Yesterday Michael came home from school and had an all out meltdown, a little more intense than his usual ones lately. It was in part due to the weird rain/sun weather we had, and in part due to some changes in routine that had happened at school. The result of these changes were challenges on his nervous system (and mine), and having to address what his reaction and his body were telling me about what he needed. You learn to think like this as an exceptional parent through lots of trial and error with your child’s behaviors and what is the best way to address them. First, after the initial hitting himself and me, screaming insults and anger came out, I offered him a hug and let him cry. As I mentioned in a previous blog, crying is very good for most of our kids as it is for us. It releases the pent up emotions of frustration, and helps them face the fact of where they are in their anger. Then when he was calm and apologized, I realized that he needed exercise to fully decompress from his day and to feel in balance in his body, the whole proprioceptive thing us exceptional parents know too well about. 🙂
It was too wet from all the rain to go to the park, so I suggested his trampoline and swing in our basement. The more I thought about it though, the more I realized a long walk outside would do us both good. We had snack, and then went for our walk with raincoats, umbrella, as well as Winnie the Pooh and Barney, who came with us too for a little fun! When I saw Barney, I knew we were dealing with heavy duty stress. He only makes appearances at outings where Michael needs that extra little help. When my husband or I are asked if Barney can come, we make sure to go easy on Michael, within reason, of course. The fact that Pooh bear was there made it even more clear that the walk had been a good idea. During the walk, he opened up to me about what was going on at school. Lots it turned out. During the walk I too let out some pent up stresses from my day, and it re-energized me for the evening. I connected easily with Michael, and we shared some laughs, especially when it started raining and we made a run for it so Barney and Pooh could stay dry under my umbrella! I wonder what the cars zooming past us on the busy boulevard thought as they saw the crazy woman, her son with his baseball cap and sandals on (don’t ask) running down the sidewalk with Barney and Winnie the Pooh clutched in their hands!
Michael reminded me yesterday afternoon to not be afraid to try unorthodox things to help him and I navigate stress better. Exceptional Moms, what things or strategies can you use with your Exceptional Children to lessen their stressful moments and yours? I guarantee that it will be the simple things like a walk, curling up with a story, or playing tag or tickling games. Find your child’s release valve so that you both can share your joys again together after the frustrations are finished. This is the rewarding part of our roles as exceptional parents. Seeing them smile, feel better and move forward. Until next time.