Yesterday we all went back to our normal routines of school and work. That felt good for me, Michael and his Dad, but we did have many good moments on Tuesday after Michael’s appointment was finished. Michael and Dad went to play Frisbee in the park after we had a family lunch of pizza, while I went grocery shopping, and then later in the day when Dad was cooking dinner, Michael and I went for a long walk together. It was just what we both needed after the busy day. As usual, we talked about things that were currently bothering Michael, like getting a line at school for not listening (his second of the year only as he listens VERY well at school), questions about upcoming activities on the weekend, his first drop off, pick up party where Mom and Dad won’t be staying (more on that tomorrow) :), and about the upcoming PED DAYS and who he will be seeing. We also had moments of quiet when we just walked together holding hands. It was peaceful and I could feel the tension melting off of Michael and I. With the nicer weather coming, I can’t wait to have more moments like those!
Michael has also started trying to use his strategies to calm down more often and will openly talk about his feelings of anxiety, recognizing where they are originating and what to do about them. He also immediately recognizes when he is wrong, such as apologizing right away genuinely with an apology for insulting one of us or slapping us. And I could see the shock on his face. Oh no, I did it again. He’s getting there in seeing that he has control over his feelings and he has to pause a moment before responding when he is frustrated. I found a great pictogram from Pinterest which I put up on the fridge which shows that anger is ok, but how NOT to handle your feelings. Do not hit people, things or yourself. Simple and to the point. I have seen him looking at it curiously and I remind him it is there, as well as where his calm box toys are, his calm corners and his places to decompress. Today too he said, “if you send me to my room, you are not punishing me. I can go there to calm down and do my strategies.” It’s so wonderful to see him getting it, that all the hard work he is doing with the school psychologist and what he did with the Psycho Educator is helping. He is grasping it.
Exceptional Parents, what helps you and your child tune out stress and tune into each other? What strategies work to help you both regroup? Sensory Massage is another strategy that I have used with Michael as well as Qigong Massage. I believe his growing affection and cuddling again with me is because with these massages and his own tools, his nervous system is learning to relax. You have to trust that your child knows how to relax too and find their balance. They just need to know they have you in their corner. Until next time.