Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Alright, STOP....and break it down,stepping stones in their puddle.

I wish I could beat box.
That would make this post soooo much cooler, O.K. Well at least for me...
Cuz in my head I am back in the 5th grade, and am sporting some sick Hammer pants yo, hanging in the 8 th row at the M.C. Hammer concert right now. “Rollin' with the Flow”...
And just in case you are wondering, yes, I am THAT cool.

So I know you know this, because I KNOW THIS...and since you are not up at 1 a.m. Typing a blog post, you are already 5 x smarter than me.

Lately my sweeties have struggled with what I call “puddle jumping.”
They get stuck over things I can't tell are a massive flowing river to them, because from my point of view, they just need to put on them rain-boots and JUMP, HOP, SKIP....over a very simple object, issue, frustration, project.
They need to get over it,
because well,that would make my life easier. And lets be honest, I don't always love getting my feet wet while joining them in their muddy puddles. I want to stand outside of the puddle and direct them. With a mega-phone.
Let me tell you how well that works.

(insert crickets chirping)

So here we go, waders on.
A lil refresher on remembering to create stepping stones in your kids puddle.
Because I know that you know, that I know, you and I already know this.

I have a preteen that struggles with a mood disorder and also is on the Autism spectrum. This kid fights and craves structure in even steady breaths.( Imagine those rockem-sockem red and blue plastic fighter guys...in the yellow boxing rink.)

Sometime getting though a single day for him seems the most impossible thing in the world. My point A to point B....for him has numbers and 3 alphabets in a different language tripping him up.

I remember one day this summer , we were watching a movie mid day, due to an unplanned rainstorm, and he looked PANICKED.
“Bud ,whats up?”
“Um , its just that I don't know HOW the rest of my day is going to go.”

Big brave words.

“O.K. I can feel that with you, not enough plans for you to know what is going on, since we are off schedule today...I know...lets make a “just for today schedule.”
And so we did.
He doesn't always require this, but occasionally on a weekend, or day school is out, his need and craving for structure becomes debilitating..and man did I have fun helping him create his half hour, by half hour schedule.
We tossed some boot-ay shaking in there, a bunch of snacks, some jumping jacks, and stair runs, and reading mad libs.
And we got through a giant, sensory messing with, plan destroying rain storm.

Sometimes it is my 4 year old, that literally can.not.clean.her.bedroom.
As if the object vomit of my little ponies, littlest pet shop and dress up clothes is holding her room hostage and refusing her to enter.
There is A LOT of wailing and gnashing of teeth going on..my personal favorite are the dramtic body throws onto the carpet in slow motion...
“O.K. Babe-doll lets just start with all of the yellow things.”


“Yeah...lets not worry about ALL of the THINGS....lets only work on the yellow, and after you are done with that , we should 'high five' it and have 3 yellow m&m's to celebrate.”
Next it is Green, then blue (saving the tide-pool of Purple and Pink for last).

Room clean.

Specifically for kids on the spectrum, trauma, children that struggle with regulating mood and emotion, stepping stones are crucial for there daily success.
Does it get old?

Their successes, are our successes.
When we take the time and energy to set our kids up for small consecutive wins, they in time, learn slowly to believe in themselves and their ability. It is slllloooooww.
But it can happen.

Today I had a child that was so very emotional about a project that was due, that they hadn't let me know about, and was know refusing with ever fiber in their being to attend school.
The broom grabber in me, WANTED to say “Oh heck YES you are going to school.”

and then I took a deep breath and said, “Sweetie lets just start with getting dressed, do that and come back down and pick a song you want to hear.”

Next they fed their animals.

Put their lunch and agenda in their bag.

At breakfast came the meltdown of them “STILL NOT GOING!!!”

And I made a deal if they could just make it to lunch they could call me, and there was a guarantee of a special lunch item and a secret note in their sack.
We stepping stone, mambo-ed our way all the way through school today...and tonight?
After an email into the teacher, we sat and knocked that project OUT.

I think sometimes I forget how much these little humans need their finish lines brought to them.
As I promise myself...”if I can just stay calm and kind and patient...I can go to Starbucks once every last tushy gets on that ever-loving bus.”
It is the same thing.

We all need rewards for getting through our day.
We all sometimes need survival broken into hour by hour, second by second, to just pick up the yellow things first.
We all are puddle jumpers.
Its the experience and perspective that gets off.

I know, I know that you know, that I know, you and I already know this... but because we all have our own lakes and giant rushing rivers...and all need at sometime or another someone willing to put their waders on and walk us through....
I am just gonna remind you, while I am reminding myself.

Mmmm. Kay?

I wonder if waders come in MC hammer pants style?
Stop. Beak it down.