As I look back, there were definitely those days when, well let's be honest, when I wasn't sure if we would all live to see the end of the day - if you know what I mean! There were days I felt like I was being stalked, days I was pretty sure I knew what it meant to lose your marbles and days where I just prayed for bedtime to hurry up...I even contemplated changing all the clocks in the house!
We all have them. Sometimes they fizzle out early, but sometimes every hour is a new ride through Horrorville! The goal of helping our child heal seems impossible on these days...as a matter of fact I remember being convinced I was doing the exact opposite! The craziness just wouldn't end. Something had to give or I was going to be the something that just let loose!
So I came up with 3 tricks to help me get through those rough days! Now I'd like to share them with YOU! You can' t always do it the same way so pick the one you can best pull off and go for it!
1. Proclaim it (to yourself only) a "Keep 'Em Safe and Feed 'em Day!"
-Pull everyone in...cancel appointments, sports activities, phone calls. Stay off the internet, don't worry about cleaning or laundry. Take off your therapist hat. Grab a book or turn on a movie and sit down in the middle of your kids and do or say nothing (well within reason-no lectures, no litany, no long explanations or expectations). Feed them when it is meal time, provide an extra snack that day and then go back to doing nothing. You may not get more than one page read, but keep looking like you are reading. We need to help our kids feel like we are all plugged into each other. Sometimes the busyness of life really throws them off. They don't feel emotionally connected and that gets scary...RECONNECT!
2. Get everyone to move!
-Throw your plans for the day to the wind and get everyone to move (including YOU). Cancel all the STUFF. Don't give any room for questions. Just say "let's go" in a kind and loving voice. Have a dance club in your kitchen, go for a long nature walk - bring bags to collect things, bring food and water so no one gets more triggered. Just keep walking. They can collect or not, they can smile or not, they can skip or not....just get them to keep moving. Take breaks before they ask or say they need it. Point out the beauty in the world (for YOU and them). Cut through some woods or long grasses to create a challenge. Jump from rock to rock if they can handle it. Move Move Move!
3. Shake it up a bit!
-Sometimes we all get stuck, like a needle on an old-fashioned record player. We just need to shake out of our rut to be able to get through the whole song (day or hour)! Do something wacky and unpredictable. Not so much that you freak them out, but enough that they stop what they are doing and take notice. Wear a funny hat. Speak with a funny accent. Make supper for breakfast and breakfast for supper. Wear your shirt inside out -- you get it! Be silly, not scary. Help everyone (including YOU) to get to neutral!
It is so important that we stay in it for as long as it takes and it is always good to have some tricks up our sleeves to help us out with those especially rough days!