Monday, February 28, 2011

Lessons in Encouragement

Bubs struggles with new things.  The new sensory items swarming around place huge fears in Bubs.  The unknown causes him to dig his feet in and flat refuse to do things. 

Everything inside of me wants to handle it with discipline.  But, as I learn to deal with Sensory Processing Disorder, I have learned discipline is often not the correct choice.  If I take the time to figure out what is causing the problem, I will see that there is a lot more to it than Bubs simply refusing to do something.

While reading the book Raising Your Spirited Child by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka, I discovered a list of six ways to help your child ease into new situations. 

  1. Show encouragement.  Let the child know that you support them.
  2. Help the child understand their own feelings and that others have felt that way too.
  3. Allow the child time to think and an opportunity to observe so that he or she feels in control.
  4. Bridge the gap between past successes to the present situation.
  5. Help the child divide the task into parts so it doesn't seem so overwhelming and allows the child to take it step by step when he or she is ready.
  6. Allow the child time.
I read this right after we went out to eat with some friends.  Bubs was faced with a bowl of soup that freaked him out.  He had eaten the same soup at another restaurant but could not carry that over.  I did what every poor Mom would do - I got frustrated really quickly.  I should have taken the time to realize that he wasn't saying no just to be defiant.  He was scared and needed my encouragement.  I didn't take the time to understand his fears or give him time to remember the past experience.  If I would have started with "take one bite" instead of saying "eat it all," the results would have been much different.  A lesson of what not to do!


  1. My little boy struggles with new things too...even at OT. It takes a lot of patience, guidance, encouragement, and even letting go sometimes to get him over a scary experience (that the rest of us wouldn't think twice about). A great reminder to put ourselves in their sneakers!



The Our Out-of-Sync Life blog focuses on encouraging women to deepen their spiritual life, simplify daily tasks, and impress Jesus on the children around them.