Too Late! Opportunity Gone!

Regret, But Still an Opportunity to Learn

Recently, John had a chance to say hello to Jack, one of his friends.

But he was too scared (may I say “sensory averse”?) to walk over.

So Jack and his family left before John could get to their table.

John trailed after them toward the restaurant front entrance.

But never connected face-to-face.

So, trying from 30 feet away.

Too far.

We made it a teachable moment.

I became Jack, and we role-played at an outside table.

We laughed a lot, and had a good time practicing.

So, whenever a missed opportunity presents itself,

he has even more prior knowledge on what to do faster.

We re-defined what “missed” means.

Try again.

We are forever trying again.  Rehearsing for the next time, to get it right.

Maybe this can help in your world.

Peace be with us,


Our Kids Can Do Business Stuff

Practice Ordering Pizza, Paying Bills, Checking In & More

John got to help me order pizza.

We wrote the sentences he would say, and we practiced.

The word “medium” was difficult.  By the next day, John had mastered the word.

But for the phone call, we eventually went with “middle size”.

The lady taking the phone order was very kind.

I told her we were working on a social project.

John got a C+ and we will do better next time.

John also gets practice with business transactions by checking himself in for therapy.

And handling the credit card work at checkout:  Both at therapy and at restaurants.

And, he volunteered to run a letter to the mailbox.

Grinning all the way there and back.

So, think of little ways you can delegate to your children, including buying gas for the car.

We parents do too much on automatic pilot.

I hope this helps at your house.

Peace be with us,


Mom, Don’t Let the Doorknob Hit You on the Way Out

Back of My Head

So, a big day of independence practice:  first time to a new, noisy, chaotic church camp.

Day 2, four hours of activity.

John had missed Day 1.

So everyone pretty much knew what to do but him.

John is quite blessed that many of the kids know him, and some helped him find a group to join.

Love those kids.

At this first drop-off, John did not look back.

Same for the next day.

Nothing for Mom but the back of his head.

The greatest thing I could have dreamed of.

The loving goodbye wasn’t going to happen anyway, and I was OK with that loss.

Things much bigger were at stake.





So, we continue to stretch for everything coming at our kids.

We do all we can for intrinsic motivation.

Then shut up, drop back, and pray it all kicks in.

May we have many times to love the backs of their heads.

Peace be with us,


One of You is Going Outside

Or Maybe Both

Growing up in a family of five kids on our farm in Illinois,

I remember many times my parents would say:

“If you are going to wrassel, go do it outside”, and then throw us out of the house.

Circle of Life interventions, I think.

Sometimes John is too rough with Spike, our beagle.

I have sometimes put Spike outside, when it really isn’t his fault at all.

Or sometimes John has earned a time out in the bathroom.

Anyway, I got a new idea this last time when John made a poor decision to rough-house with Spike a bit too much.

I put John outside.

In the dark.

Out the back door.

And I told him he could come back inside when he was ready to make a good choice.

We have been working on vocabulary and nuance with John a long time on how to “make a good choice”.

I have modeled (demonstrated) and described (words) what a good choice could be, in a variety of circumstances.

I am trying to build a broad range of understanding (we call it “far transfer”).

Not just a list of specifics, but a deep and wide application of understanding.

Anyway, back to the little boy on the other side of the back door.

(Please keep in mind we have been working for years on his being a boomerang, with an ever-lengthening tether.

And there are many benefits of being outside:

playground (glorified swing set) in the backyard, lots of mid-line crossover and gross motor activities.)

Anyway, it took just two trips outside to make a dent.

Several days ago.

And, of course, he tested the boundary again.

I only had to offer that consequence, and John made a good choice immediately.

So, effective learning with some long-term memory involved.

(We have been working on the backward-chaining of this intervention for a long time.)

I wish I could tell you one day and done.

However, the next day, again John was too loud and not willing to sit down and work on his list.

Seeing if Mom will love him enough to hold the boundary.

John and the dog earned “out the door and come back when you can make a good choice”.

We tried variations of unlocked and locked back door.

John even made a run around the house, and knocked on the front door.

So, creative problem solving and practicing executive function, right?

So maybe this can help in your house, and be sure to hold those boundaries!

Peace be with us,