What We Have Here is a Failure to Communicate

It’s hard when you’re trying to discipline your child by telling her that she’s lost TV privilages for the rest of the night and she helpfully suggests you should take away her dinner too.


Trying to figure out a way to discipline a special needs kid who is completely oblivious to the fact they’re being disciplined?  Well, lets just say it’s an exercise in futility.   No matter what you say or do, there’s only one loser in the situation and it’s ALWAYS the parent.

It’s hard not to get even more frustrated trying to get them to understand they’ve done something wrong, when it’s obvious they have a complete lack of understanding around the entire situation.

Sometimes it makes me wonder if my kid will grow up to be a complete sociopath.  How can you have remorse when you don’t get that you’ve done anything wrong?

All this came up today after she purposely broke another one of her toys.  Why?  Because she didn’t want it anymore.

This is a common occurrence and it frustrates us to no end.  We’ve tried to explain to her that if she doesn’t want to play with a toy, that she can bring it to us and we can give it to another little boy or girl who doesn’t have toys.  But that hasn’t yet sunk in.  We’ve tried making her throw the toy out after she’s broken it, but she’ll happily do it.  She just isn’t that attached to anything.

And midway through the discussion on why she broke her toy, she burst into hysterics because she wanted her old white bed back. Yeah.  Six months after we redecorated her room and moved her into a big-girl bed and we’re still experiencing fallout from it.

Oy.  There are days when being a special needs parent is, well…special.


If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.

7 Responses to What We Have Here is a Failure to Communicate

  • Bil Simser says:

    Like I said, I really wish they had public training sessions for hostage negotiations for parents at the local police station. I think that would really help.

  • Michelle says:

    If it was my kid, I would have had her throw away that toy, and give away another one. Actually, I’d be more likely to not do anything, but next time mine wanted one I would say “no”, or buy it and break it myself. Just to get it over with. But again, I’m mean. And a little spiteful sometimes. But different kids means parenting differently. And honestly, if she’s not going to get it. Then probably the only attitude you can change is you.

    Exceptionally frustrating.

  • Melissa says:

    You could just threaten to bring ALL the toys here to G…

  • sharon says:

    This may sound silly. Does she still really love the cat? Can you tell her it makes the cat sad? Can you put a sad cat face on the fridge when the cat is sad to help remind her? Good luck with it all.

  • Leslie says:

    Hi Jenn, I don’t have a special needs kid, so I don’t really know the rules, but I wonder if maybe you might try making it OK for her to break the toy. Meaning, maybe there is a reason why she wants to take it apart? Does she want to see how it’s put together or something? Are there cheap 2nd hand toys you can get for her and let her break them? To fulfill that need? My son breaks toys too, but because he is too rough with them, and it makes me bananas, so I understand the feelings you have. We do a lot of gluing around here because he doesn’t like it when they break. Another idea is perhaps trying to guide that energy towards “productive” destruction, like tearing paper for a collage art project, or breaking tiles to do a mosaic? Again, I’m no expert, just trying to brainstorm ways that you can work with her tendencies. What about lego? The whole point of it is to take it apart when it’s finished.

    PrincessJenn Reply:


    A very interesting thought. I had never considered that. Probably not unlikely, in some of the cases, since I was a great one for taking toys apart to see how they worked as a kid. Maybe we need to get her a little tool set or something… Thank you for mentioning that.

    She’s just starting to get into Lego’s this year, so we’ve picked up a few sets for her Christmas gifts. But oddly enough she freaks out if they have to be taken apart to be put away. Weird child.

  • oooof. your frustration is palpable. *hugs* and love.

    (and that picture of her below is GORGEOUS)

Find Me


I’m Connected