Question for my therapist but I'll ask all of you first ...

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by TerryJ2, Feb 25, 2010.

  1. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    A little while ago, difficult child and his tutor knocked on my locked ofc door. I opened it. difficult child immediately stood in the doorframe, nearly stepping on my toe. Tutor is from Africa and also has a different definition of personal space.
    They are both talking at once and getting in my space.
    They wanted to get on my computer.
    I said NO.
    Repeat several times. (Wash, rinse, repeat, as someone typed on this board a few days ago.:laugh:)
    No, no, no.

    Okay, I realized something after thinking about it. One of the reasons I like this tutor is because he never gives up and he loves to talk and argue. A perfect match for difficult child. He is highly caffienated and a go-getter. But that also translates into not being my type of person. He can be as aggravating as difficult child.

    Tutor finally told me that difficult child left his grammar book at school and they needed to go online to get homework help with-indirect objects. Oh.
    I have several books on my shelf on that topic. I handed them three books. They chose one.

    Meanwhile, I'm sitting here, angry with-my cousin's bureaucratic mess of a convalescent ctr, and feeling my heart beat twice as fast because difficult child and tutor were in my face and in my space. I'm trying to refinance the house and can't get anything done.

    I need advice and tools for 1) Being more assertive (I know I solved the problem but it took several repetitions and I would like to be taken more seriously) and 2) How to imagine that they are actually far away, or at least, not on my toes and in my breathing space. That really, really bothers me. I've been told to build a make-believe plastic bubble around me, but that is easier said than done.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well...You could try the dog training tools that Victoria uses on Its me or the If they start getting too close or "jumping" on you, turn your back and yell stop! Very I suppose if it works on canines it might work on people. Maybe?
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I'm not sure....there are some situations where I think the dog is smarter than the person. LOL!!

    I think I would approach it in an almost "playing naive" way and have a provate talk with the tutor. I would tell him that I am working with difficult child to teach him about respecting others' personal space and ask his help by making sure he and difficult child respect a certain distance or however you want to define it. If he's respectful, he should do that, although it might take a couple of "looks" to remind him if it's habit, too.

    As far as computer use though, I'm not sure kids in middle and high schools can function at school anymore without having access to one at times at home. I wish they could- difficult child's middle school issued one to the kids but it didn't have internet access unless they get near open wireless service.

    Pardon my grammar and punctuation- I normally try to edit and correct the worst of it but I don't have the energy right now.
  4. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    That reminds me- I have a friend who's step-grandson is on the autism spectrum. His teachers' teach personal space by using an arm's length- which has been taught verbally for years but with kids who are autistic, it's so easy to show them to put their own arm out and use that to define their own personal space as well as an appropriate distance to stay from others.
  5. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Thank you. I'll try that. Plan A: arm's length, and talk with-the tutor.
    Plan B: knee them until they fall over, like Victoria, the dog trainer. ;)
  6. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I think Plan B will be more effective. *snort*
  7. maxeygirls

    maxeygirls New Member

    Have you tried calmly saying "I can't discuss this calmly until you back up"? I know it sound simple but my husband learned very quickly that if he stood too close to me and was agitated or too assertive he would get his way yet when he stood 3 feet back and had the same attitude I handled it well. Needless to say that little unfair advantage got abused until I called him out on it as soon as it started every time. If he wont listen, which sometimes he doesn't, I'll walk away and into another part of the house. Sometimes he follows me but I'll just keep changing rooms and repeating the same thing over and over again.
    But I really like plan B!
  8. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Terry, I read your description of difficult children tutor with great interest. When I interview staff for kt (& wm when he was here) the last thing I want is a non stop talker; worse someone who is going to argue. AND the last person I would hire is someone who interrupts me when I have a door closed & am working on something ~ especially when staff should be able to redirect or find another resource. (I believe my rule has gone from temp & vomiting to profuse bleeding &/or compound fracture;))

    Honey, that's what you need. I fear that your tutor may be encouraging difficult child & his tendency to argue, then rage ~ see where I'm going here?

    A tutor, PCA, whatever you have in your home should know & accept your rules & boundaries ~ no questions asked.

    For tutoring & such we use an independent living skills worker; they not only work with the tweedles on academics they also teach them coping skills, how to lower frustration levels, redirection while also taking them out in the community to learn those skills.

    As always I say this with concern not as a criticism. AND I don't see this as your issue other than you need a tutor, whatever, that abides by your house rules & can teach difficult child the same.
  9. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    I guess it depends on the person, but I would probably feel comfortable telling him that he needs to back up a little, because he's making you uncomfortable.

    I had one woman come to my house once. I really didn't know her well, but felt obligated to invite her in, because she was dropping something off for me. I was putting groceries away in the kitchen and she kept following me around the kitchen, being in my personal space the entire time....never more than two feet away from me. It was quite bizarre. The woman is a social worker and should know about personal space. I found her behavior really odd and couldn't wait until she left. I haven't seen her since. With her, I didn't feel comfortable asking her to back up, but if she was at my home on a regular basis, like in your circumstance, I would just tell her.