We have some big emotions flying around our house at the moment. I think we are still recovering from Christmas, the excitement and loss of routine and haven’t quite hit our rhythm since then.
Joseph is finding things particularly hard at the moment. I think it is a combination of many things. He is very sensitive and worries about problems and issues in so much depth for his age. I think these big thoughts become mixed up and it can often come out as frustration and anxiety.
We have noticed a pattern though, which doesn’t help the behaviour but does help how we view it. Often, out of character behaviour like aggression and shouting is a precursor to him getting ill. It might just be a bit of a cold or a full blown A+E visit but his behaviour changes dramatically in the days leading up to the illness coming out.
With this in mind we also consider the other possibilities as to what might be effecting him. Is there tension in the house? Have we discussed something with him that he is having a hard time processing? Is an event on the horizon worrying him? If this is the case then we address this, giving him the time and space to talk about it.
Another thing that we are trying to put into place at the moment is strategies to help him when the big emotions become too much. Like having a safe space he can retreat to which in our house has to be his bed as that is the only place Alice cannot reach him (they are in bunk beds). Lately he has started hitting when he is feeling angry so a soft pillow or something that he can use instead may be something we can offer him.
He often immediately calms down when he is given the chance to go outside. There is rarely a time when he isn’t able to go out into the garden. Good waterproofs means he can stay dry even in the big down pours. So that is something else to offer when it is all getting too much.
I think mindfulness for children may be a good option for him too. His anxiety and worry has potential to become an issue and he needs to be armed with strategies to deal with it and I think the gentleness of mindfulness may be an answer.
I will update on his progress with that once I have done some more research!
In the meantime we are all tired and looking forward to half term next week (my husband will be off work) and hopefully be able to have a relaxing time to rebuild ourselves.
And spring is on its way.