Thursday, May 28, 2009

reading the cues

My children seem to be suffering from a recurrence of "it's almost the end of the school year and I must lose my mind"itis. I'm hoping they survive this flare up with my sense of humor intact.

It's amazing how different two children raised in the exact same household can be. My daughter can be a sensitive soul. She can work herself into a tizzy with very little outside stimulus. Figuring out how to cajole her out of these funks is tricky. It starts with trying to figure out what is causing her funk, and that is usually difficult to do. She's good at smokescreening you, avoiding the real issue.

She has small little moments of sadness several nights a week since her father left for deployment. After a couple of weeks of her working herself into a stomach ache and sobbing, I had to be tough. I now allow her 5 minutes of crying time. Then she has to suck it up and go to sleep. This was instituted after many other strategies were offered and failed. Diary time, talking, writing to daddy, dancing like a mad woman, visualization, nothing seemed to help her. And this solutions doesn't always work, but it has definitely helped. But this past week or so, I've noticed a diffferent type of sadness, and slowly it's been coming out (well, I've been piecing conversations together.) She is in 5th grade, and will be moving to the Junior High next year. This is a big change, but the change is minimized for her since the Junior High is attached to the elementary school. Same lunch room, same band room, same entrance. But slowly, she's learning that some of her friends won't be joining her in those rooms. One is switching to her home school, instead of school choicing. Another is moving to Texas. These are girls that she has literally known since Kindergarten or First grade, they've slept over at each other's houses dozens of times, shared birthday parties and simple growing up things. Going to a military school, she's used to people coming and going, and there are other kids in her class moving on as well. But it's a lot of changes all at once.

Luckily, I've been able to get her talking a little about the situation, and simply acting a fool with her from time to time seems to help the cloud pass over and sleep come. It's not always that easy, but for now I'll accept it.

Monster has also been having some minor melt down moments, although his occur just after pick up each evening. He's graduating from Kindergarten, and moving on to First grade. We go from half day of school, to eating lunch, having "specials", and homework. Luckily, he is super easy to cajole out of these funks most of the time. A good 5 minute session of tickling, kissing, wrestling and such generally gets him back into a good mood and ready to tackle whatever comes next.

As a mom, I'm happy that I'm able to find the keys to helping my children learn to cope with their feelings. I really feel that this year has brought us closer, and although I wouldn't have chosen it, I'm glad I can see the benefits from it.

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