It’s been a tough morning and it’s only 730am. My son’s sensory issues have been really bad lately. I’d say for the past month or so, he’s been having a hard time with his pants not feeling ‘right’. Most mornings are bearable but today in particular – was a doozy. My heart is sort of breaking right now. It hurts me to see him struggle like this and know that there is nothing I can do to help him. I sometimes let my own personal junk get in the way when parenting him and that results in both of us yelling at each other.
He managed to fumble out of the house this morning with only his pants on. I followed behind him with his shoes and shirt – only to get in the car to hear his screams and see the tears rolling down his face. What do I say when he asks me why his pants don’t feel right? I really don’t know. Our morning bus stop routine ended with him declaring that he was not taking his stupid coat, slamming the door and yelling, “I don’t like you” at the top of his lungs. Well, how’s that for a Monday morning?
I will say this, I’ve learned a lot when it comes to parenting a child like this. You can’t take a moment, not even a second for granted. Because the times that he is smiling and enjoying being a kid – are the moments I hang on to when I see him like this. Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) is difficult. Some people don’t believe it’s real and some people say, just tell him to snap out of it. Oh, I wish it were that simple. If you’re reading this post today and you’re frustrated, sad, upset, confused, let me tell you this, it will be okay. There IS light at the end of the tunnel and things WILL be okay again. I’m already working on a few things for Dylan to do when he gets home because I just don’t know what kind of mood he’ll be in come 3 o’clock. Here’s what I do when a morning like this sneaks up on us…
1. First thing, I email his/her teacher. You should too. Open communication with your kid’s teacher is key to his/her success in the classroom. No need to write her an essay. Just send her a quick note telling her that your child is having a tough morning, etc.
2. Clear your schedule – if possible. Luckily, the only thing I had planned for today was going to the gym and writing…so I will clear my schedule of the first and stay home with my girls in case I need to get Dylan from school.
3. Pull out the sensory tricks. I’ve got Dylan’s rice bucket, playdough and moon sand ready to go for when he gets home. Any one of these will help him calm down. See my post on making your own rice bucket.
4. Don’t take it personally. Sure, it was hard to hear Dylan say that he didn’t like me this morning but I know it’s not me. I know this is hard for him and I’m the only person he can take it out on and feel safe to do so. When I see him hurting, it just fuels me to love him that much more.
5. Grace. I have to remember to give him grace through these moments. I’m pretty tough when it comes to disciplining him but I know there are some things beyond his control…sensory processing is one of them. As long as I remember that there is a sweet, loving little boy inside there, I can keep my focus lazer beam. Give yourself grace, too. This is hard stuff.
You know I’m all about helping other moms out there. You’re doing a good job and you can do this. Today may be a setback but you’ve got the tools to keep going. If you’re just starting your journey with SPD, I encourage you to get a referral for an occupational therapist. This is where I got a lot of my “tools” for helping Dylan. You got this, momma!