Monday, July 22, 2013

SPD's & High-strung children....The Ultimate Summer Meltdown

     Sensory Processing Disorder,  High-strung children...........and Summer

     Summer.  Sunny mornings, sleeping in a little late, no lunches to pack, no mad dashes out the door to catch the bus...Ice cream, swimming pools, fireworks, yeah...paints a pretty picture doesn't it?

     The school bell rings for the last time, officially commencing the end of my two little darlings 1st grade year.  We are all excited.  Even I was.  After a very busy, and challenging academic year, I was proud of my boys.  High-strung dispositions & Sensory Issues in tow, my guys did about as well, even better, then I could have possibly hoped for. 

     Without the academic challenges and tight behavior boundaries...with Summer... it could only get better.


     To put it bluntly, ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE.

     They awakened and were almost immediately out of control.  The mornings started with running, jumping, screaming, fighting, back talking, bad table manners, stuff thrown carelessly all over the house.  They were bored. They wanted ice cream or Oreo cookies for breakfast.  When I said no, the meltdowns were ridiculous.  Matchbox cars were flying thru the air, mattress were turned into jumpies, every time I looked out the window, one of them was in the street. The word, "MOMMY",  was uttered about every 5 minutes.  The word NO became the official language of the house.

     We were officially out of control. And I could not seem to get them back on track.   I was stunned. How did this happen?  What happened to all my hard work?  What happened to all of our behavior accomplishments?  Was it a dream?  A fluke?  OMG!!!  It was a fluke....a random series of accidental  positive behavior changes that happened to last for about a year or so.  And the run was over. 

     Translation : I SUCKED.  Everything that I thought I knew about how to manage Sensory/High-strung children was an illusion!  I was a failure!   I knew nothing...and we were doomed.  I promptly opened up a bottle of wine and quit writing my blog.  I was a fake.  It was over. 

     Two weeks later...Howard Glasser, " The Nurtured Heart Approach".  Somewhere in the back of my memory I remembered one of you wonderful readers recommended him  to me.  I went to the library, rented his audio, and watched it almost straight thru. 

     Three hours later,  with much learned.....I also remembered how much I had forgotten.  How I myself had fallen and unraveled into old parenting behaviors and ruts.  I had forgotten about  negative attention.  I forgot how my kids natural temperament's  can thrive and run-amuck with too much negative attention.  How it actually becomes an energy source for them to fuel more negative behavior.  I forgot that Sensory/High-strung kids have trouble with "Starts & Stops".  Even with good "starts".....even the start of Summer......


     I had the answer.  What had happened?  Summer is what happened...or at least the "start" of Summer.  My children's immature central nervous systems just did not have to goods yet  to handle the excitement of transitioning into Summer.  Loving the idea of starting Summer did not necessarily mean that they could yet handle the emotional charge that came with the idea of endless days of fun fun fun, and lacking the  very much needed structure.   So, they unraveled.  I unraveled.

     So, with thanks to Howard Glasser, I was reminded about some of the stuff that I already knew, and implemented some priceless techniques that were new to me.  I took a deep breath, and started again. 

     Remarkably, within two days, I was able to revert my kids back to their new norm.  They calmed down, started listening again, backed off of a lot of negative behavior, and looked happier again.  I was happier again.  Summer was happier.

     Hence, I have started writing my blog again....I don't suck.

     What I am really excited about is sharing all the tips and insights that I learned from Howard Glasser.  I look forward to sharing firsthand how I have used his techniques, what that actually looks like, and reporting the success.

     So I will end with this thought.  Be careful about the unseen booby-traps that summer can bring...and if you find yourself experiencing some unraveling with your kids...know that it is normal.  All is not lost.  Just pull up your bootstraps and go back to the basics....

     Have a nice Summer,


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