Sensory Overload and Present Focusing

 

The other afternoon I was not paying attention as a Mom. It happens. I did not read Michael’s signals. He was tired. He asked to go downstairs on his swing before we looked at his catechism homework. Normally he understands he does work first then play after snack. I offered him to do the catechism on another day. It was his last few chapters anyway until he is finished the program for this year. He insisted. And then the problem began. Michael had problems with one of the questions. I tried to be patient and help him, but he wouldn’t have it, yet was becoming increasingly frustrated as he did not understand. It was then that I saw we were headed for a fight, but I misunderstood that it was bigger than that. He started repeating himself, his face flushed, his voice rose and though I tried in the early stages to remind him of his strategies to calm down, be blew. It was sensory overload and it took him (and me) a long time to come down from it. I regretted not seeing sooner where he was headed and stopping it, but sometimes it can’t be helped.

As I do now, though thankfully it does not happen as much anymore, I remind myself to learn from my mistakes and teach Michael to do the same. After he had recovered, we talked about using better strategies at the beginning to recognize anger and fear. I also took some of the blame for being concerned with other future events, like the long weekend and not focusing on the here and now. I did A LOT of work that day. I even squeezed in a longer workout where I pushed just a little too much. I am paying for that now with a pulled muscle in my back. I have had to slow down due to this, and it is my reminder to focus on the now, and be more aware of everything happening, Michael’s mood, my body, so that there can be balance.

Exceptional Parents, are you feeling balanced or is that something you are striving towards? It is important to be aware of what is off so that you can adjust and show your child how to do that too. We all have days when our minds are not where we want them to be. Don’t despair, but learn from it and teach your child the lesson in the mistake. Then you will both be happier and stronger for it. Until next time.

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