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Autism - Support Across the Spectrum Autism - Support Across the Spectrum

Help meeting new family!

Posted by on Jan. 20, 2014 at 6:13 PM
  • 11 Replies
Ds is 6. His dad is from England and that where grandma and grandpa have lived all his life. They have never met him. Ds has seen pictures and knows their faces as "grandmum and granddad" versus my parents "grandma and grandpa".

MIL and FIL just announced they are visiting in April for 2 weeks. They bought tickets and secured vacation time. It's happening. They aren't exactly young and this was a hard trip to make happen with their declining health so to maximize their time with us and the kids they are staying in our 2bd apartment. (Haven't figured that part out yet).

I want so badly for him to bond with them. How can I help get him past the wary stage as fast as possible? It would be a nightmare for him to keep arms length most of their trip.

Any one have any advice to offer on this? Ds is Hf/Mf with a speech/communication delay.
by on Jan. 20, 2014 at 6:13 PM
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Replies (1-10):
darbyakeep45
by Darby on Jan. 20, 2014 at 6:35 PM

Hugs mama...I'm excited for you guys!  I would just let him go up to them as he wants.  Let him get comfortable and go from there.  Allow him as much time as possible with them but try not to pressure him.  Good luck!

SamMom912
by Gold Member on Jan. 20, 2014 at 6:58 PM
2 moms liked this

Can you skype or face time? Can they send notes back n forth (email) to find cmmon ground? Bond over places he wants to take them ( good pizza, fav park) 

jennymoon4
by Bronze Member on Jan. 20, 2014 at 7:00 PM
I worry about this with my dd sometimes. Our family only sees her maybe once a year, so not really the same as your situation by any means because she has seen them. However, she has such a quick comfort level with them compared to other visitors we have. Maybe it's because the rest of us are so comfortable with them & she reads that? Or maybe because they have so many mannerisms like my husband or me? Anyway, she does well.

Can you Skype with them some to get your son used to being more interactive with them?
wildchild.com
by Janine on Jan. 20, 2014 at 8:02 PM
I think this is a great idea :-)
Quoting SamMom912:

Can you skype or face time? Can they send notes back n forth (email) to find cmmon ground? Bond over places he wants to take them ( good pizza, fav park) 

jowen905
by Jan on Jan. 20, 2014 at 9:11 PM

 I agree with the other moms - and, you've probably thought of this, but make sure your MIL and FIL know the best way to behave towards him when they first meet - whatever way you think will work best for your son.    If he hates hugs, then they shouldn't grab him for a big hug, that kind of thing.  Maybe they could bring him a little gift that you know he'd love (a hot wheel or whatever). Can they telephone him, just so he can hear their voices?  Maybe have him help you pick out a little gift for each of them when they come, to get him excited and looking forward to their visit and giving them a present.  Best of luck, I hope you can all have a great visit!

MissTacoBell
by Bronze Member on Jan. 20, 2014 at 9:53 PM
He has heard their voices, and he will say hi on the phone but that's about all.

I guess my biggest fear is dealing with the disappointment in them. I don't mean like being sad, more like I don't know what their expectations of him are. Unless you've lived it you have no clue kwim? I want to prepare them for what he can and cannot do so they don't shy away. I don't know if that makes sense. You know that post-dx grieving period a lot of us get? I don't want them to have that. If they expect a normal 6 year old they are going to be let down. How do I explain best what they should expect so they don't feel that let down?

Quoting jowen905:

 I agree with the other moms - and, you've probably thought of this, but make sure your MIL and FIL know the best way to behave towards him when they first meet - whatever way you think will work best for your son.    If he hates hugs, then they shouldn't grab him for a big hug, that kind of thing.  Maybe they could bring him a little gift that you know he'd love (a hot wheel or whatever). Can they telephone him, just so he can hear their voices?  Maybe have him help you pick out a little gift for each of them when they come, to get him excited and looking forward to their visit and giving them a present.  Best of luck, I hope you can all have a great visit!

TheJerseyGirl
by Michele on Jan. 20, 2014 at 9:58 PM

 
Can you do any sort of video chat online or Face time?  That would be so helpful!

jowen905
by Jan on Jan. 20, 2014 at 10:23 PM

 I think I know what you mean - you just need to have a very honest conversation with them about what to expect.  If he has certain "quirks", explain those to them.  If he tends to pull away and shy away then they need to know that that's how he may react to them, and that it is absolutely nothing personal.  (We just had a family dinner and my aunt, who knows that my son has HFAD had her feelings hurt because he wouldn't kiss her!  I pulled her to the side and explained that he doesn't let ME kiss him - he's never liked kisses, that's just him.)  If he needs time to himself, they should know that he will probably do that while they're visiting and that it's okay.  If he has meltdowns, explain what he'll probably do, how you normally handle it and that it's just a part of who he is.  And let them know the great things that he does, how he makes you proud and what his strengths are.  Maybe you can suggest that they do some research on-line or maybe there's a book you can recommend that you really related to and they can find it at the library.  I think as much information that you can share with them the better.  Hugs!

Quoting MissTacoBell: He has heard their voices, and he will say hi on the phone but that's about all.

I guess my biggest fear is dealing with the disappointment in them. I don't mean like being sad, more like I don't know what their expectations of him are. Unless you've lived it you have no clue kwim? I want to prepare them for what he can and cannot do so they don't shy away. I don't know if that makes sense. You know that post-dx grieving period a lot of us get? I don't want them to have that. If they expect a normal 6 year old they are going to be let down. How do I explain best what they should expect so they don't feel that let down?

Quoting jowen905:

 I agree with the other moms - and, you've probably thought of this, but make sure your MIL and FIL know the best way to behave towards him when they first meet - whatever way you think will work best for your son.    If he hates hugs, then they shouldn't grab him for a big hug, that kind of thing.  Maybe they could bring him a little gift that you know he'd love (a hot wheel or whatever). Can they telephone him, just so he can hear their voices?  Maybe have him help you pick out a little gift for each of them when they come, to get him excited and looking forward to their visit and giving them a present.  Best of luck, I hope you can all have a great visit!

 

mypbandj
by Jen on Jan. 20, 2014 at 10:50 PM
This was going to be my suggestion. Skype or FaceTime. So he can see and hear them.

Quoting SamMom912:

Can you skype or face time? Can they send notes back n forth (email) to find cmmon ground? Bond over places he wants to take them ( good pizza, fav park) 

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johnns
by Johnna on Jan. 21, 2014 at 1:01 PM
Oh, I don't know, my little one loves old people and loves having company. Usually older people have a way with children. You might not have a problem. But with our kiddos you always have to expect the unexpected. You never know how our kids are going to roll. Good luck & hope you all get to enjoy your visit!
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