my bear is now five.
this is where we were last year : part ONE!
and, i am still worrying about his anxiety. it seems to be getting worse on one hand and levelling off on another. his erratic meltdowns are sometimes easy to predict, but sometimes not. but when he does have a break down, it is louder, more extreme and it’s harder to bring him back down. as attachment parents, we are very touchy parents. i try to show my love and support by touching the boys often and with meaning. when the kids are upset they are welcome to cuddle in our laps, come sleep with us at night and i try to encourage them to speak openly about their feelings.
but, it’s hard.
here’s what i do know.
bear’s a super sensitive guy. he is sensitive to stimulus, sounds, smells and especially change. he struggles greatly in transitions; when one activity is ending and another one is beginning. i realize that a lot of kids hate transitions, but i sense that bear’s reaction is a bit extreme.
here’s a good example of why i think it’s more than regular kid power struggles or what have you. so, on sunday dear hubby and i decided we would go for a family skate downtown, since it’s still cold enough, so we midas well take advantage of the weather. it was 10am when we started to get the guys moving and by moving i mean, getting them dressed into warm layers. immediately, bear started saying that he didn’t want to go, but we just kept encouraging him to get dressed, get his teeth brushed, because we hoped that once at the rink he would be happy skate.
well, that just got him escalated even more. his volume increased to full blown screams, crying and then physically he was thrashing and kicking as dear hubby tried to hold him. this chaos went on for over half an hour. eventually, i got myself and lion ready and the two of us sat in the car waiting for bear and dear hubby. then at around 11am we arrived at the skating rink. we drove, because of the uncertain nature of bear’s emotional state and it’s only about a 2 minute excursion.
anyhow, long story short. i skated alone, dear hubby went around the rink with lion once, and bear cried and screamed while running next to the rink. it was so awful. embarrassing yes, but awful because here’s my kid who just cannot stop. stop being stubborn, stop and catch his breath, or stop and ______. it feels as though we need to figure out what the missing piece is for him; why can’t he just participate, why does he cry when his friends are at our house, why does he fight back so fiercely?
when we are in these heightened states of emotion (and although it starts with bear, we are all emotionally triggered by him) it feels so extreme. and, as some of you regular readers know, we are in these heightened states pretty often. do i even have to mention summers camps last year… oh, what a disaster they both were! but, as much as i want to help bear i also feel like i have to protect lion in all of this as well. it’s not fair to him that he has to suffer when his brother is panicking, and lion does suffer. we often don’t do things outside the house, because i am worried about how bear might react.
so, i do think my child suffers from some level of anxiety. and, this week dear hubby and i are going to make some phone calls to see what we can do for him. it’s time. his emotional well being is at stake here and watching him crumble into himself like that is heartbreaking. yes, kids fight with their parents and push boundaries, but the level and frequency at which bear expresses his rawness to me feels too frequent.
maybe i’m over reacting.
let’s hope i am.
maybe i just need new parenting tools.
but, i need to know. i need to find out if this is something we need to worry about.
lion’s first skate ever. he barely moved his feet, he mostly enjoyed the ride!
happy hump day folks!