The Vicious Cycle

Oh the joys of sibling rivalry. Jack looks up to his big brother Zach. Jack will play with anything that Zach has or Zach wants. It amazes me that all age appropriate toys are no longer relevant. How do you keep your child young and enjoying their age? Or is this just a fact of life?

I guess you can say that Jack kinda sorta idolizes Zach. However with Zach's autism and possibly his personality too, Zach is a loner. Where as, Jack and Maddie and even Gabe want to play and play and play together or at least in the same room, Zach can play and be completely oblivious to what his siblings are doing. Maddie will ask Zach a question and Zach won't even notice. The joys of autism, your child is in his own world.

The difficulty is that Zach doesn't enjoy or even appreciate his little brother. Zach just sees Jack as an annoyance. He sees him as an annoying fly buzzing around him, something that he would just love to go away.

Jack sees it as rejection and comes away just heartbroken. Why won't his big brother play with him? Why can't he just play with him? He just wants to play with the same toys. Jack walks away rejected and hurt.

Then Jack turns to Maddie or even Gabe. At times they play amazingly well. They are just angels but at times, Jack becomes that annoying buzz in his sister's and brother's ears. The last person they all want to play with is the annoying one, adding to the rejection. But Jack will continue to bug and bug and bug. I truly do not know why he does this...is it boredom or being over tired or being hungry or just out of pure enjoyment of bugging.

Sadly when Jack is in one of his moods, I don't necessarily want to be around him either. Sometimes, I am rushing around getting ready for work or just trying to get them out the door so I don't have the extra moments to just play a game. Maybe I should throw the schedule out the window but then we wouldn't be on time for anything. That would just add to my stress. Maybe it shouldn't be a stressor but I just like to be on time.

So at the end of the day, Jack is in need. The other three kids seem to have fuller love tanks but I'm not sure if Jack's love tank is bigger or if Jack is more needy or if he just truly feels rejected. This makes me incredibly sad. It doesn't seem possible with every effort to make him feel content. He is constantly saying 'love you'. It is like he is questioning if he is loved or if he did something so bad that we don't love him anymore. What do you do to make this child feel more secure?