Aspie rigidness or typical teen? You don't have to follow rules outside the house

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TerryJ2, Jan 20, 2011.

  1. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    We had an "intellectual" discussion at dinner where difficult child insisted it was okay to use the F-word in casual conversation at school as long as you're not deliberately getting into someone's face with-it. He insisted, in his Aspie way, that what we do at home is not what we do in the outside world because they're two different places.
    I told him that what we teach him is for himself and for the outside world. We are teaching him life skills.
    Argue, argue, argue. I did not get mad but I certainly didn't make any progress.
    He clearly doesn't have a leg to stand on and just wants to do what he wants to do.

    Any suggestions?
  2. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    See now I get the oppositie argument--

    We only have to follow rules OUTSIDE the house. What we do at home doesn't matter...

    (Yeah, can't you see part of our difficult child issues right there? Try living with it - UGH!)
  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Well, in some ways I can see his logic. We don't take off our shoes when we go into school or a business. but in many homes it is the rule. We don't walk into offices and just fling ourselves down, grab the remote and yell for someone to go get us whatever, but many difficult children do at home. He gets computer at school but not at home.

    There are many differences between home and school, and some aspies figure that if you have a couple of different rules in different places then ALL the rules are different from one place to the next.

    I am not sure your difficult child truly believes this, but maybe wishes it was true and wants to see what would happen if he tried living by that rule. My father taught me that it was NOT ok to curse in front of adults or near adults, but outside with the kids it was a choice I had to make. If he heard me curse or another adult did, I got into trouble. If he heard that I cursed around just other kids then I had to work that out for myself. I can see an aspie taking something like that and trying to stretch it to justify a lot of things, but they KNOW they are justifying.

    Have you ever just refused to entertain difficult child's justifications? It was something we learned from the psychiatric hospital. difficult child knew the rules and when they were broken he always had a "reason". So we would then argue. Instead we would just tell him he was justifying and that the punishment was X for the broken rule and Y for the justifying and Y would increase if he continued justifying. So if he got 10 mins of a chore for justifying, he would get 10 more mins added on for each time he didn't stop. Following us or not leaving the room when we told him to was another increase or consequence. It made a HUGE difference in his behavior. The arguing was reduced drastically (HUGELY) and so was teh chaos in the house AND he didn't break nearly as many rules as long as we followed through.

    It is HARD to do this if you cannot follow through with the consequence, or if you and your spouse are not on the same page.

    just remember that it takes 2 to argue - and it puts the control for the emotional tenor of the family in difficult child's control, which is what he wants. It is another way to control his world, by getting you upset/frustrated. He also gets you thinking about that and not about whatever consequence he is suppsoed to do after the discussion because you are busy being upset and giving new consequences.
  4. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Terry, he may be trying to fit in with his peers. Teens swear. It's part of the culture. As long as my kids don't swear around me or other adults, I'm fine with that. I think you need to teach him the situations in which he can't swear: at home, in class, when he's going for a job interview, etc, etc. You get my point. You also have to realize that if you make swearing another "forbidden fruit," he will find it all the more attractive and want to do it more. So I personally wouldn't make this a huge battle. If you downplay it, it will take on less significance in his mind.
  5. barneysmom

    barneysmom Member

    Terry, I tell my boys they're responsible for how they wish to represent themselves outside of our home -- they get to choose. But in our family -- no swearing.

  6. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I've told Onyxx that there's a time and a place.

    In front of me and husband - or her grandparents - is not the time or place. Same for nice restaurants, job interviews, etc.

    But with her friends? Shoot, I don't care. One of my HS friends' parents had us find alternate words. Defecation, fornication, etc. Pretty soon she just gave up, because we were really, really creative.

    Son of a bear / fudge/ grasshoppers / DRAT! - my favorites. Due to BFF's daughter - when she was 2 1/2, we called her "little mockingbird".
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Teens swear. It isn't what you did or didn't teach them. They communicate that way. I draw the line at swearing at adults. I don't care how my daughter or son talk to their friends. We can't control EVERYTHING our kids do. I try to pick and choose.
  8. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I've had to be very specific about certain rules and where they apply. The school has their rules, and some are the same as at home. There are specific things that are allowed when it's just us, whether we're at home, driving, or out somewhere like a park and have the place to ourselves. There are additional rules that apply to public behavior, and that "public" behavior also includes home/car/etc., when there are guests or other people present. A lot of these rules for us encompass content of conversation, because kids being kids they will say what comes to mind, i.e. "Where is the restroom?" is more acceptable in a public setting than blurting out to the waitress exactly why you need the restroom.
  9. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Well, I couldn't help it. I emailed the teachers. I also mentioned that difficult child had written an essay in his composition book during bullying week that said if he overheard bullying, he would not interfere because it's none of his business.
    OMG, this kid.

    Anyway, the teachers thanked me for giving them insight into his thought process and told me it is NOT okay to swear at school. When I told them that one of his reasons was that it was a public school rather than private, they about hit the roof, LOL!

    Today he HAD to wear his Mexico tshirt (his girlfriend is from Mexico ... the lovely thing taught him to use the f-word--conjugated in a sentence, no less) and it was soaking wet. He didn't want to have BO (you all were right, some things change when they realize what girls are all about) but he didn't think it was any big deal that it was dripping wet and he had to stand with-o a coat and wait for the bus in 38 degree weather.

    by the way, in regard to getting him to do chores, the same pan has been in the sink for 3 days now ...

  10. ML

    ML Guest

    I feel your pain. That rigid thinking can be sooo dang frustrating lol. And the arguing can go on for hours if you don't give in.

    I am not proud to admit it but husband swears as part of normal conversation and he's not even mad when he does it. Thusly, manster has picked it up. Our problem is more the "what happens at home stays at home"! So it would be good in our case for him to see that it's ok at home but not in other situations.

    I am forever telling them both to stop swearing so much but they are both stubborn.
  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member


    I'm sorry to hear that I'm in such good company. Eek.

    The good news is, after a 3-day freeze-out, difficult child finally gave in and washed the pan in the sink, and earned his Dean Koontz book. Typically, he does chores every day but someone this one got more than the usual argument.