Bed without the meltdown
Bedtime. Parents dread it, but no more than parents with special needs children.
My son Jon is 15 and has Autism and PDA. He loves is laptop and can’t wait to hook up with friends all over the world and play war games, battles and recreate WW2 flying planes, sailing battle ships. You name it, he gets engrossed in it.
Then it’s bedtime. Both Nick and I have to get up and go to work in the morning and it’s time we all got a good night sleep. Jon would, in the past, kick off, scream, throw things, have a tantrum, meltdown, cry, in fact everything he could think of which would either send us away exhausted from his room and give up or distract us enough that we might just change our minds…
We were at our wits end. Nothing worked. I even tried saying ‘Jon, I’ll give you a tenner, if you come off your laptop now and got to bed…’ I got up as far as £50 one night and suddenly thought, this is ridiculous!!
Then I came up with an idea.
How about I go up to him, ten minutes before I want him to go to bed, and take an interest in what he’s doing?
Now, I say to Jon each night in a cheerful voice, ‘Hey Jon, want to show me what you’ve made or been playing before you go to bed?’ And he says, ‘OK.’
So then we have five minutes of bonding. He shares with me what he has been doing, who he has spoken to, Which bits made him laugh and so on. I engage with him and show a genuine interest in his games. Then I say, ‘Great! Looks like you’ve have a good time!’ Bedtime now?’
And he happily shuts the pc, brushes his teeth and goes to bed…
This might take some repetitive practise but, it soon worked with Jon.
Try it, and let me know how you got on in the comments box below!
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Michelle Hatcher is the author of the Progress Pentagon parenting courses and founder of the best-selling : Unleashing The Positive Mind Masterclass. She is a certified CBT Therapist, NLP Practitioner, mother of 15 year old Jon who has Autism and PDA and certified Life Coach.
She is also a member of the Complimentary Medical Association, the International Alliance of Holistic Therapists
and The Association of Integrative Psychology. Her autobiography, How To… uncovers the secrets of Autism and how to overcome it plus it tracks her life as a mother of an Autistic child, how she developed her best-selling courses using CBT and NLP with Autism. She is also a public speaker on Autism Awareness.
She lives in Wiltshire with husband Nick, son, Jon and three cats; Apple, Missy and Augusta.