Social Cues

Rory is still lousy at picking up social cues.

And I’ve realized that this, above all things, is what she does that pushes my buttons. It’s part of what happened at the Aquatic Center (in the below post). I’ve realize that when I overreact to her, its often at one of those moments. I don’t care if she makes mistakes.
I don’t care if she misbehaves (I do, but I don’t–you know what I mean.) I react in a normal, good parent way when those things happen. It’s the weird social behavior that really gets me weird, too.

Because I am afraid she will never get it. That she will spend her whole life looking scared when she should look happy, or happy when someone is hurt, or not answering people who are being nice to her. My worst moments come, not in response to Rory’s worst moments, but in response to the moments which suggest that she will never fully adjust to life here.

Thus is going to take some thought before I can write about it, but I’m really happy that I’ve spotted it. I feel like knowing what triggers me (and that it’s really about my fears, and not her) is going to make our life better. And then I can think about what it really means.

4 Responses to “Social Cues”

  1. I totally get this! This is one of the things that drives me crazy with my son. I think part of what bugs me is that on the inside, I am scared for him and wondering, will he ever have friends, be invited to parties, go on dates, get married?? All of my insecurities for him begin to snowball in my head. And I get mad because I just want him to “get it”. To inherently know how to act. And I don’t feel like I know how to teach him, because I’ve never had to “teach” those skills.
    Also (and I know this is totally not fair to him), I just want the social awkwardness of it all to go away. If anyone at my older son’s karate class makes eye contact with him, he sobs. We had company the other night (someone he knows) and he ran straight to this person, gave them a big hug, then started sobbing and screaming, NOOO! He is an emotional wildcard, and I don’t blame him for that, but it exhausts me and I just get tired of the minefield.
    I realize that this comment probably makes me sound so awful, but I do understand what you mean.

  2. Nancy says:

    I’ve been working on this with my daughter for a long time. She had no sense of humor. Couldn’t get the joke. Couldn’t take any teasing at all, and in our big family, she was dying. We worked on it. Explained the joke, even though it makes them not funny any more when you have to explain them. Do it. Amelia Bedeliah will drive you CRAZY because she just doesn’t understand why it is funny when Amelia cuts up the shirt to ‘get the wrinkles out’ (Okay, I admit, not that funny anyway, but explain it for an hour and see how funny it isn’t).

    I’d suggest really working on vocab, idioms, rhyming. My daughter would spend hours arguing about whether a sofa could also be a couch, whether jam could be jelly. The more words she learned, the less she argued and the more she could focus on the meaning, the people speaking, etc.

  3. KJ says:

    Oh, but I so understand–it IS alos about just wanting things to be normal! Someone said hello to her in the street today and she ran right past with no acknowledgement…I am going to write more on this later.

    And I do try to explain the social cues, but I am really not very good about it. I get can imagine, rightly, that that REALLY helps.

  4. J. says:

    I do the same thing with Fudge, it makes it easier when I know that it is me but I still do it – normal would be nice occasionally just to reassure me that he is going to survive in the big mean world.

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