Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Life Repeats Itself

We are currently on holiday in a resort with a pool and we had an incident today which would have confounded me as a kid and still does from an adult point of view.

I'm not certain how much easier this situation might be for an NT but for an aspie, it was very challenging.

The Scenario
We bought my two children a swimming tyre each and they went down to the pool without their floaties. Fully reliant on the tyre for floatation should they drift into a deeper part of the pool.

My younger son (4) was ok but my older son (7) was hounded by two other kids for his tube. Their parents were nearby and watching but did nothing to stop the hounding.

Reluctant to berate someone elses child, I was unable to assist.

The Child's. Perspective
Watching the scenario play out, I was reminded of countless similar situations in my childhood. In my opinion, the other kids and their parents were at fault but the situation was unwinnable.

I'd either do one of two things;

1. Give the toy over.
I often simply gave the agressors what they wanted simply to avoid problems. They would take the item and not involve me in it's play. Not a good scenario. In some cases, I'd even get the toy back at the end of the day. Once, I took a brand new soccer ball to school and had to give it to "hasslers" just prior to my first class. I wasn't picked for teams at lunch time and didn't get my ball back until after school when it was well and truly dirtied and scuffed.

2. Fight
The second option is simply to argue and fight. Sometimes it becomes physical but most times you just lose "friends".

Neither option really works.


The Adult Perspective
In the pool toy case, the problem was with the adults too. I was surprised to find it just as insoluble.

I offered my son some advice, telling him that since it was his toy and it was the only thing keeping him afloat he didn't have to share. He told the kids that but still they came on.

I moved him away from the kids but they followed. I asked the kids to leave him alone but still they came on.

As the kids pushed my son closer and closer to a meltdown, I started calling to my NT wife. She spoke sternly to the kids and they listened for about 5 minutes but went back again.

She caught their eyes and made some threatening gestures (and shot an evil glance at them). That bought us another 5 minutes with one kid.

In the meantime, I got Kaelan (my son) who was getting into a heated arguement with the other kid, to start saying "talk to the hand" - an Americanism - surprisingly, it worked.

By "attacking" their kids, we finally galvanised their parents into action and they pulled their kids out of the pool.

I guess the point of this post is to say that social skills don't seem to improve, even on the adult side of the age barrier when the problem isn't the aspie but NTs.

3 comments:

TheZach said...

Welcome to the world that does not tollerate or understand what is different. To be honest reading about this, it wasn't the kids that irrititated me, it was the idea that the parents were watching this whole mess.

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Biri-Rid of Insanity blog said...

Oh my :P

I know this type of thing like the back of my hand. I never give the attackers what they want, like I used to.

If someone bothered me for a swimming tube/tire, I would tell them to "f" off (the vulgar version of "talk to the hand"). If they stole it, I'd let them have it. Until I saw them again :P

Andrew

Anonymous said...

First I just wanted to say, love your blog! I am what you call a "NT".
Anyways, as far as the situation with the toys...The child has a 3rd option. Walk away. In your child's case, get out of the pool. I'm not saying this is right but is an option.
As an NT I'd have went over to the child's parents and asked them to stop their children from bothering my children. Funny how we all react differently in situations, no matter who we are or our "labels". :-)