Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12
  1. #1
    Sweetum is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    2,350

    Default small problem - any ideas?

    So, DS LOVES coloring now, and does a good job with crayons. Problem comes when the crayons break. He is somewhat of a perfectionist and throws a fit when a crayon breaks. Some relatives, and cousins have tried appeasing him by trying to fix it using tape and the fit resumes when the fix is broken which is expected. I have not done it thus far. I have been maintaining all along that crayons break because that's how they are, but it doesn't mean you need to stop coloring, they still work and they still have the same great color. I also tried referencing a Daniel Tiger's neighborhood episode where Daniel's cake gets smushed and is unhappy but his dad convinces him that however his cake looks which understandably makes him sad, it still tastes great. But DS so far is not willing to accept it (moreover, his is not as much in Daniel Tiger's neighborhood so it doesn't seem to have any effect). I am wondering if there is a different way of dealing with it. Any ideas? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Gena's Avatar
    Gena is offline Emerald level (3000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Ohio, USA.
    Posts
    3,477

    Default

    DS would always get upset about broken crayons too. To be honest, it wasn't a battle I chose to fight. I stocked up on crayons when they were cheap during back to school season. I would empty a couple of boxes into a crayon bin and store the others. DS insisted on bringing home all the free crayons from restaurants and events and those went into the bin too. We tried taping broken crayons, and like you found, it's a short term fix. There were so many crayons in the bin that I didn't feel bad about just throwing away broken crayons.

    For us, the lesson became: sometimes things break. Some broken things can be fixed and some cannot. If something breaks and cannot be fixed, you either deal with it being broken or you throw it away.

    DS also gets upset if toys break and cannot be fixed. Several times he has chosen to throw away an irreparable toy after we talked about it. This has always given him a sense of closure and allowed him to move on. I have always respected that, even when I personally disagreed with the need to throw the toy away.

    I'm not saying that this is what you should do, just that this is what worked for us.
    Gena

    DS, age 11 and always amazing

    “Autistics are the ultimate square pegs, and the problem with pounding a square peg into a round hole is not that the hammering is hard work. It's that you're destroying the peg." - Paul Collins, Not Even Wrong

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    8,484

    Default

    How old is your DS? If he's little, I'd just let this one slide. I'd let him have a fresh crayon, but then I would make a beautiful picture myself using only the broken ones. I think, too, that they make twist up crayons that are sort of like mechanical pencils. I've never used them, but that might help both with the breaking issue and with the knowledge that the crayon is the same all through.

    If he's older, a good (but time consuming) project is to save broken crayon pieces, melt them down, and reform them into different shapes and sizes. He can see himself that the shape and size doesn't matter, and he can have some fun testing the strength and coloring abilities of each different shape. We used to do this as kids, but I don't know if you can do it any more with the new, washable kind of crayons.

  4. #4
    Melaine is offline Blue Diamond level (20,000+ posts)
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    20,389

    Default

    The twistable crayons are amazing! (melted crayons is a great idea....it doesn't work well with washable ones though).
    The Fall Style Challenge is here! Come on over and create a capsule wardrobe you LOVE with the help of a personal stylist.

    Blogging about Minimalism & More at ChasingSantee.com

  5. #5
    o_mom is online now Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Central IN
    Posts
    14,800

    Default

    I was going to say Twistables as well! As long as you don't twist too much of it out at once, they are unlikely to break.
    Mama to three boys ('03, '05, '07)

  6. #6
    Sweetum is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    2,350

    Default

    Thank you for the ideas, all. I'll let it slide. I guess I am worried that when it happens outside, elsewhere, esp when I am not around, he might behave unpredictably. I do have the twistables, so I'll try switching out all the regular ones and see if that helps. I think once he stops focusing on it, he won't go back there. I hope.
    I have tried giving him a new one when a crayon breaks ("I can't fix this, you can cntinue to use it or this new one"), but his fit includes wanting the same one, not a new one, and then he starts throwing the new ones and it just escalates into breaking other "house rules".
    I suggested melting them, but he hasn't understood (he's 4.5yo) so, I should probably do it and then see if he likes it.

    ETA: I do want the lesson to be what Gena said - they break and you accept it. Ill have to try suggest throwing it. Hopefully the teahers won't be mad at him for doing that. I am now thinking I'll probably make a "give away" bin and ask him to drop the broken ones in there and then offer a new one and see if it helps him.
    Last edited by Sweetum; 08-20-2013 at 12:22 PM.

  7. #7
    o_mom is online now Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Central IN
    Posts
    14,800

    Default

    My $0.02.... I think this is an issue that you need to decide if it is worth the effort *at this time* to work through. Yes, it would be ideal if he could work through the upset of a broken crayon and come to accept that it is broken and move on. That will likely take time, work and some upsets, etc. It's not to say that it is not something to push right now, but I also think that an equally valid choice is to avoid the situation as much as possible by giving him crayons that won't break. It may be, as you said, that if he is away from it for awhile, he may move on. It could be that in 6 months he makes that leap with or without working on it. If he doesn't, at some point you may have to come back to it, but it may be a better time for both of you then. I would also try to weigh how much he is progressing and getting out of coloring and drawing and if you think that pushing him to accept broken crayons (either to use or by replacing) is going to change that. There's no right answer, just go with what you feel is best, be it pushing through right now or waiting to see.

    If you do want to work through it, then maybe talk with any therapists you have about the best approach. What works with him? Social stories? Pictures? Modelling? Then adapt that to this situation.
    Mama to three boys ('03, '05, '07)

  8. #8
    Sweetum is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    2,350

    Default

    Thanks, o_mom. I think you are right, I need to decide to fight or not at this time and stick with it. In between will bring inconsistencies and will make it a power struggle. I decided a while ago that I am not fighting the food battle and am find making him whatever he eats in whatever way he wants. I am not ready to deal with it now and he is doing fine, just picky. I have been sort of working on the crayon thing, but I think I jumped the gun too quickly in saying "accept it". DS has a lot of rigidities and I am constantly trying to fend off forming new ones, and I am just afraid he will make this one and will have a fit in preschool or something where the teacher will just say "sorry, can't be fixed" and he will be left to let it out in whatever way.
    Drawing and coloring is something that he has recently acquired as a skill and is very proud and very happy to do. So, I don't want to take away the activity. I'll switch over to twistables keeping some regular ones that I can easily replace and have a separate box for broken ones to "give away" or melt.
    Last edited by Sweetum; 08-20-2013 at 11:09 PM.

  9. #9
    wellyes's Avatar
    wellyes is offline Blue Diamond level (20,000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    20,133

    Default

    Most crayons suck. The Melissa and Doug triangular ones are really strong and don't break. Keep a baggies of those in your purse, is my advice.
    DD - 8
    DS - 5

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    660

    Default

    Had a thought about this - could you get an extra box, and tell DS that it's for holding broken crayons? So when one breaks you say oh, that one goes into the broken crayon box now.

    When I read your post it occurred to me that it might bother him that the broken crayon is not like the others, so maybe it would help to segregate them from the unbroken ones. (and maybe when you've accumulated enough broken ones you can try the melting thing).

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •