We’re going through a couple of rough patches with both kids. They’re both having a tough time adjusting to their new grade levels. Our daughter’s behavioral outbursts are escalating. She’s spent a lot of time with substitutes and we just learned that today her teacher will be switched due to another teacher’s very untimely transfer to a different school. Autism, ADD and constant change is now equaling nervous moms every morning when we wave to her on the bus.
Our son is experiencing more anxiety than I’m comfortable with about school, and it’s not about his ability to learn. He’s an award-winning rule follower (when not at home). He’s a dynamite kid but the pressure he puts on himself to have flawless behavior in school is intense.
Put these two together and this means more phone calls from the school than I ever wanted in their entire elementary education, a care conference promotion to an early PPT and more bedtime pep-talks than I know how to manage creatively.
Then there was the strep throat: antibiotics x 4 please.
I don’t have a lot of tips or pointers, except perhaps these:
- I’m laughing my ass off more than appropriate (releases the same stuff as tears I’m told),
- I’m building in as much fun and play as I can for them (they need to let it all out somewhere)
- I’m breathing, often, deeply
- My spouse and I are trying to let things ride. Some things aren’t clean and we’re trying hard not to care.
There’s one other thing that I’m noticing and reminding myself of. When the rough patches hit, anxieties for all of us run high. When anxious, there’s a natural tendency to try to pull in the reins wherever you can exert some control. In our house, it’s a few more food battles, bath time squabbles, sharing fights and a reemergence of the “gimmies.” If the adults are anxious too, and we are, we want control as much as they do. It’s good to remind ourselves that the anxiety is a feeling we don’t need to cater too, and trying to bear down helps no one.
It seems that in our short years parenting these two, we’ve learned a couple of things. They truly do always make it through their challenges, and are always more impressive human beings when they do. I have to remind myself to trust them. Then I have to remind myself to breathe again.