Friday, May 2, 2008

RAD and the end of school

I think most of the moms of RAD children would agree this last month of school is a nightmare. The average child is about ready to explode and is ready for summer. Our kids not only feed off of this negative energy but they take full advantage of tired frustrated teachers. They can detect fatigue and indecision from a mile away. I have always found it fascinating they are so in touch with every ones negative emotions and can read them so well. They do not ready positive happy emotions correctly most of the time. They do not have the empathy for that. The negative emotions they have learned to read for survival. So how do you get through this last few weeks of school without pulling out your hair?
1. Keep your schedule the "same" as much as you can.
Bedtimes, meals, chores and other activities need to feel "the same" to them.

2. Spend extra time with them one on one.

Whether it is at the end of the day rubbing their backs and talking about how hard it is. Empathise with how difficult it is to stay in control but assure them they can do it and you believe in them. Comfort them. They are sad or afraid. It just looks like anger. Let them know you are glad you are their mom. If you don't feel it, fake it til you make it.

3. Food
Keep it as healthy as you can.

Really limit the junk food, sugars, dyes and preservatives as much as you can during this time.
4. Atmosphere
Do your best to create a quiet atmosphere at home. Play Mozart softly. Turn off the tv and play a quiet board game, read books.

5. Exercise

They need to have time and a way to burn off energy. Whether it is taking them to the Y for free swim, playing basketball, going for a walk, jumping on the mini tramp - they need to release the stress.
6. therapy
Make sure they are seeing the attachment therapist during this time if you see the stress building. Even if they have not needed to go for awhile, they may need to go for the next month to get through this.

7. Let school be THEIR job

Don't get to hung up on making them do their work. You can't. I tell mine "This is the assignment. You choose what grades you want. It will be a bummer if you don't pass but you can choose." I do give consequences for bad grades. That is how the real world will work.

8. When they are in trouble.

Whether it be detention or suspension or for whatever reason you are notified stay calm. Listen to their side in a matter of fact manner. Listen to the teachers side ( or principal) I choose to support what the school has to say about my boys because I have seen how wonderful they have been with my other 3. Once again, make it their problem. "I am sorry you chose this. Now you will have to accept whatever consequence Mr. He's Right gives you." And let it go. Mine blame me. They yell about how unfair everyone is. It is not their fault. They are all a bunch of liars. Let it go. A "bummer" now and then or "I hope that works out for you" thrown in are all you need.

9. Take care of yourself.

When my boys step up the behavior I step up the need for taking care of myself. You cannot parent if you are burned out, worn out and exhausted. Get enough sleep, eat right, exercise and find time for fun. Go play.

Remember this will pass. Summer will be here soon. But then, that is another whole blog, isn't it?


Bren said...

Ahhh, summer. Not the same thing to a home school mom. It makes things so much worse because structure and schedules are not the kids thrive on them. I think we will do school 1/2 days in the summer and maybe a lighter version of it so we can maintain the much needed routine of our day.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post! Lots of great info to keep in mind. Denise R.