dealing with others' comments/questions/advice

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HiccupHaddock
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
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02 May 2022, 1:57 pm

Hello,
I'm wondering whether anyone has any advice for me to deal with other people's advice/comments/questions about my son's autism/behaviour?
For some reason, lately I find it extremely stressful (even the thought is stressful) to try to explain his behaviour to others (especially behaviour that is rather difficult to explain), or think how to respond when someone suggests how to deal with his behaviour or suggests some therapy (especially when I know that their suggestion isn't suited to him or is unlikely to help).
What is the best way? Just smile and say thanks for the suggestion?
I don't want to offend people who mean well and may be just trying to offer a helpful suggestion.
I guess many people get offered parenting advice, and maybe I just need to swallow it?
I think it just bothers me because I feel very defensive of any criticism of my lovely son.



HiccupHaddock
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
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Age: 45
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02 May 2022, 2:09 pm

Perhaps as well as feeling defensive about my son, I am also feeling defensive about my parenting skills.
Either way, I somehow feel very anxious about how to deal with other people's comments/advice/questions.
I wish I could just not care about other people, and focus on my son. But I don't want to upset other people either.
I think I am being silly because I am worrying about things people might say, and how I might respond, and even the thought of it bothers me!



timf
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03 May 2022, 6:11 am

There was a TV episode of Maverick where there was some looming dilemma and everyone in town kept asking Maverick what he was going to do. His response at every turn was to say, "I'm working on it".

If this proves insufficient and the "helpful" person persists, one might say thank you for your suggestion.

For those who still intrude, you might put them on the defensive bay asking them if their understanding of child development assumes that there is some binary 'switch" that makes corrections. Asking them to explain their rational often exposes what little understanding they have.

There are still some who persist after every hint and discouragement has been offered. While you wouldn't do it, it can be fun to imagine saying, "Please go away. My parole officer says that even if i kill only one more person for pushing unwanted advice, I could get into real trouble".



HiccupHaddock
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker

Joined: 11 Mar 2022
Age: 45
Gender: Female
Posts: 67
Location: UK

03 May 2022, 6:53 am

Dear timf,
Thanks so much for your reply, I love it!
You have made me laugh : )
I think I was getting way too tense about things. Have you ever met such an eejit?! Sometimes I look at things I wrote/thought yesterday and wonder what was eating me! I love the way humour can difuse tension and bring sunshine back!
Thank you!! !



Pteranomom
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03 May 2022, 5:07 pm

HiccupHaddock wrote:
Hello,
I'm wondering whether anyone has any advice for me to deal with other people's advice/comments/questions about my son's autism/behaviour?

Hello, Hiccup. I have a feeling we'll be responding to a lot of each other's posts. :)

There will always be people who offer you unsolicited advice. Some of it will be good, some will be awful, some will be downright insulting.

For now, since it sounds like all of this is overwhelming, you might want to come up with some stock lines or phrases to use in different situations, especially for strangers. (You could even write them down ahead of time on index cards and just pull out the relevant card for anyone being particularly rude.)

Family members are tougher because you want to make them stop without being rude. There perhaps it would help to preemptively send them a message that you're feeling stressed right now and not in the mood to discuss your son.

Good luck.



HiccupHaddock
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
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Joined: 11 Mar 2022
Age: 45
Gender: Female
Posts: 67
Location: UK

04 May 2022, 12:46 pm

Thank so much for this, that sounds like a good plan.
You are right it is when I am stressed that I can't cope with comments or advice.
Actually, most days I can cope fine with comments/advice. On some occasions the advice/comments turns out to be useful when I digest it and think it through, and then I am grateful to people who care enough to bother offering me their comments/advice.
It is just some days that I feel overwhelmed/tired/stressed (in particular on certain days of my menstrual cycle, when those pesky female hormones seem to make me feel so irritable and tense), and then feel like any comments/advice will be too painful/upsetting. For some reason, on those days, I often imagine someone making comments/advice, and just the thought upsets me! Those thoughts seem to pop into my head unbidden on those days, and really bring me down. IOn other days (like today), I don't think at all about those things, it's quite strange.. I'm a bit bonkers ; )