Is it erratic, pre-teen hormones, or perhaps just my son’s particular brand of Asperger’s that has brought on an overwhelming load of negativity into our home the last few years? He astounds me by what he can find to whine about. And whine he does. This is draining, to say the least. I know many of his outbursts stem not from behavioral issues, but from a real sense of frustration and overstimulation. Many still believe that people on the spectrum do not experience a variety of emotions, or that they cannot sense what another is feeling (theory of mind). This is just not accurate. I see with my son that he feels too much, at times. His feelings are bumping into one another, and he has no method of categorizing them.. So, frustration ensues. Unfortunately, he has also allowed himself to develop the habit of lashing out with no real filter on his speech. And much to our chagrin, he does this almost exclusively at home.
How do I teach him to handle anger or frustration? What do I do to model a calm spirit even when I don’t like what is going on around me? Well, apparently, this past Monday, I yell back. I threaten. I lose my patience and exacerbate the problem until he no longer understands what he was upset about to begin with. How is it possible to exhibit patience and peace when you are being sorely tested on a regular basis by a pre-teen about to explode?
We both need peace of mind.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things.
Blessings only exist because of the chaos. I wouldn’t need His peace if everything around me were going well. But it is for this very reason I cling to it – my son is watching me, and when he yells that life is unfair, I must be the one to stand, firm, with open arms, unchangeable.
God’s power and grace transcend time; what may be imperfections or failings today will gracefully transform into something infinitely beautiful through His wondrous mercy. He will guard my heart if I let him. He will take my child and give him peace. I will not understand how it will happen, but He has promised to protect our minds.
I am trying to breathe slowly, count to ten, pray. I struggle not to be discouraged by today’s setbacks. They are not really setbacks, but other opportunities for me to show my son Christ’s patience, mercy and overwhelming love for him. Wow. I feel I failed him this time. Yet, you know what? Christ’s patience, mercy and love extends to me, as well. Next time I will be better. I will ask forgiveness from God, from my son, and I will receive it. Undeservedly. Amazingly. I will receive it.