Tuesday, July 2, 2013
P is for Patience
I am starting my first Blogging through the Alphabet post. I have been thinking about it for the past day, not sure what to post about.
And then I just heard the kids fighting....screaming....kicking....fighting. Being together all the time, they really know how to press each others buttons. It then came to me....patience.
Have multiple kids on the spectrum, patience is something that is usually in short supply in our house. There is usually some sort of meltdown. Every kid is super sensitive to something that another kid loves. Or better yet their OCD causes a meltdown because of another kiddos sensory issue. That probably doesn't make sense to most, but to those of us with multiple ASD kids.....it makes perfect sense.
Trouble is, there is no magic pill to take and everything is better. There's no medication to help the kids or even one for us parents to cope with everything that is going on around us. Screaming happens and it happens alot.
So how do we survive? I'm sure to an outsider (if someone was brave enough to look through our windows during a meltdown), they might be shocked at an 11 year old jumping up and down screaming like a 2 year old. They would wager that Joe and I are on the brink of divorce as we snap at each other because we are so frustrated. They would wonder why there are stacks of opened bandaid wrappers laying on floor, dirty dishes stacked in the sink, and cats running all over the house. They would see our food shelves and think that I bought out the Poptart shelf at the grocery store and then make a rude comment about how I don't care about my children's diets.
.... oh wait I am off track here. Just how do we survive........prayer. We keep praying for patience. We ask for guidance. We are also teaching our children to pray when they are feeling frustrated. Mind you, tempers flare. And the outcome is never good when that happens.
I have a few other tricks that we have been trying.
1. Walk away from the situation. I make sure that the child will not hurt themselves and leave the room so that I can hear and see what is going on, but I am able to step back and cool off. (Being yelled at and called names by a 13 year old will set off any adult.) --- Oh yeah, this is a great time to keep praying while you are doing the next suggestion.
2. Deep breathes....a few jumping jacks.....listen to a favorite song. I have our Amazon cloud drive app loaded on my cell phone so that I can start a song and listen to a little bit of it. Sometimes this just help refresh my brain.
3. Once I have mellowed a few moments, I attempt to check in the room with whatever child is throwing the fit. If they are still screaming, I try to remind them about their calming steps. Are they so upset that they are forgetting that throwing a fit will not get them anywhere or make the situation better? (This doesn't always work....but sometimes it does. Sometimes I need to walk in and out of the room several times.)
4. Lavender oil....not the stuff that they sell in dryer sheets, but pure essential oil. I have been using this more often. I have been rubbing this on the kids feet at night and arms/back when they wake up in the morning. At first Joey didn't like it, but he is used to it now.
There is not a magical formula that works for every family. Some days the slow breathing works better than others. Some days the lavender oil works better than on others. Taking a break in the backyard away from the kids helps at times, and so does exercising. We try to get the kids to bed at a regular time because lack of sleep doesn't help tantrums either.
So fair warning....if you try sneaking a look into our windows......you better have some patience and understanding....even an extra bottle of lavender spray would be nice!