Jun 27, 2006


Note: This post is a general rambling mix of loosely related thoughts.

I read once that when an Aspie is upset he/she needs a time of quiet so that the emotions of the moment can calm down. It is a disturbing thing to feel my emotions start to wind out of control. It happens rarely. I think that my children consider me tough but fair. I’ll have to double check that.

Once my son looked at a buddy of his and said, “My dad was serious. Don’t push it.” Once I think one of my kids said, “Don’t mess with dad.” Part of that is due to my Aspie mind working not in shades of desires, preferences or wishes, but in rules and facts. Make no mistake I experience emotions, but when I give a direction to one of my children, a staff member or a student, the request or direction is accompanied (at least in my mind) by a set of parameters or standards.

For example, the staff member standard is different from the child standard. I expect a free exchange of ideas from my direct reports. I want them to disagree and even challenge my directions if they don’t believe I am operating in the best interests of the company.

However, when I give a direction to one of my children, the rules set in my head allows for:
*Clarifying question (one of two)
*Limited respectful discussion

So, in that case my reaction to my children or a staff member are based on if certain standards have or have not been met. If a staff member does not express their opinion, I will solicit it and encourage them to become individually engaged. However, I don’t tolerate the same level of engagement from my children, because of a sense of a need for respecting authority.

In some ways it works like math or a computer program.

The up side is that I tend to be a principled man. I decide and act on principals that are clear (at least to me). However that can end up leaving an impression that I’m cold.

My daughter got a sliver in her foot while walking bare foot. My response to her was, I’ve told you numerous times to wear something on your feet here. You’ll want to do so next time.

My factual statement didn’t help, and she promptly went to her mother to be comforted. Being comforted did not remove the sliver from her foot nor prevent her from future slivers. However, I came to understand a basic principal. Injured children first want comfort, then ministration to their injury, and they don’t want a lecture.

I can implement that standard and operate accordingly. I don’t know if I’ll ever have an emotional understanding of it.

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