Posts Categorized: Julie Cole

Making the Cut: Children Dealing with Disappointment

Making the Cut: Children Dealing with Disappointment

With such a big family, I’ve always told my kids that they can’t be on travelling sports teams. When my children have asked to try out for such teams, my response has consistently been, “There are enough kids in your own city that are good enough to play with you.”

But, I have this one kid who loves hockey and wants to play all the time. She noticed that her friends who play on “rep” teams get to be on the ice a lot more than she and her house league pals. Her perfect day would include no less than three games of hockey.

She began her campaign to get me to change my mind, and presented a plan that detailed how we could manage her hockey schedule if she was on a rep team. My wise kid had already recruited her aunt, who committed to be the “hockey parent”. My little hockey player even told us how she planned to contribute financially to offset the extra costs. She won. I allowed her to try out. Basically, she’s a really good kid who can be crafty at getting her way.

But when she got cut from the team I realized just how awesome she really is.

I had gone to one of the try-outs and it was pretty clear to me that everyone there was bigger, faster and stronger. She’s only been playing proper hockey for two years. She was on the ice with girls who were older and had several years of rep hockey under their belts.

The coach had told the girls he was looking for hard working hockey players. Since no one works harder out there than my kid, she figured it would earn her a spot on the team.

When the e-mail came saying she was cut from the team, she told me she’d just have to practice more for next year. I didn’t see tears, I didn’t hear, “it’s not fair,” and I certainly didn’t hear her say, “but I’m better than so-and-so.” She just wants to practice more.

So, I’m proud of my daughter for getting cut from the hockey team. Her actions tell me that no matter what happens, on or off the ice, that she is confident and resilient. Nothing she can do in a hockey game can make me more proud of how she responded to that disappointing news.

How has your child responded to disappointment? Have you had to deal with a similar situation in your house?

Tough Transitions

I’ve often heard parents talk about difficulties their kids have with transitions. Sometimes it’s a change in routine, a change in wardrobe or a change in living situations. I’ve never had big issues with my kids and transitions. Even my child with autism didn’t struggle too much in this department.

I used to think parents dealing with normal transitional stuff were exaggerating the difficulty of it. Until now. My youngest is one of these tough “transitioners.”

It’s not so much a change in routine that gets to him- it seems to be mostly about clothing. This makes seasonal changes quite dramatic. Now that spring is upon us, you would think he’d happily put away his bulky snow pants. No such luck. My little guy runs around outside all day on Sunday in shorts and a t-shirt. Come Monday morning, he’s searching for his snow pants. Then there is his favourite winter hat. He would rather have his ears amputated due to frost bite than wear a different hat. This made for some tricky situations if that special hat got misplaced on very cold days.

The funniest quirk has to do with his school uniform. He loves his school uniform and happily wears it every day. However, if they have a special day when they can wear regular clothes, he refuses to participate. On Valentine’s Day, there was a school wide competition to see which class wore the most red clothing. This is how the day played out:

- He refused to wear red and went to school in his uniform;
- He came home and reported that he was the only child not wearing red;
- He was furious that his class didn’t win the contest for wearing the most red.

Yes, he was the reason his class didn’t win, and yet it angered him.

This weekend, my little tough transitioner turned five. He happily accepted a party and presents, but was not happy about giving up the age of four. My little man appeared to have an acute case of “Peter Pan Syndrome”. When people ask him his age, his response is “still four” and we were only allowed to put four candles on his birthday cake. I figure by the time he gets used to being five- years -old, he’ll be six.

Have you had a child who had difficulty with transitions? What ways have you found to help your child deal with change? Was it something that was outgrown?

Finding Autism Support For Parents

(Photo Credit: BeingMommy.com)

It has been 10 years since my son was diagnosed with autism at the age of three.

Back in those days, you got your diagnosis and you were sent on your way to deal with it. Very little information regarding treatment, agencies, education or help of any kind was provided. It was pretty much a “Yes, your son has autism… don’t hit yourself with the door on the way out” kind of an approach.

I didn’t even know where to get started. Keep in mind – this was long before social media. Finding autism support and connecting with other families was not a click away. Even in those early days, I learned quickly that my very best resource was other parents. I stand by that today. And with so many kids affected, there are more and more parents with experience that you can turn to. For example:

  • Other Moms. You can find moms everywhere. School is a great place to start. If you can find moms with a child on the spectrum who are attending the school your child will be attending, connect with them.  They can give you the ins and outs of the special education resources available, how to negotiate support for your child, which teachers are best to deal with and basically how to work the system in the best possible way for your child. Going to school is a big move for our kids (and us!) so connecting with school moms prior to school enrollment is key.
  • Support groups. I wandered into an autism support group and truly found my people. But you have to find the right group. Some groups are for parents to share in their concerns and maybe have a little cry and get support that way. My support group suited me because we were a group about action. The facilitator was fierce – we were all there because we wanted the best outcomes for our kids and we left with actual tasks to report back on at the next meeting. There was no “There, there, everything will be OK.” And that was fine with me. Make sure your autism support group has the same goals as you do to get the most out of it.
  • Online groups. There are countless Facebook groups, Yahoo groups and online communities. What I would have done for that resource 10 years ago!  These groups are a great place to have discussions, ask questions and get answers. And who isn’t blogging these days? There are amazing blogs written by parents of children with autism who share their journeys. Find some you connect with and you have instant community.

You don’t have to do this alone. We are here waiting to help you. Find us.

Other related posts by Julie Cole:

Nice Things You Say That Annoy Me

This is Lovely, But….

Helping Not-So-Social Kids Make Friends
About the Author:

Julie Cole Mabel's Labels

Julie Cole

Julie Cole is co-founder of Mabel’s Labels Inc., the leading provider of kids’ labels, and a proud mom of six. Getting geared up for hockey finals? Be sure to grab your Hockey Label Combo today!

 

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