Monday, July 28, 2008

Growing up

I was reading Kari's post about folks with FASD being oblivious to the impact of their behaviors on others and I started to reflect on some of the recent behaviors I have noticed in my son Douglass.

Now Douglass used to be the totally oblivious type, totally unaware of even the physical presence of others, as in he would cannonball into the pool w/out looking to see if there were folks he might jump on top of (and I don't mean just once or twice he did this, this was repeated behavior even after being consequenced and reprimanded, he just didn't "think to look"), or he would pass you on the stairs or in the hall w/out waiting for you to clear the way and mash you into the walls. He talked over others, used verbally abusive language, was not tuned into any of the subtleties of personal interaction.

But lately I have noticed a pleasant improvement. He does seem to be aware of other's presence, he holds doors, steps aside to let others pass, and has even noticed and commented on others' who have not been as polite. But most surprising were two events this weekend.

We were all cleaning inside and out, it was a chore weekend as things had gotten out of hand. So we were cleaning, weeding, detrashing the backyard. Hubby and I were outside in the blistering heat doing a lot of physical work and Douglass had announced he needed to go in and rest (I guess his poor buff 18 year old body was tired!) But instead of staying inside resting, after a few minutes he came back outside and basically said that if we weren't going to quit he guessed he should keep working too. Amazing, he actually noticed that we were still working.

Then later, my DH was having an intense heart to heart with Kendra over her lack of work ethic and Douglass walked into the kitchen (where they were talking) and instead of interrupting, trying to get his agenda met, he stopped, picked up on the intensity of the conversation and excused himself to the other room, where he did not turn on loud music, etc. I was very impressed that he not only recognized that they were in a private discussion, but that he also controlled his tongue and did not try to join in, as he had expressed his own displeasure to me about Kendra's shirking. He also did not just ignore them and walk over to the TV and turn on a movie or the Wii, which would have been a typical thing not too long ago.

So I think he is growing up, maturing, realizing that he is not the only person in the world. He does truly seem to see others as people now and not just as objects to manipulate to get his needs or wants satisfied. He is much more pleasant to be around and parenting him has become easier as he now seems to comprehend some of the logic behind our house rules.

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