11 February 2008

A Little Prayer Time

G has been having a very difficult time with his mouth off and on in recent months. I blame this on his autism without making excuses for the poor character it demonstrates. I think unless you deal with a disability similar to autism in a loved one on a daily basis, it would be tempting to think it's just my poor parenting that enabled this to come about. So I understand if that's what you think.

I'm not saying I'm not a poor parent in some respects. Just more that, God's grace is much, much bigger than my failures and I'm having trouble figuring out what to do next with that in mind.

Ordinarily, he SEEMS to be a loving and kind person. He plays with his siblings nicely most of the time. But when he feels I've made an unfair demand or that he's not being treated as he deserves, out flies a buncha crap from his mouth.

I'm a jerk.

I'm mean AND stupid. Sometimes I'm fat, too!

His brother Emperor is a brat and I love him more than G.

And etc. etc.

Now, while this is going on, he's usually been relegated to his room and he is howling about things. He is throwing things. (This is why he can't have an upstairs bedroom!!) He is a person I very much dislike right then and I think that the very SECOND the boy turns 18, he's going to find his butt hitting the cold, hard pavement. And knowing his spending habits, the cold, hard pavement may be his home for the rest of his life. The thought breaks my heart, because I know long-term, he is only hurting himself and his own chances in life.

Good luck holding down a job with that kind of temperment. But I don't need this verbal abuse, and neither do the other family members. The best I can hope for is that he receives either a miracle cure for autism or a great job that will enable him to have his own apartment in a few years.

I know what some of you are probably thinking... you know... discipline, limit-setting, blah blah blah. May I gently tell you, this does NOT WORK on my autistic child when he's good and angry? That nothing does? Yes, later, when he's calm, he's mighty sorry. I want to be careful in how I word this lest you think people with autism are uncaring brutes... but... G does not have the same sympathy and feeling for others that you and I do. He doesn't fully understand what others go through, or worse, if he does, he doesn't have the capacity AT THAT MOMENT to care.

He wants to play computer games. He hadn't in forever. I keep telling him about a zillion times, do you not see what you are doing to the entire family? Do you not care that every time this stuff flies out of your mouth that you are damaging your relationship with me and your siblings?

Oh, yes, he says, he sees it and he's really TRYING not to say such things... I told him that it sure doesn't look like it and we get into another fight about that. Well, whatever. So what's going to be different, ever? I mean, I can forgive and forgive and forgive every hour of every day but what is going to be DIFFERENT and what are you going to DO that is DIFFERENT that will ever change things?

Oh, he's really TRYING...

I find myself getting close to giving up on my 12-year-old because I'm an awful person who doesn't want to forgive and forgive and forgive every hour. The 12-year-old is bringing out this ungodly trait in me that I don't like seeing...

Only God can change these things, I realize. How can I get him to truly pray?

The best I can muster is that I will consider his request if he has been good that day and has spent 10 minutes in prayer before asking for the computer. I can't monitor his heart and know that he's really communed with God. But maybe it will instill a habit in him that all our morning devotions has yet to instill.

I don't know.


  1. Not easy at times, heres a hug for you (H)

  2. {{{HUGS}}}

    Autism or not, our children can have trouble with their mouths and anger. We've seen it in this house.

    Recently we've been dealing with it by fasting and prayer.

    Even those powerful first apostles could not overcome some spirits. And basically Jesus told them that even the toughest things in life could be overcome by prayer and fasting.

    Fasting destroys the yoke and undoes heavy burdens and sets the oppressed free. (Isaiah 58)

    My husband and I have been fasting and praying more. And we've been having the children who are having attitude problems fast. Meg (6 years old) went without desserts or anything sugary (even breakfast cereal) for about a week, while she memorized parts of 1 Cor. 13. And we've seen a real change in her attitude.

    All that to say, that there is hope and to please don't give up on your children. ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE with Him! There is nothing to difficult for Him--even autism!

    Love you!

  3. Daja, I see that this is good advice and I need to think a little on how to implement it. I see too that despite the autism, the underlying character issue is what really needs to be addressed.

    Thanks so much, Daja. One of those times where it's not what I wanted to hear but what I NEEDED to hear.

  4. I appreciate your honesty on this issue. I have one that is 11 and is very sweet until things don't go just so. Then he cries, and cries. Then on the other spectrum I have one (7) who has told me "what would you think if I told you that I don't want to live here anymore?" YIKES!
    Just recently I started having them write down why they did whatever it was. Not because so and so hit me, but the real heart issue. Like I wanted revenge or something like that.
    I think the fasting is a very good idea too. I think I might try it with a couple of my children.
    Also if I could recommend one book, besides the Bible, it would be "The heart of anger" bu Lou Priolo. It really helped me find verses that helped them see the real reason behind their actions.


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