You may be experiencing a recurrence of erratic “beginning of the year” behavior your traumatized child stopped right after last New Year.
Oh no, the insanity is back. What is happening? Why the regression? Everything was going pretty well; we must have forgotten to knock on wood or something.
You may be experiencing the re-emergence of full-time survival brain. The end of the school year means your child is about to say goodbye to friends and frienemies; teachers and aides; routines and predictable days. That is seriously scary for a child who has lost biological parents (and plenty of others) at some point in their lifetime and who depends on predictability for felt safety. Loss and change are two paralyzing realities that accompany the last few weeks of school.
What can be done to curb the toxic stress? Not a whole lot, and still there are a few things:
- Introduce your child to next year’s teacher if you already know.
- Take a tour of the next grade’s classrooms if you don’t know who the teacher will be.
- Make deliberate, announced play dates with friends for this week and the weeks just following the end of school.
- Read books to your younger children about going to the next grade.
- If you don’t see a book you like, make up a thinly veiled social story to tell your child where you explain the loss feelings and the fear of unknown changes ahead.
- Be especially forgiving, empathic, and available to your child this week and next.
- Expect overwhelm, outbursts of emotion, and non-compliance.
- Expect an emotionally younger child than you had just a month or two ago.
- Have some quiet talks when you make a few wise guesses about the feelings that are rising up like dangerous geysers inside the brains and bodies of your children.
- Spend plenty of time listening and assuring that all will turn out okay–your very simple, comforting presence is healing.
Unfortunately, you may have these experiences at the start and at the end of school for many years to come. Don’t panic. This is normal for our sweet babies who have imprints that scare them to the bone.
RESERVE YOUR SPOT: Trust-based Therapeutic Parenting Class for Parents of Children from Difficult Beginnings by Ce Eshelman, LMFT will be held on June 9th, 2018 from 9 am to 4 pm. childcare provided for an additional fee. Register here or on our website!
AUTISM Support Group: Monthly Strictly Social Autism Spectrum Disorder Night for Tweens (11 yrs – 16 yrs) at The Attach Place. Open to the public. May 18th, 2018 from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm. Gluten-free snacks provided. Please RSVP to Andrea@attachplace.com so we get enough snacks, right? This is a monthly social group for the children; and caregivers will have an opportunity to connect, chat, and chill in a separate space. A donation of $0.00 to $5.00 will be accepted for food and supervision if you are able, but please don’t let that be an attendance barrier because the group is FREE. ASD kids need a social life and this is a great way to make it happen.
NEW! 5-Week FRIENDSHIP SOCIAL SKILLS IMPROV GROUPS FOR CHILDREN WITH DEVELOPMENTAL TRAUMA–5-7 yrs and 8-10 yrs. groups. The 5-wk group will be $125 total, CALVCB payment eligible, structured, and fun, too. New groups will begin again in August, 2018. Click here for more information.
UPCOMING ADOPTION SUPPORT GROUP facilitated by Ce Eshelman, LMFT: Click Here to join our monthly Adoptive/Foster Parent Support Group on June 13th, 2018! Open to all parents/caregivers at no cost. Support Group is every 2nd Wednesday of every month from 6 pm to 8 pm at 3336 Bradshaw Road, Ste 175, Sacramento, CA 95827.
GIVE MY BOOK FOR SUPPORT TO A FELLOW ADOPTION ADVENTURER: Drowning With My Hair On Fire: Insanity Relief For Adoptive Parents by Ce Eshelman, LMFT. Daily inspirational reading for those who sometimes find it hard to keep hope alive. There is hope for healing. At Amazon or get a discounted copy here.