At some point in parenting, you may reach the “I have no idea what I am doing” stage… I did.
Energy Meets School
Kiddo number two has made this year quite the google search and Amazon picked up on it and suggested a set of books (picture at the bottom of the post).
Putting off the drive to work, I opened them up today and found myself engrossed. ”Wow, okay – maybe not everything lines up but this is pretty darn close.” This thought was followed by, “Dang, when he reads these, he is going to feel not so alone.”
This page caused pause:
“without any reminders”
“I’m a MOVER.”
If you have a “mover,” I feel you. If I could count on one hand the number of times I have been told, “he is a boy – they move,” I would be lucky… but I can’t. We are blessed with a teacher who listened to us and substantiated our concerns. If you think something else is going on, get the OT at the school involved – have them evaluate your child. When we got his scores from the sensory evaluation back, it was clear he deviated from the norm.
Looking back on his life, the times he started to get wild, there is typically an outside source firing his brain up. We walk into an art exhibition with drawings hanging from every angle of the rooms and a sea of kids (and noise) moving around and boom – our child now appears to have drank a Red Bull before walking in. When his sister steps on a squeaky toy to be funny, it is as if he cannot hear us talking and any prevoius concentration is now gone.
This is NOT defiance
From a novice leveled observation, this seems to be defiance. His angel of a teacher said a few phrases allowing us to recognize this was not a case of a spoiled child. The main two happened right before winter break. “He is unable to control this by wanting to” and he has more energy than any child she has had in fifteen years.
For those simple two phrases, she will never know the extent of my gratitude. Those words were what we needed to search outside of typical discipline and parenting methods. Although I am not still 100% convinced this is purely sensory (it may be – I am just not there, yet), this has started us on a new path.
Find a Village
After years of undeniably going about parenting him the “wrong way,” a wave of guilt came. Some of how I was attempting to show him the proper ways of behaving were more than likely leaving him beyond frustrated because his brain simply wasn’t wired in the way I was attempting him to work.
There have been times I have told him, “Even when you have hard days, you are still a good kid,” and in those times he has been near tears listening to me. To think I probably caused some of those feelings sucks. You can tell me to slam dunk a basketball 1,000,000,000 times and I can’t. This is what I did to him when I told him to calm, relax, stop, breathe, quit, etc and it still didn’t mean he could. How could he when when I was keeping him in the same environment that was causing his brain to fire off the “move around at lightening speed” messages.
Luckily, a handful of friends, family and his teacher and principal have been our village. Find your village. Let them tell you that you are doing your best and that is what your child needs. Listen when they tell you that your child is going to be okay because you are trying to find what he needs. Believe them – you need this support.
None of us know if we are doing it right and if our child will actually be “okay,” but we are trying. You are going to need to have some confidence behind you to ride this out. It is quite exhausting. Grow with your child and know you are both learning. When something doesn’t work, leave it. Just like you wouldn’t berate your kid when they mess up but keep trying, don’t do it to yourself. Last I checked, I wasn’t given any information on this in a well-baby checkup.
Ignore the Haters
Some friends have told us us our son is just smart and manipulating us. It sucks to hear that. Try your best to recognize they simply do not understand. Our son didn’t talk until after three and then school became a bit of a challenge. There were signs something else was going on but because we were quiet about the struggles, people didn’t know. So when these words came out, it was obviously hard to ignore them.
People are going to judge your parenting. They will judge you if you don’t send them in with a raincoat or if their hair looks like it wasn’t brushed. They will judge you if you have non-gmo food in their lunch or if you bring in McD’s for a visit. They will judge you if you allow them to cut their hair how they want or if you pick out their clothes for them in the morning.
Do what is best for your family and ignore the rest. As I mentioned early, find people who support your decisions, who aren’t afraid to give you advice (even unsolicited) and you are open to listening because you know they are truly trying to understand. The rest, let it go. Haters gonna hate.
READ and Let the Books Heal
Keep trying to find new information; read; share; be open to suggestions! They may not be spot on but perhaps in them one thing will help. Living With Intesity was a God-send for us. Every single page felt like it was had studied our son. The books in the picture above describes how he must feel and suggest tools to try to implement.
Our friends have sent us pictures of suggestions/books and tagged us in items that made them think of our son. Some of the ideas have helped and some have not. When we started being more vocal, people started to have ideas. This is community at its very best.
Ignorance is NOT bliss in this case – it is annoyance and frustration. Education here definitely takes the weight off and allows you to search for a new outlet. I will continue to post things that work and don’t for us but full disclosure – I am not a doctor. Just a mom trying to figure it out also.