Compensations

14
Nov

Compensations

The topic of compensations seemed to be a real popular one last week, so I stopped to realize how I overcompensate for my children. The times I find that I overcompensate the most for my girls is when I’m in a hurry, tired or just “not in the mood” to slow down and guide. What a gift I am stealing from my girls when I’m not at my best (another reason to keep the pacing of our lives slow). Wednesday nights are always busy for me as I work all day and by the time I get home it’s after 6 – they go to bed at 8. My husband works late these nights, so I single parent it and just plow through the evening to get it all done. Here are ten (of I’m afraid of many more) ways that I’ve overcompensated tonight alone:
1. I helped my 4 year old get undressed for the bath (because it’d be quicker and I didn’t have to fight it)
2. I tied my 4 year olds’ seat belt because I just wanted to get home and didn’t feel like waiting for her to get it done.
3. I let my 2 year old sit on my lap at the end of dinner to encourage her eating along (shoving the food in her mouth on my own) so we could get out of Wendy’s and get home!
4. I brought my girls out for fast food because I didn’t feel like arguing when they asked and it was much more simple than having to figure out what I could whip together when I got home.
5. I brought their clothes to laundry room once they were undressed instead of waiting to give them the opportunity to do that on their own.
6. When my 4 year old brought our trash on the tray to the trash can at Wendy’s, instead of letting her figure out how to get the trash in herself, I quickly said “oh, don’t throw the tray in too!” She of course was like “I know that mom!” I did let her figure out how to get the trash on the tray over to the trash can and even started dumping the trash without dropping anything before I stepped in – I guess that was one too many steps for my comfort level! She did a fantastic job in spite of me!
7. Instead of having them put their clean clothes away, I just quickly did it – again to keep the night rolling.
8. I carried all the stuff in from the car instead of giving them the opportunity to notice something of theirs is missing and then not get it tonight in order to discover that if they want their stuff from the car, they better get it when they are coming in.
9. I put their shoes away for them.
10. I went and got the mail instead of giving them the opportunity to do that with me.

Many days I try to give them opportunities to join in with what I’m doing or try to accomplish a task on their own. It’s amazing how each hour holds so many possibilities for learning opportunities and how when we overcompensate we are robbing them of these opportunities for growth. It’s nights like tonight when things are busy and I’m tired that the overcompensations over flow. Remember though that pushing them too much is also hurtful in that they are unable to learn when the expectations are too high. There’s a perfect amount of support that will guide our children to learning at their best.

When do you find that you overcompensate the most and how do you overcompensate?

Have a great week! Michelle

Comments

  • Pen
    November 17, 2007

    Michelle, my question and concern that surrounds the topic of compensating and overcompensating is related to INdependence and INTERdependence. In autism, we tend to teach skills to independence, skipping ENTIRELY any concept of healthy interdependence. Sometimes, there is a line that I can’t locate, between teaching competency without overcompensations and instead teaching an independent skill for the sake of the skill.

  • veronica sheehan-miles
    November 18, 2007

    I think compensation has its place in our lives. Like anything it should be used in moderation. Michelle talks about how she compensates a lot on nights she feels tired. That is a good time to compensate. My reasoning for compensating when your tired is it keeps you from losing your cool. When we are tired we are more likely to get upset easily. By compensating instead of pushing our patience we are keeping our children’s trust in us safe. Parenting is not all about the kids needs but about all the family members needs.

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