Managing Jackson’s frustrations are probably one of the most difficult things. I know that I frustrate the heck out of my wife when she believes that she communicated with me in a clear and concise manner and me being a typical husband has absolutely no idea what she means. Well, I imagine Jackson lives with this constant frustration each and every day.
Jackson knows what he wants to say or express in his head but often he just can’t get his mouth or body to play along. As a result, we find ourselves constantly guessing or trying to pull it out of him. Needless to say, we are constantly guessing wrong which just elevates his frustration levels. I’m sure he thinks we are the stupidest parent ever.
The biggest challenge is trying to also manage our own frustrations with his inability to communicate. Imagine playing charades and never being able to guess what your partner is trying to communicate. While you are frustrated with their bad clues, they are equally frustrated with your inability to guess correctly. This, unfortunately, is a daily experience for us and Jackson.
When Jackson was younger we used the PECKS method, but as he got more verbal, that just frustrated him as well and we ultimately abandoned PECKS. In reality, we simply transitioned from Pictionary to Charades. The primary problem is that I am equally bad in both games. (I am just thankful that my wife is so much better than me). When frustrations elevate to a critical level in the games, the participants choose to end the game. The problem in this game of life is regardless of the intensity of the frustration levels, there is no ending the game. So our jobs as Jackson’s parents are not only to manage our own frustrations but do our best to ease his frustrations all the while continually trying to enhance the ease of our communication.
Husband, father, coffee connoisseur and lover of all things hockey. At 51 I sometimes wonder have I done enough. I have been married to my best friend for 30 years. She knows all my faults and loves me anyway, As a father of “almost always” perfect boys, I am always surprised at what life has to offer. It is messy, scary, thrilling, and always fun.