Have Yourself a Merry Little “Meltdown”!!

Hello everyone!

It’s been tough here, I won’t lie. We have more meltdowns and “bad” days than “good” anymore. I’m certain the Holiday Stress takes it’s toll on ALL of us, not just the adults that are hustling & bustling about making certain all is taken care of for Christmas. I truly believe our children actually FEED off of our own stressors and whatever environment we “provide” for them.

We ALL want a picture perfect Christmas Season, right? You know, something that looks like this:

christmas-tree1

We ALL wish for that! We ALL work so hard to make our own homes, lives and families have the BEST for Christmas….and I’m not talking the BEST presents either…..I’m talking about the BEST Christmas experience so that when our children grow up, they have fond memories of enjoying this amazing season!!

My own “Past Christmas” memories are so wonderful!! We NEVER had a lot of money growing up, heck, we hardly had ANY money growing up!! But my mom (single mom with 4 kiddos after my dad left her penniless..literally….when I was only 13 yrs old & there were 3 others younger than myself) was amazing!! She was so wonderful at letting us kiddos see the TRUE meaning of Christmas. Our Christmas’ were riddled with tradition!! I, still to this day, keep some of those traditions alive in my own family!! We never went hungry, but had little money to just be frivilous with it, as a matter of fact, the FIRST time I ate out in a restaurant was on my First Date when I was 16!! Mom knew what was important and stuck to her guns! I so look up to my mom and when it comes to raising children, I look at how she raised us to the BEST of her abilities!! I even remember one particularly financially hard Christmas for my mom and all of us kiddos only got ONE Christmas present!! ONE!!! And we all got the exact same present…a bottle of hairspray each. And you know what, it didn’t matter to ANY of us that it was ALL we got. Not one of us was resentful or upset, we were telling mom that she didn’t have to…and with tears in HER eyes, said she wanted to do “something” for us! We were all teenagers at the time as well. What teenager in this day and age isn’t begging for a cell phone, iPad, Wii, etc? Times have changed, haven’t they? Or maybe it is US that has changed?! Now that WE are the parents…we need to get BACK to what is important, don’t we?!

Well, little MM is having a rough go of things. With his SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder), there is an incredible amount of EXTRAS going on around him at this, what WE call the “Most magical time of year!” We go to the grocery, & there are SO MANY extra ppl rushing about, SO MANY more lights, SO MANY more toys around every corner to get US to spend more money, SO MANY more poor attitudes as ppl FEEL rushed about, & I could go on and on and on. ALL of this seems somewhat “Normal” to us, right? We have grown accustomed to seeing this year after year. But I forget sometimes that my son, who is sensitive to those types of things, gets more “frantic” and “meltdowns” MUCH more quickly in those situations!! I MUST MUST MUST think of him first and foremost! Not the tree, not the decorations, not the last minute grocery shopping, and certainly NOT making this Christmas “perfect”!! It’s almost as if my son is asking ME……”Do you see what is really going on inside my head?” without saying a word….I NEED to be aware and sensitive to HIS needs!!

Do you REALLY see what is going on INSIDE my head

Let me be honest here. His behaviors have been SO OFF that dh even considered having Santa NOT come this year!! Yes, he’d get some things from us, but not Santa. I slept on it and prayed about it, because as tempting as it sounds to try to “help” him understand that his behaviors really ARE so off, taking away Christmas & Santa will NEVER EVER help him in any way, shape or form, I believe. This is NOT the way to reach our son…not at all. We are learning as we go. Needing to try “new and different” things as the old techniques aren’t working right now. They haven’t since he started school back in August. That really affected him in ways I’ve yet to understand!!

I am looking at this Christmas as our “Charlie Brown Christmas!” Why you ask? It really hit me a couple of days ago when my dh said something to our son and I’ll explain my reply to his comment. This year has been particularly hard on us. My health is declining rapidly, which doesn’t help MM with his stress levels in any way. I’m feeling awful all the time, and he sees that, but I’ve ALWAYS tried my hardest to enjoy and DO what I can, while I can!!! I haven’t even sent out our Christmas cards yet this year! Can you say, Way Behind!? LOL! What dh said was after he’d worked a double, mind you, so he was pretty darned tired to begin with. MM was starting to downspiral quickly as he’d been doing so the past several days whenever we try to honestly DO ANYTHING!!!! When we picked out our tree, MELTDOWN! Went to get groceries, MELTDOWN! Went to go Christmas shopping for him and he needed to stay with Grandma, MELTDOWN! Hence the name of my post…”Have yourself a Merry Little Meltdown!” Now, onto the other night…..we were JUST starting to bring in decorations to decorate our tree…MELTDOWN!! It gets all too easy to get extremely frustrated in the moment, doesn’t it?! We ALL do it…including me!!!! Dh, then turned to MM and said, “Gosh, we can’t do anything anymore without you having a MELTDOWN!! I’ve worked all night and then all day (double), without a nap before leaving and now I have to deal with THIS tonight, too!? Why can’t we just put up our tree without any Meltdowns?! Tell me, please!” I answered for MM, “Because this IS our normal!”

That is a hard one to accept…that THIS IS OUR NORMAL!!!!! Let me further explain why I said I feel like this is our “Charlie Brown Christmas”…..ok.

CHARLIE BROWN TRIES TO PERK UP THE FORLORN LITTLE CHRISTMAS TREE

Just as Charlie Brown tried his very BEST to bring the BEST Christmas tree he could find to the pagent for his friends, and we all know how that turned out, right?! His friends were SO disappointed in his choice. What if I were looking at our son as the tree? MM’s bring HIS BEST to us….and guess what? There is opportunity for growth, too! Not just for the tree, but for US in how we SEE the tree!!!!

Check this out:

charliebrownxmas4

We see everyone else’s “trees and decorations” and get upset with ourselves and second-guessing ourselves…wondering what is it that WE’RE doing wrong?! Failing to see the beauty in what we ALREADY have!!

Now this:

charlie-brown-christmas3

We talk it out, read a book or something online that stands out above all the rest to REALLY open our eyes to what is RIGHT in front of us!!! The ONE person who speaks to me the MOST is Bryan Post!!! He was an adoptive child who suffered from RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder) as does my son. Bryan Post is now an advocate for ALL adoptive children and owns/runs and is a Counselor for The Post Institute. I listened to an interview he did just the other night, (it was done back in November though) and WOW, I was so glad that I did….it was JUST what I needed to hear!! I couldn’t wait to tell my dh to listen to it as well!! I HIGHLY reccomend ALL of you to give Bryan a try….he really knows what he’s talking about as he LIVED it!!! I’ve been following him for a Long time now and look forward to reading him, getting posts from him, etc. He is quite insightful!!! Here is the link to his blog: http://bryanpost.com/

Then we come to this:

Charlie-Brown-Christmas6Actually seeing the beauty for what it really is!!!!!! How amazing a place that is!!! How freeing that is for both the parent AND the child!!!!!!

And finally:

charlie-brown-christmas5Everyone else is able to see through YOUR eyes the beauty of it as well AND rejoice in it!!!!!

In closing, I’m glad my husband said what he did because it DID open my eyes that night. I’ve said it before, that “this is our NORMAL” but sometimes I tend to forget when we get busy with the holidays, and I shouldn’t ever do that. Our son comes before ANY holiday, stress, or LIFE event..by any stretch of the imagination!!!

It is my prayer that your family is able to enjoy YOUR NORMAL this holiday season!!!!!!

Many blessings to you and your children,

~Mama249

 

 

 

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Don’t Feel Guilty if You’ve Let it Slide: Strong Sitting

I have read much about Strong Sitting. On one particular website, radkid.org, I really throughly enjoyed all they had to offer…..so much so that I printed off the entire site and use it as a quick reference for myself….I’ve highlighted all I need to refer to…..my paper is mostly all highlighted…LOL. It’s THAT good. On the website, they refer to Strong Sitting as being very impportant in helping children to learn discipline of self-control and quietness….both emotionally and physically.

I used Strong Sitting with Munchkin Man for quite some time awhile back…..but somehow, some reason….I let it slip..I’m upset a bit with myself for doing so, but am just thrilled that I found this website to get ME back on track. So that brings us to yesterday….I had told MM that he’d be doing some strong sitting…..which was followed by much grunting, rolling around on the floor and rolling of the eyes, fussing, and plain and simple saying he wasn’t going to do it. I don’t want to say I forced him to do it….but I’ll tell ya…..I STRONGLY encouraged him to do so in a soft and calm manner. First he said he’d do it later and he’d let me know when he was ready…..UM….no sir, that right there….did you notice what he was doing? Control……he wanted to control WHEN he was going to do them. He couldn’t control that he must do them…..but he thought he could control that. NOPE….not with me, mister. I told him I’d be ready for him in exactly 5 minutes. MM was so upset and began to do that whiney crying sound. 5 Minutes went by rather quickly &  MM gave in to it……sitting with his legs criss, cross applesauce, back straight, eyes closed, hands on either  side of legs or on top of legs…..just be comfy…and then he will Strong Sit for 1 minute for each year of his age. He’s 4…so 4 minutes. He was begrudgingly doing this…..he kept peeking out…..trying to be sly…but I know my lil guy. Also…you want no distractions going on at all when you begin doing Strong Sitting. Later, you may add some….I’ll reference it in another paragraph.

It is suggested that Strong Sitting be done several times a day…..anytime but especially first thing in the morning because it will clear their minds and get them off to a great start of what could possibly be a beautiful day. Who doesn’t want that? Shoot…..I may do some strong sitting myself if it produces such a wonderful result!!! LOL!

Our jobs as the parents, is to not make constant remarks as in, “Wow, look at you! You’re doing great Strong Sitting!” “Hey, look at those criss cross applesauce legs…I’ve never seen such perfect criss cross legs before!” We are to be silent and coach as needed…..and hopefully not much is needed….but always always always be calm, collected, and warm with a smile on your face to show your lil guy/girl that this is a great thing to do. If you are begrudginly putting them in place…..that signal brings with it MUCH negativity to your environment and to your Strong Sitting. You DON’T want that….believe me.  The goal is for them to work up to a grand total of 20 minutes at a time and to be able to have some distractions in the background and still be able to concentrate and Strong Sit without trying to figure out what is going on behind them.

My lil guy is about to arise for the day……and I’ll snuggle with him for about 10 minutes to get our day off to a pleasant, loving and delightfully engaging day. Doesn’t that sound wonderful? It does to me as well. Then comes Strong Sitting…..afterwards….our day together….hopefully regulated and peaceful. I wish this for all of you as well.

 

Blessings to you and your children,

Mama249