Living Arrows 4/52: Open spaces and open hearts…

This week has been challenging to say the least. J’s behaviour has taken a nose dive and he is getting more anxious and easily frustrated. I wrote about it in a blog post because I just needed to help myself form a plan of action. I’ve come up with a list of strategies to try, so here’s hoping.

One of the ideas I had was to give J time and space away from people, rules and restrictions. Somewhere with space to run, shout and spin as much as he wants. There are a lot of times where J has to face ‘people’ and social situations that are hard for him e.g.: grocery shopping, town, nursery and visiting family and friends. Even at home there’s rules such as leaving the cat alone, a schedule of when to eat dinner and where, what can and can’t be on tv (no I’m not having bloody Star Wars and Cars 2 on repeat all day).

Now I can’t avoid these situations and neither can J. It’s part of life and he’s got to learn to find ways to manage (well, I have to learn ways to help him manage). It’s no good doing online shopping all the time as he’ll never learn to cope with shopping. Obviously it’s an option if we’re having a particular challenging time. But what I can do is provide release for J. So once he has done a stint of social rules and time being forced to be with others I want J to have chance to just let loose and uncoil that spring inside him.

After Nursery on Wednesday I stopped off at the woodland park on the way home. He’d woken up, been ‘forced’ to get ready for nursery and then abandon his toys to get in the car. He then had 4 hours of following Nurseries routine and be around others who may not do as he wants. I then collected him and it was time to transition again so getting stuff together, leaving what he was playing with and saying goodbye. That’s a lot to deal with in a space of 5 and a half hours.

The park was quiet. In fact there was only two people in the play park so we headed there first. J didn’t have to wait, didn’t have to be careful of smaller children and could do whatever he wanted in his own time. He loved it and I loved seeing him so happy and free. He wanted to go on the big slides and the more challenging equipment…so I let him.

We then went to the woodlands. We walked over the small bridge and I pointed out that the usually dry and muddy channel had turned into a stream thanks to all the rubbish weather. J stared at it following down. I found a leaf and threw it in. We watched it go under the bridge and out the other side. I expected us to then move on. But J was enthralled. Again, it was quiet and no one around to need to use the bridge so we stayed. We had races with our leaves, then moved on to test the feathers and catkins we found on the floor.

J would kneel down to watch through the gaps of the bridge. We then followed the little stream to see where the leaves were going. We found they were collected further down on a fallen branch. J wanted to go down to have a look so I let him. It was only a shallow stream and he had wellies on, so why not!

After an hour we left (it was rather cold and J was turning red). We got in the car and went home. J was so much calmer for the rest of the day. He ate nicely at dinner time (few reminders to actually put the food in his mouth), played board games with me and was happy to play by himself on the carpet whilst I chilled out. He slept well too.

So these photos are a reminder for me that J needs these outlets. He needs stress free and restriction free opportunities so he can relax. These photos will be that reminder for me to just stop.

Thanks for reading and I hope you’ve had a great week x

To read more ‘Living Arrow’ posts simply click on the image below:

Living Arrows
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6 Comments Add yours

  1. We all need to make sure we recharge and don’t exhaust ourselves and yet we often expect kids to just keep going. Providing chill out time after a full day at nursery or school seems highly sensible to me. My son has autism and the last thing he needed when he was little after a day in education was more social time!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mummyest2014 says:

      Exactly and social doesn’t necessarily mean going to friends or soft play it can mean expectations at home e.g.: expected to talk about their day, be around siblings etc. Sometimes children just need their own time and space for a bit x

      Like

  2. Think sometimes a few hours with no one telling you no, fresh air and a good run does everyone the world of good.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mummyest2014 says:

      I definately agree. Does me as much good as it does J x

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Donna says:

    It sounds like you have a really good balance. You’re teaching him the skills he needs but also giving him the time he needs. It can’t be easy to strike a balance like that but it sounds like it’s working well x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mummyest2014 says:

      Thanks, so far it seems to be working well. We still have bad moments e.g. Today he bit my stomach because I wouldn’t let him stop a child from having a toy they wanted (despite him not even wanting it). But there’s been lots of lovely moments too x

      Like

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