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

 

 

 

Handwriting Without What? Oh You’ve Gotta Be Kidding Me?!

I’m pretty sure y’all know that Munchkin Man started school at a regular Public School for about 7 weeks and it JUST DID NOT WORK, right?! There was A LOT of knashing of teeth, wailing, and boy oh boy, was there a bunch of kicking, spitting, hitting and nasty words hailed at Mama!

Holding onto anger is like grasping onto a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”
Buddha
Well, MM was “holding it in” as they say, at school and literally EXPLODING when he got home…completely at ME. The reason? Because he said, and I’m telling you the honest to God truth, these are his words….not mine and I’ve NEVER EVER given him a hint of any of this…this ALL came from him. He felt like a “Volcano was erupting inside of him” while at school and he “could actually FEEL it” in his body. It would start at his feet and then end up at his head by the end of the day. He could really FEEL this!!!! How horrid for a 5 year old to have this feeling ALL day long!!!!!! He’d come home, and couldn’t hold it in any longer, EXPLODE on Mama, and all holy heck broke loose! That was all she wrote! Then, when MM and I would talk about it after he’d be completely calm…..he’d say….”Mommy, you’re not fixing it! I’m hurting and you’re not fixing it!” Can you ever, ever hear your child tell you something like that and NOT cry, want to scoop them up and want to fix their every hurt and pain?!  Well, I sure did!
My son was screaming out at me:
I was between a rock and a hard place, too. I had to convince dh that homeschool was the place for MM. After MANY MANY MANY tears, trials and tribulations, it happened..dh saw what was going on. I posted about it in my last post. So…thankfully, homeschool it would be…PHEW!
Here we are now…a few weeks later….and where are we? Gosh, where the heck do I begin? Well, I think I’ll begin tonight with my title….Handwriting Without What? You’ve Got to be Kidding Me!!
I chose an Online Homeschool Program….one that I NOW regret immensly…..for US…..because of it’s extremely RIGIDand outlandish requirements that our particular State doesn’t EVEN require!!!!!! But that is another story that I refuse to go into. This particular program may work beautifully for someone else’s child/ren….but HOLY COW, GEEZ LOUISE…..NOT MY CHILD!!!!!!!!!
First and foremost….we were having an amazing first day of Homeschool! I welcomed him with a great Bulletin Board…which I cannot show you, because of pictures, I know y’all understand, right, complete w/ plenty of First day stuff…..his first day picture, our weather today, etc. It REALLY  is a wicked cool bulletin board, too!!!!! So, we’re pluggin’ along w/ our schoolwork and he’s doing WONDERFUL, and even calls daddy at snacktime, telling him “I LOVE Homeschool, daddy! We’re having fun doing xyz!” Then, right after the phone call…WHAM……it all came crashing to a total HALT…..
Handwriting time came and Munchkin Man (MM) had ALREADY totally learned one complete way of writing while at home with Mama AND at regular school and now, this new online program used the progam called “Handwriting Without Tears”…..he was going to have to TOTALLY re-learn a NEW way of writing……HUH?!
Ok….so they call this “program”…..”Handwriting WITHOUT Tears?” LOLOLOL….believe me….I’m NOT really laughing…..I’m dying and crying inside for my child…my FIVE year old son who is having a GREAT first day of Homeschooling and TOLD me in his OWN words…..”Finally, mommy, you fixed it!”
Now….he has to re-learn this crap?! Are you stinkin’ kidding me?! Well, when he SAW this…he had a complete meltdown…..a total meltdown. The day was DONE….and I mean done! I’ve NOT been able to teach him since!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Gosh….that was, what, Sept. 17 and today is the 24th!!!!!!!! He has become increasingly angry….and BOY do I ever mean angry!!!! I’ll post about that in a later post….this is enough for this one post!!
My loving boy is lost….blown away in the wind…..the Fall is here…..and I can only guess that his loving spirit blew away with the warmth of summer’s memory. The crisp, cold dew settles on the grass in the early morn….just as the crispness of his heart barely wraps his gentle arms around my neck any longer. Where has my loving boy gone? Why did School take his heart? Why did you not believe me when I knew this would happen so long ago?
I want my little boy back!!!! I’m crying inside and out!!!!
Blessings to you and your children…..
Mama249

The New School….Homeschool!

Phew! It has been one whirlwind of a ride here at our home! Lil man has been home just short of 4 years now. It has taken him up till just 7 months ago to be able to tell me that he loves me ON HIS OWN without my saying it first! He’d come up to me and say ever so sweetly, “Mommy, I love you SO MUCH!” and he’d hug me SO TIGHTLY! I loved it so much as those of you who have kiddos with this kind of trauma know, it takes so much for them to trust us, to truly attach to us. to get to that point where they can BEGIN to heal….they MUST trust SOMEONE first BEFORE they can begin to truly start to heal. Well, it finally happened 7 months ago! Now mind you, he has NEVER been able to do this with ANYONE else, not even daddy, which hurt daddy to the core! Then, yep, school was coming. I could see changes beginning to happen to him. Somewhat subtly, and then somewhat suddenly in some instances.

His daddy was working SO MUCH Overtime that he was not seeing as much as I was seeing….so I tried as best I could to let him be aware of what lil man was trying to “let us know” through his behaviors. Did you know that I’ve since learned that Behaviors are actually a form of COMMUNICATION!!!! Think about it!!! I mean it….really think about it!!!!! When things are going well, what do our children’s behavior’s tell us?

Exactly! Then…he began “drowning” as I’ll call it….k. He was slipping fast and falling further and further away from the “trust” we’d worked SO HARD to build over the past 3.5 YEARS!!! I knew in my heart of hearts that lil man was NOT emotionally ready for Regular school, but my dh had to see it for his own eyes….no matter what I said or did…..dh just had to. I had to let it happen….no matter HOW MUCH I knew in my heart it was going to hurt lil man, if I wanted dh on board with this. It KILLED me…but worst of all..I knew it was going to kill a part of lil man. I don’t want anyone..and I mean anyone…to be upset with my dh for being like this. This is how he rolls so to speak. IF I had insisted that I Homeschooled off the bat….and dh had went ahead and let me….he’d of “never known” in his OWN HEART that he had done what HE BELIEVED in HIS HEART what was in the best interest for OUR son. Remember this….this is OUR son….not my son…not his son….OUR SON. NO matter how much I’ve studied and have been the one to go to the counseling sessions with lil man….dh had to know in HIS heart in HIS time…..that he’d done all he could do. Well, that time came the other night when lil man finally said something that dropped me literally to my knees!!!

We have a LONG, drawn-out bed time ritual that we do every, single night that includes lullaby’s and bed-time stories, lots of rocking (per lil mans choice of who rocks him that particular night), just to make lil man feel lots and lots of love….lots and lots of just knowing that mommy and daddy will ALWAYS be there for him. Lil man is VERY VERY fearful at night. Hence the bedtime ritual. When a child has experienced so much trauma at a very early age in their life….night time usually is EXCEPTIONALLY fearful for them. Lil man is NO exception. He always starts out in his own bed and then at some point in the night, wakes up screaming, always for mommy, and then gets into bed with us for the rest of the night. Now, the ONLY exception to this is IF daddy is working night shift: lil man immediately comes to bed with mommy at bedtime or if daddy is night-time fishing then the same happens. Lil man LOVES those nights as you can imagine!

Now…back to what dropped me to my knees the other night that helped dh see why Lil man really NEEDS to be homeschooled and NOT in a regular Public School any longer!! I was half-laying on the edge of Lil man’s bed and holding him sorta like a baby (he loves this). He was ALMOST asleep, where he’s really most honest at moments like this too! He tells Me (mommy) EVERYTHING really…NO ONE ELSE…not daddy…no one. I’m the ONLY person he really trusts in this WHOLE world…Really! This is why what he said to me that particular night shook my world to the very core! I said, as I do EVERY night, “Mommy loves you SO MUCH! You know that!” He then shook his head, “no” and closed his eyes, and said, “Not anymore!” I was taken aback and ALMOST cried immediately but really held it in to find out what he meant!!!! Believe me….THAT was HARD to DO!

So…I held him close….leaned in and asked, “Honey, you REALLY don’t KNOW that mommy loves you!?” He again, shook his head, “no” and said, “Not anymore.” I asked, “Why?” He said, and mind you, he’s been saying these words MANY MANY times daily since starting school, “Because you’re not ‘fixing it’ like I keep telling you.” I was so sad and broken-hearted at that moment! I could ONLY think of my poor child who ONLY trusts ME….and NOW he thinks that the ONLY person he TRUSTS in this entire WORLD now he does NOT think even LOVES him!!!!! All because I’m not “fixing his feelings he gets WHILE AT SCHOOL!” I was almost livid to be honest!!!! Yes, at dh. To have not listened up to this point. I couldn’t WAIT to go tell him what our son had just said NOW!! What was it going to take for dh to see what OUR son was screaming for help!? Anyways…..I held Lil man and assured him that I WOULD “fix it”!!! He then drifted off to sleep. I headed to our room and quickly told dh what our son said….

DH sat there silently. I expected more. But dh was taking it all in. By morning he told me I was right and we “WERE doing the right thing by Homeschooling Lil man”!!!! FINALLY!!!! Gosh….PHEW!!!! Like I asked before…don’t judge if you’re not here. ok. Don’t judge my dh if you don’t know him. I’m just letting you know MY struggles to get OUR son to be homeschooled. My DH had to see it with HIS own eyes. That is how he has to process it. I had to accept it, as hard as it was. I could see it plain as the nose on my face. BUT I’m here with Lil man MUCH MORE than DH is. I go to the Counseling sessions with Lil man. Lil Man trusts me…not daddy, do Lil man tells me things I cannot tell daddy, out of sheer consideration for our trust-pact we have w/ each other. I simply CANNOT break that with Lil Man!!! I won’t and daddy TOTALLY gets that!!!!!!

Anyways…..Lil Man is finishing out the week at Regular Public School. He doesn’t really WANT to….but he needs to say good-bye to his friends + he needs to transistion into this. We would NEVER just pull him out. NEVER. His first day of Homeschool is Monday, Sept. 17, 2012. Keep Lil Man in your thoughts and prayers, k. He’ll need them but I really think he’ll be fine. His FIRST words the morning after I told him were, “YEAH! My first day of Homeschool!” I had to remind him that he still had 3 more days of regular school left yet. He didn’t like that, but once realized, was fine w/ it.  We’ll be ok. My shipment of supplies is scheduled to arrived TODAY via UPS!!! I truly cannot wait to receive them!!!!!!!

I’m thrilled to get a desk ready for him and I’ll try to post more this weekend about his adjustment to his last day of school once it hits him. Then once Homeschool gets here..and yes….I’m going to Co-op to keep him in touch with other kiddos as I truly feel socialization is KEY….I’ll let y’all know how he’s adjusting to that.

Blessings to you and your children!

Mama249

Crazy Lying…Boy They Weren’t Kidding When They Said it was CRAZY!!

MM has been doing a lot of lying lately…..well, not just lately…..but it has been increasing lately. Today was such as one of those days.

He was playing on my iPhone, which he’s allowed to do as long as I’m nearby. I mean, they are expensive, I don’t want it dropped as well, I want to keep an eye on him & keep watch over what he’s doing on the gadget. He mostly plays “Angry Birds” and “Cut the Rope” along with a string of other things…..educational and just plain fun games. NO BIG DEAL, right? Right.

Well, he was playing along while I was catching up on Facebook, and checking out my e-mails. I looked back at him, lying on the couch, and asked, “What are you playing?”

He replied, “Angry Birds.”

I said, “Oh how neat,” and proceeded to get out of my chair and go over to him to engage in some conversation. NO BIG DEAL.

He immediately hid the iPhone under the sofa cushions.

“Why are you hiding my phone?” I asked, very confused actually.

“I don’t know,” he stated.

“What are you playing?” was my very next question because it sure didn’t “SOUND” like “Angry Birds.”

“Nothing!” he said emphatically, as if I had NO RIGHT to ask.

“Give me my phone, NOW!”

He reluctantly handed my phone to me but first…..he turned the iPhone off thinking I’d not see what he was doing. BUT the lil bugger, in all his worriedness, turned it off incorrectly. YEAH, Score for mom!!

I turned it back on and saw that it was…….

get this…….

PBS Kids videos.

Oh the horror!! Why on God’s green earth would a 4 yr old hide that? I asked myself and him for that matter.

He couldn’t anwer me.

Or wouldn’t.

I had the words of Bryan Post ringing in my head and it was saying……”Ignore the lie, not the child.”

So I let it be for awhile. Told dh about the situation and said we’d have to figure out what consequences would be and go from there.

Later that evening, after dinner, when all was calm and we were playing…..I asked him again, “Why did you tell me that you were watching ‘Angry Birds’ when in fact you were watching PBS Kids Videos?”

“You know, that makes mommy and daddy sad when you tell lies to us. It makes us not able to believe you. When you do tell us the truth we may not believe you because you’ve told so many lies.”

“I’m sorry, mommy,” he muttered.

He honestly could not come up with a reason why he did it. He kept saying he didn’t know why he did it.

I was talking to a great, wonderful and insightful friend of mine tonight, after MM had gone to bed, and told her the situation.

She said, “Oh yes, crazy lying. That is common.”

I KNOW THIS…..I had not seen it though….I was too busy thinking of the WHY he did it……and thinking of the HOW could he. That is what gets us mamas and daddys in trouble with this…..I didn’t listen to Bryan Post at all. It didn’t sink into my very depths.

As soon as my friend said, “Crazy Lying,” I got it…….I totally got it. It is not premissable, no way, but it is something that RAD kiddos typically do, lying for no apparent reason.

Now, how do I show MM that lying is not the way? I show him by examples in my own life. I teach him how to be truthful. I will post more on this later this week……I’ll let ya’ll know what we did to help MM know that lying is not permissable.

So, from now on……believe me……I’ll write it on my heart…..”Ignore the lie, not the child.”

Thank you, Bryan Post…..you rock.

Blessings to you and your children…..

Mama249

It’s a Food Fight, Baby!!!

It wasn’t until recently that my “feeble” (lol) mind has realized something. Hard to believe, I know. My son has complete control when it comes to food issues. Phew, there, I said it…..it’s off my chest. I’m a bit ashamed about it too……but wallowing in that isn’t going to fix it.

This is a game to MM. He was holding the control……remote control as you will. He’d push the buttons that he wanted to go his way……I’m speaking of meal times. It’s funny, too, because I’ve always been “careful” of not letting him have the control.

Here’s what happened to us…..so it doesn’t happen to you too. MM was diagnosed with SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder). He has a difficult time with loud noises. He’s a sensory “SEEKER” that will constantly be jumping on the furniture, running into walls, you name it, he does it. One thing I’ve noticed and don’t really do “anything” about because I feel he must NEED the extra sensory input is that he’ll walk on his toes…..but not just the run of the mill, walk on his toes…which he does do….but he will bend his toes downward and walk on the folded up toes…..I truly have no idea how better to explain it…..I’ll have to post a pic sometime. I’ve NEVER seen anything like it and neither has MM’s counselor. Anyways…..I have always thought his troubles with food were all related to his SPD. WRONG! I see that now. 

I was talking to a wonderful and very dear friend of mine who has walked this road before and whose daughter is on the path to complete healing!!! (YEAH!!! WAY TO GO!) She stated that MM sounds like he’s “very good at controlling food issues in our home.” That  is one of the many things I love about this friend of mine, she tells it like it is. No pulling the wool over your eyes, she’s amazing and I’m blessed to have her friendship. Back to MM…..when she stated this to me….last night as a matter of fact…..I knew in my heart of hearts that she was right on the money! How could we have let him do this? Well, easily….very easily! I got caught up in the not wanting a tantrum every single time we eat……OH……and I MUST mention this…..the LAST time we tried to “Make” him eat what we were eating, he stopped eating all together for NINE days!!!!! Nothing….I mean, NOTHING…..he ate nothing! He did drink so I wasn’t worried about dehydration. On the 9th night….I made Hamburger Helper…..he finally ate again. I was so worried about him the entire time, naturally. I’m telling you, this kiddo is stubborn!

Well, not wanting a repeat of the NINE DAY ordeal……I caved, we caved. I made seperate meals for MM and always (almost anyways) gave him 2 choices of what he was to eat. He couldn’t waver from the 2 choices……and I seriously THOUGHT I was doing good by him. BUT BUT BUT…..he still had the control at the end of the day when you really look at it. Last night, for example, I made Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup…..YUMMY….and set aside some noodles for MM. He arrived at the table and the look on his face was remarkable, as if I’d taken his breath away! Lost his best friend. You get the picture. He started freaking out, saying that he was NOT GOING TO EAT this!! He was trying to engage us in a battle. And you know what……that will be the LAST battle I’ll have with him…..I must if he’s going to heal!!

                                                                                                                                                                           

Today is a new day!!!! A day for real healing!!!!!! Lunch time came and I didn’t even tell him that I was fixing lunch. I just made it and put it on the table, called him to the table and waited to see what ensued. At first, MM was whining and pushing himself into me (which is what he does when he is whining and wants something I’m saying no to). I clearly and calmly stated that lunch was on the table (only 1 TBS of each item and when he finishes that…..he may have whatever he wants more of from his plate but doesn’t have to eat everything again) and when he finished ALL of it, he could have more mac-n-cheese. The other item on his plate was a chicken nugget in a kid-friendly shape…..which he always FLAT OUT REFUSES TO EAT! I never said another word. I ignored his “pleas”…..I went about my work in the kitchen. Then the MOST AMAZING thing of all happened…..something I NEVER expected!!!! He actually stopped whining, went to the table on his own and ate every single bite!!!! You go MM!!! I was so proud!!!!!! He stated he didn’t want seconds of anything though.

I thought, gee, it can’t possibly be THIS easy can it? NOPE…..along came dinner which I KNEW was going to be a TOUGH battle. I had left-over Home Made Chicken Noodle Soup (with carrots and celery mind you)! I also made him a grilled cheese in the shape of stars (I gave him only ONE of the 3 shapes). I knew he’d eat the grilled cheese, but the soup, no way. I was correct, too. He threw a heck of a fit……complete with pushing the table away! He kept yelling at me to “Take that nasty soup away from me! Why did you MAKE something that you KNOW I won’t eat!?” Stuff like that, but constantly!!! I went about eating my dinner. I calmly told MM that I was almost finished and he needed to figure out what he was going to do…..dinner would be over when I am finished tonight. I looked lovingly at him……and calmly said……”ssssshhhhh, it’s ok. I’m here for you. I won’t leave you. You can trust me.” He immediately calmed down and ate the single star grilled cheese….ONLY. He flat out refused the soup. That is fine……he’s learning…and will CONTINUE to learn as I won’t back down this time. I want my (our) son to heal and he can’t possibly heal if he’s feeling so out of control and yet that he has to control his environment. That is a tough pill to swallow…for anyone……especially a 4 year old who’s suffered trauma. He should be being a kiddo. He shouldn’t have to worry about these things. It’s high time I take the bull by the ring and do what I’m supposed to do….be the one in Control…..so that he doesn’t feel like he has to.

Blessings to you and your children…..

Mama249                                                                                       We don’t need any more of this, now do we??

How do you handle this very thing in your homes? Thanks for your input!!!!

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

Do I Listen to My Dr’s Orders? NOPE!

I had to have surgery a week or so ago and was given Dr’s orders to not lift anything over the weight of a milk jug (5lbs). Are you kidding me? I’m a mom of a 4 year old with RAD! One of the MOST healing things that the parent can do for their RAD child is the holding technique. I’ve been doing this technique for quite some time now…..and my Dr. wants me to just up and “quit” doing this for 6 weeks!? I think NOT! How can I un-do all the trust-building that we’ve been doing by not holding him?

This was very evident this week when at first I was taking my Dr’s orders and not holding MM. He was in a downspiral all week….each day progressively getting worse and worse. I would do my “best” and sit on the couch and have MM climb into my lap and “hold” him in my lap….gosh it wasn’t the same at all….it didn’t feel that way to me, and I KNOW it didn’t to MM either. I finally gave in one day, he was having a particularly hard day, I sat down with him and asked him, “are you upset because mommy cannot hold you since my surgery?” Yes, was his tearful reply. I knew in that very moment….my surgeon may have known what was best for “me”…..but he sure as heck didn’t know what was best for my lil man. MM was regressing. He was hurting and crying out…..his acting out was a cry for help….for me to hold him. I will tell you this, I held my suffering child in my arms, no matter my pain….I’m secondary to him in my eyes…..for over an hour!! I cannot convey in words how healing those 60+ minutes were for us. But I’ll be danged if I’m going to let this hinder his healing. Not for a second.

MM can throw ’em with the best of them. The rages are so intense that he kicks, hits, screams, pushes me…..and all the stuff you’re probably familiar with already. I, with the help of much reading and talking to friends of kiddos who also have RAD, started using the holding technique. Now, there are different ways to do this people believe as I’ve noticed. Some people will put their arms over the childs (so the child cannot use as a weapon) and wrap their legs around their child’s legs (also, weapons of kicking) fromthe backside (to not have them headbutt the parent) all the while trying to “calm” the child while talking calmly and telling the child they are “safe”, and other such things. Now, while this may work well for some (usually the older kiddos too), I know it won’t work for my Munchkin Man (who’s still only 4 and weighs 33 lbs). I feel he needs to be able to look into my loving eyes and see and feel the love I have for him.

I hold him just as I would hold him for anything else. I’m telling you, it works for us. MM will be throwing a major meltdown, and it’s a struggle to get him in my arms, which tells me that he needs it even moreso. The more they fight it, the more they need it. I can even begin to tell that he wants it sometimes. He’ll be having a meltdown and will put his body up against mine as if he’s “saying” ‘please hold me, mommy. I need to feel safe right now!’ Anyways, I pick MM up and hold him, letting him see the love I have for him in my eyes. I speak in the calmest voice I can, telling him, “Shhhhh, it’s ok, now. I’ve got you. Shhhhhh. It’s ok. I’ve got you. You’re safe with mommy.” He will struggle for a bit, hitting, kicking, pushing me away from him, grunting, screaming. And then it happens……it just happens in an instant. He melts into my arms. He lays his head softly on my shoulder and I can feel him wrap his arms around my neck and he starts to play with my hair. Then, I know. I know he feels it. Safe for the moment. But the moments are just that….moments.

MM doesn’t trust us. Why should he? He has lived the first 18 months of his life in trauma. Trauma that I wouldn’t wish upon any child. To tell you the truth, we don’t know it all…..we most likely never will. And that is ok, I don’t have to know the details, I just have to know that my (our) son had to live it. Sad, very sad. It’s painful to look into my child’s eyes and see distrust and fear in all things (Oh my the fear…..I can go on and on about the fears). It pains me to know that MY CHILD is so fear-filled. I cry just thinking about it. The fear has caused him so much grief that he can not trust anyone…..not us, not anyone. The person who gave birth to him, he found couldn’t be trusted. The family whom he spent the first 18 months of his life with, they couldn’t be trusted either….so why should he trust us, even though we continually show him we CAN be trusted? He can’t let go of that fear just yet. It is his survival. It is the only way he knows how. It will take a lot of HARD work on all of our parts….to get MM through this. It will not happen in a year, not two, and maybe not three…..no time limit is set upon this…..it will happen when it does…..when MM feels it, when he knows trust is worthy. That we are worthy.

And until that day happens……I will hold my son in my arms and look deeply into his soul……..and let him know….he’s worthy too.

This is how I see us now……I’m guiding him into the warm “waters” and letting him know that it is ok, safe and even though it is scary…..we’ll go slowly….just look at it first. Then dip your toe in and feel it’s warmth. Know that it is not going to hurt. I’m holding his hand…..letting him know that I’m always there….guiding him and keeping him safe. I will never let go of his hand…gently holding and guiding. You notice the boy in the picture is holding a bucket….I see that as he wants to go and “play”…..but needs all my love and guidance to know and feel that he won’t get hurt again. And if he does……I will show him that I’m there to pick up the pieces…..and move forward…..always moving forward….two steps back sometimes…..but always moving forward is our goal.

Pieces of his heart……someday they will be whole again.

Blessings to you and your children…..

Mama249