We are in the final few days of a very difficult transition time for kids: the end of school. Michael is no different. Exceptional Kids only handle the transition into the unknown with a little more of a twist than their neuro typical peers. Some of the ways Michael is handling it is very impressive. He has expressed his fears and anxieties to me by telling me that he is happy school is ending, but will miss his friends. He also has asked if he could set up the next week’s schedule on our dry erase board, a wonderful tool I was told about last year by our Psycho Educator to help Michael handle the changes that come with summer. The fact that he brought it up to me, was a huge milestone. I’m very proud of how he is starting to handle his anxieties. So yesterday afternoon, away we went on the dry erase board structuring his first week of summer vacation which starts on Thursday, June 23rd.
Of course there have been some pitfalls along the way. He has started more intense negotiations for things we have said no to, swearing has increased, and he has been a little more short tempered or emotional. This is all normal for all exceptional children, and as parents, we need to give them time to settle into a new routine. Monday was a prime example of Michael acting out. After school I had taken Michael to a splash park. It’s a small one and I warned him he may be bored, but he insisted he wanted to go there. Well, guess what. He was bored with me and complained that he was not having a good time. Then he started to cry looking at all the other kids playing while he was alone. They were babies and toddlers with their siblings. I explained again about it being for a younger age group, but then realized he needed to let the emotions out by crying. He later told me he was crying because he did not try to enjoy himself when he was there and make the best of it. I was impressed again how he is picking up on these things. I shared with him a time recently when I did something similar, and had regrets. Live and learn.
Exceptional Parents, what tools do you use with your Exceptional Children to ease the transition from end of school to summer? Do you let your children pick the tools or is it easier for them when you do the picking? Again, like with every thing else, it is important to find what works for your child/dren, but I would say a balance of them having choice and you suggesting things is probably the best balance between the two. Remember, as a parent you need to give them more space and be more tolerant of challenging behaviors at this time of year, and they need to vent and also learn how to self-regulate too. If the two of you meet halfway, you are doing amazing. Until next time.