I’m going to start out by saying that I am so proud and grateful to my readers. The stories and advice that you’ve shared with me here, is much appreciated. I’ve had a few readers chime in about yesterday’s post on facebook, and their thoughts about the show “Parenthood,” so I thought I’d share them with you today. They talk about the subject of children, melt downs, and how t.v. affects us the way it does, but mostly it has to do with good writers and good actors . I’ve decided to share some of what they’ve had to say, but at the same time, I’m keeping their children’s anonymity on the down low. Thank you for respecting that.
Sarah: It’s hard to see depictions of things like this on tv shows, especially when it’s portrayed wrong or to the extreme (ugh, greys anatomy got everything about cf painfully wrong) just know that like ‘typical’ kids, he’s going to have his good days and his bad. Teaching him coping skills is probably the most important thing- that’s what E has been working on in therapy to deal with high anxiety.
Angela: truthfully most 4 year old boys do exactly as you posted. I know as verbal as P can be did and frankly often still does some of these things when he gets mad. Emotional regulation is REALLY hard and I think harder for boys at this age. Think of 3-5 year boys as the emotional equivalent of 13 year old girls. At least that is my experience. I am sure that some may get offended at that but it’s my observation. The reality is that your son is so empathetic and you are so good at concrete behaviorism that I don’t see that for you. I have many adolescent clients who struggle with the same challenges you face and they are intelligent, in control, enjoyable kids who just see things differently. I have faith in your family.
Debra: I used to watch that show, but don’t anymore. Scenes like that would send my head spinning, though. I’d wonder if that’s what our future is. You can’t help it when you see something familiar and wonder how far your reality might be from this stupid TV show… or article… or book… or whatever it is. I feel you. There’s a show called “Derek” on Netflix that I like. The main character is most likely an (undiagnosed) older man on the spectrum (played by Ricky Gervais.) It’s a great story, but I look at it sometimes with tears in my eyes because I can see my son in that character. I haven’t seen too many episodes of the show, but I will say that “Derek” is a gentle soul. I’d… maybe I’m living in my naïve fantasy land, but I don’t mind imagining my son growing up like him.
Mark: Keep in mind that TV pretty much never gets these things right. Good TV often comes close, maybe even close enough to make you wonder if they got it right. But think of the last time something you know really well ended up on a TV show you like. How often comes close enough to make you wonder if they got it right. But think of the last time something you really know well ended up on a t.v. show you like. How often does a t.v. show get something even as universal as an elementary school or a high school right? Do t.v. shows ever get what it means to be a teacher quite right? Sometimes they get the emotions, or emotional impact right, but the mechanics are never quite there.
Jason and I continued our conversation this morning about that single moment on the show that sent our head spinning, and we came to the consensus. We’re letting it go and chalking it up to part reality, part “just for ratings,” and part “oh what the hell, let’s add some more drama, to an already, over dramatic, t.v., family drama show.”
Thank you to my readers again for sharing your opinions here. I love it and I hope we can continue to do this in the future.