intelligent. So much, I don’t even know if we have tapped into how smart she truly is. With knowing that I know that not all of her behavior issues are from her disabilities, some are just plain old manipulation.
One of the things we are working on in all the therapies we attend is, what is behavior vs disabilities. How do I know when she is over stimulated and having a meltdown due to her Sensory Processing Disorder? How do I know when she is truly not understanding the world and is acting out or being rude due to NVLD and not just being a typical kid with an attitude? How do I know when she is truly struggling with a school task or a Chore task and is melting down, screaming,or avoiding it due to ADHD, Sensory, NLVD and all of it combined vs rebellion of a child not wanting to do what they want to do? These are questions I truly have been struggling with. How do you discipline a child who has so many Neurotransmitters firing in the wrong direction? How can you tell Disability from Behavior?
I honestly can say I had no clue where to start and I was seeing my little girl growing up wild and the manipulation, behavior, and disabilities were running the show. I found myself on my knees asking , more like begging God, to help me! THe professionals where not giving me answers. No one was helping me to figure this out because honestly, they did not know either. THe Therapist are all stumped there were no books dealing with this type of issue that i have found. And well Yin is good! She has truly got manipulation down pat. SO, Now what? How am I to raise a child to be a contribution to society, not be selfish, and understand what it means to think of others beside herself. SHe does not mean to be that way, but her instincts are to be selfish. Just like your’s or mine is. We just have learned through trial and error, the worlds responses to our behavior, how we are accepted by others, and through discipline that was appropriate to the situation. SHe can not process 3 out of the 4 of those reasons on how we learned. SHe only has me and the discipline I give her to understand all of it.
God tells us that we are born into sin Genesis 8:21 states that “…even though his heart is always directed toward what is evil. His thoughts are evil from the time he is young.” also in Proverbs 22:15 “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child”. So when our children are born they are born into sin. We see this from the beginning , NO!, is one of the first words that kids will learn. Testing their boundaries and disobeying is one of the first acts a child starts when they can finally start moving. Children are not innocent they need a savior just as much as we do. But how do you teach a child about God and what is good through discipline? How do you teach a child who doesn’t even process the world right and lives in their own understanding, desires and wants what is right and what is wrong?
The next verses God revealed to me confirmed to me that something needed to be done. Did you know that God states that if you do not discipline your children and raise them up right that you HATE THEM! Proverbs 13:24 ” Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.” This verse Shocked me! I did not hate my child! But, How am I to do this without abuse! Now I am being honest here. Disciplining her for something that she has no control over and is not able to control would be abuse, but not disciplining her for her manipulation would mean that I hate her and that I did not love her enough to figure it out, that I was too tired/stressed to try , or that the world’s view of “they can’t help it and how could you” means more to me than the well-being of my child and the commandment that God gives me as a parent.
I was stumped, I was on my knees praying for God to show me the way and this week He has opened my eyes. Through prayer and reading about parenting in scripture I believe God is revealing to me the uniqueness of Yin. The beautiful way that she has been woven. The complex tapestry of emotions, insight , and the intricacies that she has to a world that none of us see.
The first bible verses that I came across was Proverbs 23:13-15 ” Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you strike him with a rod, he will not die. If you strike him with the rod, you will save his soul from Shelo. My son, if your heart is wise, my heart too will be glad. ” Next God gave me Hebrews 12:11 ” For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”
These verses gave me strength. It is hard to see the pain that your child has just living in a world they do not understand and the idea of making more pain seems cruel but not to teach her would be even curler. So the last couple days have been hard on Yin. I have taken away all of her safety nets. The most important one her brother. Yang has always tried to keep Yin from getting in trouble. He deals with the temper-tanturms as well and just does not want another one in his day. He sometimes cries hearing her go through them because there is nothing he can do to help. But, yesterday night I told him he was no longer allowed to be her keeper. He was only to help her when he was given the okay. He was to help in the world but not at home. That way Yin could make mistakes and learn from them. I can say Yang was not happy and he understood that she needed to learn to behave but this was not going to be easy for him. He has gotten to the point where he watchers her so close she can not breath without him being there nagging her. It is a large part of the conflict and resentment between the two of them. I could tell in some ways he was relieved to hear that he was not responsible for her actions and that he was free to let her make mistakes. But, on the other side he was nervous he loves his sister and does not want her life to be harder than it already is.
So as I have been studying, God has been revealing to me Yin’s behavior, Yin is going through a hard adjustment time. Right now she is very angry at God, Me and Yang. She feels like we are making her life harder. In a way I guess we are but it is for the better. I have made a list of her responsibilities ( which I will share on another day.) and if not completed there is a consequence. The Rod comes in many forms, no DS, No Xbox, No Tv spanking a child with sensory issues just does not work. It would cause confusion and would not be efficient for teaching. Not every child needs to be spanked and the word “rod” can be taken as any type of punishment that works. Key word is works. For example if your child is put in a time out and sits there singing and playing in the corner that is probably not the best disciplinary action :). Grounding a child to his/her room full of toys and they go off to play what ever is in there again not doing much. God has been showing me how to handle Yin in a positive way the last couple days and I have been amazed at seeing His promises for filled.
Lately Yin has been stalling on starting school. Yesterday she had lost mind craft for a week and she took the discipline really well. Then she lost the X box because she did not get off when the timer went off to start school again. She again took that one well and understood. There were clear cut rules and she understood that A + B= C but today she decided she was done with this new way of life. Today she decided that instead of starting her school she was going to use her Ipad to watch TV. She comes downstairs after telling me she was starting Science and I asked ” Are you bringing me your Science to go over” Her face was blank for a minute and then she started telling me lies about how she did not feel well and how she got distracted once upstairs. ” What have you been doing Kae for the last 30 minutes?” She was holding her Ipad and said with a pouty look with a hint of so what behind it ” Watching TV.” I calmly took her Ipad and explained that is was school time and she new that. I reminded her that she told me she was doing school. I then deleted all video ability from her Ipad. The Horror that came next was enough to shake the house. There was screaming ,flailing stomping, running upstairs to her room and it went on for 2 hrs. I can tell you the house was in an uproar. Yang was upset from all she was screaming and all the crying. It was also hard for him to do school. My heart was aching wondering what all was going on in her mind. How was she processing what had happen. I sat downstairs in my chair and prayed. I prayed for the Holy Spirit to handle Yin. I was doing my job as a parent to raise her up in God’s way. We had just had a bible lesson before all of this talking about how God calls me to discipline when they do wrong and that They are called to listen and obey their parents. That God says that those who learn from correction are wise and those who don’t are fools. So as we waited the 2hrs to pass and I wondered what she would be like when she came out of her melt down I prayed. To my surprise she one did not fall asleep, secondly she came down with a her chewy necklace in her mouth and sat calmly on the couch for a while. She told me she was sorry and asked for lunch. There was a peace in the air. A peace that we have not had in this house for a long time. God said in Hebrews there would be a peaceful fruit and there was today. She finished the rest of her school without struggle for the first time in months. She was happy and content. I know that our battle has just begun on the discipline side but truly I believe I can do anything through Christ my Lord who strengthens me. I believe He will keep unravelling the the complex strings that are wound up in such a way to make Yin who she is. He will help me to break through into her world and show her who He is and teach Her how much He loves her. Right now she does not truly believe in God. She can not see him or touch him and that is hard. But through each promise He gives us I know He will reveal Himself in a way I can not even explain. In a way that her mind will understand and her Faith will flourish. God promises that if we discipline our children and bring them up in His ways they will not turn their back on what they are taught Proverbs 22: 6. I know that God keeps his promises. I think the key to any child in learning about God and the world is through righteous discipline. Kids crave it, they want the structure, and as parents it is our duty to teach them . So I challenge you to Tough Love! I see so many kids runny wild around the children’s hospital and therapy places. I see the tired looks on all the parents faces but I challenge all the parents who have children with special needs. Pray for God to reveal to you how to discipline your child. There is no one case fits all solution each child is unique and it begins with trust. Trusting that God loves you and your family enough to show you how its done.
I know that my quest to teach Yin is just beginning and I know that it will be heartbreaking and a struggle to keep this up. For some reason I find it harder to discipline her than Yang. Maybe because he understands learns and does not repeat usually what he has done wrong on the most part. Yin will forget, she will challenge like a toddler challenges, she will keep me on my toes probably until the day she leaves the house as an adult. But, I am ready for that Challenge and Thank GOd I do not have to rely on my on strength to do it.
If you would like me to pray with you about disciplining a child with special needs or a strong willed child leave a comment. I would be honored to pray for you and your family..