Tales With a Non-BCBA Spouse
Dad: “What letter is this?”
Dad: “No, it’s an ‘M’. What letter is this?”
Chick: “I don’t know! What?”
Dad: “Hey, you need to pay attention.”
This continues for 5 minutes. I couldn’t take it. The TV was blaring, my kid was twirling in circles, my husband was inadvertently allowing numerous errors. I was done.
“Ok, stop. Pick two letters. No more. That’s not how you teach that.”
Then he said it. The thing you never want to hear as a devoted clinician and mother from your significant other.
“At least I’m trying to teach our son. You care more about your therapy kids learning than you do our kid!”
Tempers flared. In a state of hurt ego and just plain hurt, I grabbed my “Ready for Pre-K” learning kit, grabbed my kids and had a mini-therapy session teaching receptive and expressive ID of letters.
The semi-guilt that comes along with being a working mom is enough. When you are clinician (or any kind of professional) that works with kids, you always have a little voice in your head that tells you to give the same energy you give you to work kiddos to your biological kiddos.
The problem here was two-fold:
1) It killed me to say it but he was right. My kids need my help too. It’s not enough to just focus on decreasing their problem behaviors, but also to help them learn acquisition skills with the same amount of energy.
2) Communication is key and I failed in that moment. Whether it’s your husband, your wife, your friend, a teacher, a new staff person, you have to communicate how to make a situation better in way that is effective. My timing sucked. I criticized when I should’ve supported. I would never do that at work so why would I do that do that here at home with my partner in life?
At the end of the night, we both communicated on how we will be better at helping our kids learn. In the end, that’s what it’s all about.
So what say you? Ever had a not so great moment with you significant other? Let’s hear it!