my son feels stressed and overwhelmed – sometimes sad, of course as a pandemic is stressful! I think also he feels in danger or the beloved ones around. He worried about me or Dad and his grandparents dying. Yes sometimes he can notice I am stressed, so he picks up on my stress and it makes him even feel less comfortable and on top this home schooling…He is missing terribly his friends, school, his routine and just be able to run around in school playground with his friends. No wunder he is frustrated and this comes up to behavior issues in many ways. He is emotionally dysregulated more easily and needs my support. He is asking us to accombine him to the bathroom, he can´t hardly pay attention longer to learning, he purposely provoke me and become angered more easily. He wakes up during night and wanna sleep in our bed, he already falls asleep with this “wish”. He has greater feelings than he feels able to handle and needs even more support from me to feel less stressed – he needs emotional and phsical reassurance.
Yesterday after Zoom class with 5 of his class, he should write tuesday which is not a big deal for him, but he acted first helpless and I tried to show him how to write, than he acted defiant ” he knows how to do, I am disturbing him” and was thrwoing his pencil – this is because he felt overwhelmed and as well sad, because he miss them terribly and always when he has Zoom he “realizes” again that sth. isnt´t right in his world right now! During holiday it was much easier and our connection was amazing, because he could dive into the world of just being a 5 year old one and playing all day, sometimes he was helping us, we were baking or we just had fun!
Of course it is difficult to explain me with words, how he feels, I try to help him to express himself but during day it is very difficult…also I have to learn how to behave “right” in these situations as after he was still very defiant i left him alone and caried on with my household – cleaning…But after a while as he was strolling around near me I offered him to catch up…first one doesn´t work, second one we were sitting on the floor and I was asking him, if he miss his friends and it is not true that mum is shouting at him…He felt that I am not available to help him. I have to learn to resist getting hooked on his rudeness even when he is belligerent with the tears and fears lurking under that anger. Instead, I have to empathy to create emotional safety, so my son can show me those more tender feelings. I have to be more patience and this very very soon and always remind myself he needs my support to cope this challening “new and unexpected” situation. But how?
How to reduce the demands on my son when school expects me to follow up and in 4,5 month he returns to school and has to have the level to continue? So I only can increase my son ‘s inner resources by reassuring him, empathizing with the fact that everything seems like too much at the moment, and helping him with the task at hand.
Ideal support would be:
“You are having such a hard time right now, aren’t you? Don’t worry, Sweetheart. I am right here to help.” I step in, hold him kindly, make it fun, and get the task accomplished. Then I spend some snuggle time to “fill his cup.”
I try now to build preventive maintenance activities into the routine to reduce his`s stress level and try to build inner resources:
- Dancing and Laughter to change the body chemistry to reduce stress
- Snuggling and physical connection to increases his sense of safety
- Artwork, creative or messy play to let out emotions
- Time outside to get him in Balance, lift up energy by doing activities
- During Day regular check-ins with him in which I listen to his worries and thoughts
- Regular play time with him and only follow his lead in play: scenarios of happy families, saving people, rescues…
When I went away yesterday to clean the house, to calm down, I was thinking of a reward system…but actually he should behave, but this is not bad behavior. It is his way to show me how he feels with sth. new he doesn´t know – the only thing he needs at the moment is to feel safe and that he know we are here for him – always!
So we started the Reward system this morning ; )!