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Summertime and the living is…EASY????

So, here I am in the second week of J’s summer vacation. Boy, has it been a bumpy road.

Without the structure, he is a pinball bouncing from the computer, to the Wii, to the TV, to the iPad, etc. By 9 am, I have already said “no” to him at least 15 times. And saying “no” is a stressful thing especially when you know that it will just unravel your child even more.

We have a “no media before breakfast” rule in our house precisely for this reason. History has taught me that J with nothing to do, no schedule for the day, no place to be first thing in the morning equals struggle.

I have tried to fill his days with fun things to do. We have gone to pools, and arcades, and movies, and on a road trip. The problem is, I have things I need to do too. Little errands turn into more battling as you enter stores that sell toys and candy and movies. I am again saying “no” more than I want to. I have to though, because he can’t have those things. He can’t have everything he wants. No one gets to have that. Trying to explain this to J is a very difficult task. As soon as he knows that the answer is going to be a negative, he gets frustrated. And I mean he gets downright pissed off. And the more I talk, the more angry he becomes. I need to learn to keep it short and sweet. If I keep talking, I am just antagonizing him, in a sense. Who needs that??

We don’t want to see our children suffer. but J is suffering when he has no idea what is expected of him from hour to hour and when he asks for something that is a constant in his life, something he can have virtually anywhere…technology…and I keep saying “no”. We are constantly at an impasse.

I am constantly trying to anticipate his next need or want. I have said time and time again that everything I do in my life is preemptive. I am looking ten steps ahead to make sure I am prepared for any situation, so as to avoid a meltdown. I am almost always ill prepared. I can’t possibly come up with every variable to every equation that will occur within our day. But, I keep trying.

I feel my heart racing when I know that a transition is coming. I can feel the anxiety starting to take over me because I know that J doesn’t want to stop what he is doing and do what I am asking him to do or go where I am asking him to go. I try to breathe and be calm but frustration is contagious. He starts revving up, emotionally and physically, and I start revving up emotionally and mentally. Asking, “Why does it ALWAYS have to be so hard?” to myself. Never to J. He is learning how to deal with all these changes better and better, but I cannot expect him to constantly follow along with no agenda of his own. A few years ago, I just wouldn’t have gone out. I would have let him stay home where there would be no conflicts, nothing for him to have to deal with, no transitions. He has grown so much because now we CAN do these things, albeit with the strife. Hopefully, next vacation break from school, he will have grown even more and he will handle these lazy days a little better.

J starts camp next week. He is not looking forward to it. I am hoping after the first day he will see how fun it is and really enjoy his summer. I am banking on it!! For both of us.

Categories: Behavior


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