Dreading pick up time again. I never know what I'm going to find or at what point his mood is suddenly going to erupt. I stand there with my heart in my boots. You have to be quite a good actor to be an adopter don't you?
**** Mum to my gorgeous lively boy Kipper, aged (6) ****
He was ok till the penny dropped that daddy was coming in late due to having some blood tests so I would be doing bath. That triggered a meltdown/ panic with him sobbing and running around the house shouting, refusing to come to the tea table and saying he was going to go to the hospital to be with daddy - put his coat and boots on and went out in the front garden shouting and crying, managed to coax him in, then kept shouting at me that he was going to "make" me drive him there, then grabbed the phone and said he was going to ring daddy to make him come home "tell me the number mummy". Then when none of that worked said he was going to not have a bath and was only going to lie down in his bed and wait for daddy. I'm not sure how but I did manage to get him to the table, but he hardly ate his main saying he felt yukky....and then promptly gorged himself on fruit when I was otherwise occupied!!
We got through it.. He ate the wrong things but he ate, and he gradually stopped being angry with me and even sat on my lap which is massive progress as a year or so ago when doing this he wouldn't have even stayed in the same room as me. Meanwhile he'd been raging long enough that Daddy was back before we got as far as bath!!
Feel sad that such a small innocuous thing is so worrying to him, and it undermines how I feel about myself as a valid parent.
**** Mum to my gorgeous lively boy Kipper, aged (6) ****
Hi, I sympathise. I have experience of this too. I spoke to a child psychologist who recommended the following: take something chewy to for them to eat or a thick milkshake - the sucking/ chewing helps calm them down; be very loud and a bit over the top if they are 'ramped up' - match their mood.
Our children can just about keep themselves regulated in school but all their anxiety pours out when they come out of school.
It may be different for you but these type of things work for me:
Routine - do same things on collection from school - which includes stroking all the dogs tied up outside school gate!! Don't ask any real questions as they irritate him - try to let him take any lead in conversation until we get home. I tend to make soothing noises or distract if there's any issues. As soon as we get home give him milk and a snack and allow time to chill - where possible we sit and watch tiele and have a cuddle or he has a play then reads his school book. After about an hour he's much calmer. I stay close but responsive.
Each day I tell him exactly what will happen after school.
We still get some bad days but less now. The last was when he came out of school and dropped his sticker for being good in a puddle at my feet by accident. All hell broke loose. However I do notice other parents with similar issues and my LO is in mainstream education.
I have also chatted to my LO and explained how much I look forward to seeing him when I collect him and think about him a lot during the day. (Psychologist advice).
He's also usually very wound up ready to run / do impulsive things. She recommended grabbing his hand and swinging it quite wildly, this didn't work! He asked me what was the matter with me and why I was being strange! I do take his hand if he's getting really wild or if we are by a road - although that's probably me being over-anxious.
Have you tried speaking to school too? The teacher /SENCO may be able to help.
Yep...dread the pick up, mainly because as you say, you never know what you're gonna get! I grit my teeth and get them home as quickly as possible. It awful that every school day there is this dread.
Things are always better when I have a 'plan' as Daffin says...but there are days when I am just too tired to have thought of one!
That's great though Sockthing that you have noted the improvement on a year ago. Sometimes it is helpful to cast your mind back and realise there has been change and that all your effort and love IS making a difference!
Mum to DD Lapwing (13) & DS Peewit (12) Married to Mr Mudlark
Do you use a visual calendar? We have found that ours really helps. We have a week at a glacé summary one, where we just have space for 3 activities per day and then a full day (for tomorrow/today), which has space for at least 8 activities. This really helps, as it gives MB the chance to prepare - so there are no nasty surprises.
I have also found practicing things helps.
So, about 6 weeks ago I took MB out on my own for the first time in about 18 months. I took him to a matinee at the the cinema, as that seemed contained and do-able. We practiced how he needed to be walking from the car to the cinema first. Each step. Including buying sweets and queuing to hand in his ticket. Three times - first as himself, second as me, with me pretending to be him and being wayward and not holding into 'mummy's' hand, then back to being himself again. He told me later that practicing had really helped, and it had made him feel safe.
Something we are experimenting on now with the school is a transitions book, where we record any violence - particularly on the way to and from school. The class teacher and SENCO both then talk to him about his behaviour - using the NVR 'script'. It sounds heavy, and involves teachers in your home life but MB has stopped attacking me in the playground at pick up, so I'm willing to go with it!!
do you mean that you feel undermined on this occasion by his reaction to daddy being at the hospital?
I think overwhelming fear about a parent being ill is quite common in our children. I tripped over in the street about 18 months ago, I gazed my elbow and knee, Simba was literally hysterical in the street. Some poor man who happened across the scene was really shocked and thought I'd broken something. It took me all evening to calm him dien and believe that I wasn't going to die. I wasn't too well this weekend, nothing that a few hours crashed on the sofa and a good nights sleep didn't sort, but again Simbas anxiety through the roof, even came to wake me up at 6 to see if I was better.
Mum to the 'hansom' Simba, age 19 and 40 now retired teddy bears and FC to Special K, age 12