worry

All posts tagged worry

My little book of worries…………..

Published December 10, 2014 by thefamilyof5

Inside my head I have a book, it contains all my worries, it seems to be rapidly growing!

I have an appointment tomorrow with the lady co-ordinating the EHC plan for big girl, I must remember to tell her everything!

I have an appointment with the pediatrician next week about all 3 of the girls anxiety levels and the knock on effect its having on their sleep, which seems to be getting worse with age! I need to write an email to the pediatrician so she/he can have all the sensitive information without me having to say it all in front of the girls.

We had a letter today notifying us that middle girls teacher is leaving and a new teacher will be taking her place in January, I knew this was going to be happening, I just didn’t know exactly when. So I need to ensure that school, sometime over the next 7 school days before they break up, do some work with middle girl to prepare her for this transition. Perhaps a photo of the new teacher and an informal meeting with her before school recommences in January!? Middle girl is already worried, ‘what if she shouts’ she asked me tonight. I’d also like them to pass to the new teacher the information (letter to my teacher) that was given to each of the teachers at the start of the school year so that she can also ‘know’ about Middle girl before school commences.

This new teacher (if staff/classes remain the same) might also be Baby girls teacher next September which means they will also need to be thinking about supporting her next year with that transition. I’d also like some thought in how the year 5 teacher (again assuming there are no changes) will support Middle girl next year as I’m not sure the approach she had with Big girl last year, will work with Middle girl next year.

Big girl goes to High School next year (hence the application for an EHC plan), there’s been a lots of talk about supporting her with the transition but I think I need to know more, like how and when etc

With big girl changing schools, Middle girl and Baby girl are also going to need a lot of support with this. It will be a big step for them to be in a separate school. The bad dreams about ‘sisters getting lost’ have already started for Middle girl and I’m convinced this is linked to her knowing that Big girl is going to be changing schools.

Then there is all the other day to day stuff, like Christmas Plays, Sats, Therapy, IEP reviews, Letterbox contact with birth family, what to cook for tea!

Oh, and its Christmas soon……………..

A place for worries……

Published November 11, 2014 by thefamilyof5

Worries are a real issue here, I have 3 little girls that carry around a huge bag of worries every day. After spending another evening listening to baby girl reel off a huge list of anxieties after a massive tantrum,  followed by a super tired big girl who told me this morning that she spent all night worrying about a science activity in school today,  and tantrums from middle girl before school again, I decided we needed to try something………..

We’ve tried books with social stories about managing emotions, coping with worries, friendships, school, the list goes on.

We’ve tried worry dolls but they didn’t really take to the idea of telling their worries to a toy, no matter how magical I tried to make it sound.

We’ve tried the idea of dream catchers and dream fairies but they didn’t help.

We’ve tried setting aside special time to talk about things each day, they didn’t respond very well to being put on the spot and just made stuff up.

We tried family meetings but they became far to competitive with them each making up things just so they could be the one with the most to say.

So now we’re trying writing them down…………………

So I’ve been shopping today. I’ve bought 3 very pretty little tins, 3 very pretty little note books, some post-it notes and pens (I’ve also put inside their previously tried ‘worry rabbits’). It didn’t cost much money or take much time but if it works then the results could be amazing!

I’m going to suggest they use their box to write down anything they want to show me, they can bring me their boxes or leave them in my bedroom for me to ‘find’. They can also use their boxes to write down worries that they want to sort out themselves (aka throw in the bin) using the post-it notes.

I’d love to hear how you help your child manage their worries or if you have any other idea’s that you think might help us.

I just don’t know.

Published April 8, 2014 by thefamilyof5

Baby girls been suffering a lot lately with anxiety. The slightest thing seems to send her into a tizz.

A few weeks ago there was an incident in school, baby girl decided to help herself to someone else’s lunch, and when I say help herself I mean literally. She leaned across the table put her hand in to a child’s lunch box and helped herself. I believe she did say ‘thank you’. I found out because the little girl told her mum, who in turn spoke with the teacher. Baby girl got her 2nd shame invoking yellow card. Her teacher was very good though, she talked to me before hand and asked me how best to handle the ‘yellow card’ situation with baby girl. She did her best to keep it low key and reduce as much shame as possible. She even made it more of a ‘time-in’ type punishment and invited baby girl to help her do some jobs in the classroom, rather than the normal ‘time-out’ type.

Then last week baby girl helped herself to a snack from a box kept in the classroom. The only reason I know about this is because she left the evidence in her coat pocket, without which I’m sure she would have gotten away with her crime.

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Its not the first time this has happened, in fact I’m sure its happened more times than we know, she’s just not always getting caught. Its not a new thing either, its been happening on and off for the last 3 years. Sometimes its chocolate, sometimes its milk, sometimes its crisps, she’s really not that fussy it seems. Baby girls always had issues around food but in all honesty the majority of her food issues have been around control, so she would refuse to eat, or be fussy, or slow, or messy etc she’s never been one to over eat, hoard or gorge food. She has also over the years become more and more obsessed around food, so if someones eating she becomes distracted by it, if we’re going out she wants to know what/where we will be having lunch etc.

When baby girl was in nursery she’d often come home with someone else’s painting. ‘That’s not yours’ Id say, ‘but I liked it’ she’d reply. She never seemed to acknowledge that taking something that wasn’t hers was wrong or that the person it belonged to might have been upset, no matter how hard I tried.

Its been the same with stealing food. She’s never shown remorse for taking the food, but has shown regret once she’s known she’s in trouble. Each time its happened I’ve asked her why and she’s very ‘matter-of-factually’ replied with ‘because I like them’ or ‘because I wanted them’ or ‘because I wanted to try it’.

Then there’s been strange goings on at home. She’s become quite the story teller, making up ridiculous and elaborate stories that are obviously untrue, generally with the emphasis of making herself look like some sort of genius or hero. She’s also been up to her old tricks in the bathroom mixing potions and playing with things she shouldn’t. In the same way that she shows no remorse for taking food and pictures, she also shows no remorse for her stories, or spraying perfume all over mirrors or spreading toothpaste all over the bathroom, or tipping shampoo’s into the sink or playing with the bleach covered toilet brush (yuk!!), her only regret seems to be getting caught, which is always inevitable because she’s rubbish at hiding the evidence, in fact, she doesn’t even try. Its been a while since we’ve seen these unpredictable and toddler like behaviors, so why are they back? I just don’t know.

She’s also been showing me anxiety around change in general, and this can be anything from a different brand of food on her plate, to changes to her daily routine right through to simply driving a different route somewhere. She doesn’t totally freak out but she does become anxious. In fact sometimes I’ve asked her ‘whats the matter’ and she told me simply ‘its just because its different mommy’. She’s also showing me lots and lots of ‘what if’ type worries. ‘what if a fly comes in’, ‘what if I don’t like it’, ‘what if she’s not my friend ever’, ‘what if I cant do it’, ‘what if it rains’ ‘what if I get told off’ ‘what if its wrong’ etc etc. So much worry for such a little girl, where is it coming from? I just don’t know.

Then there’s her sleep, or lack of it, she’s always been such a good sleeper, its always come so easy for her, but lately things have changed. She’s taking longer to fall asleep, she’s waking much much earlier and she’s getting up throughout the night once, twice, sometimes 3 times. ‘I’ve had a bad dream’ she says, although she’s never able to tell me what about, monsters & crocodiles is all I ever get and I suspect that’s to just be a fob off. So she’s tired a lot of the time as well. Are the sleep issues her sisters have genetic? or is this anxiety, or is the lack of sleep the reason behind all the anxiety? I just don’t know.

There is a lot of things happening in school at the moment which is resulting in a lot of visitors, She has told me that she doesn’t like it when there are visitors in school. She says they look funny, have no hair and stare at her, I’m sure they don’t but she feels they do. I mentioned it to her teacher and they’ve been trying to reassure baby girl when there are visitors in school, but it doesn’t seem to make any difference. She just hides her anxiety in school and brings it home. Is she anxious because there are strange people in the school, or because it makes her day ‘feel’ different? I just don’t know.

I couldn't find a picture of a strange looking bald man with clothes so this will have to do!

I couldn’t find a picture of a strange looking bald man with clothes so this will have to do!

There’s the girl in her class that she has become totally obsessed with, they don’t get on, they clash I suspect, but baby girl is utterly distracted with everything this little girl says and does. Is she feeling rejection because they don’t get on? I just don’t know.

What is all this and where is it coming from?
Is this control? compulsiveness? general anxiety? mind blindness? Aspergers? Autism?
or is this something different? I just don’t know.
Is this all associated with school? Is it all about home? Or is this about her life in general? I just don’t know.

I don’t have a social worker to call for advice, or a therapist to go over things with (and all that’s a story for another day), there is no Educational Psychologist supporting baby girl and our GP has never met her, so like always I just have to try and figure things out for myself and work out the best ways for her teacher to try and support her in school.

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At the moment though, I’m just picking up the pieces as we go, because I just don’t know.

1st Day Nerves!

Published September 4, 2013 by thefamilyof5

It was the girls 1st day of their new school yesterday.

The night before I paced back and forth making sure I’d got everything ready for them, purses, snack money, extra snacks, lunches etc etc oh my head was a flurry of thoughts and fears. What if they don’t like it, what if the new lunch bags I got aren’t trendy enough, what if the other children all have something different to them, what if they refuse to go in, what if I haven’t packed enough food and they’re hungry, what if what if what if……………

I went to bed with a headache, I didn’t sleep much.

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We woke early, Daddy had booked the day off work so he could be there for drop offs and pick ups with me, something he usually misses out on. I was greeted by baby girl telling me how excited she was followed by a chorus of ‘me too’ from her sisters, I quickly told them it was ok to be nervous and that I was a little nervous too (ok ok I lied, I was terrified but I didnt tell them that). They all relaxed and no longer felt they needed to pretend to be excited and started to chat more about how they felt.

Baby girl needed a little lot of help to get dressed, her head was all over the place and it showed. Middle girl and big girl remained quiet and got on with getting dressed and brushing their teeth.

We ate breakfast and then realised that actually we’d managed to get ready super fast and had a little bit of time for some TV and of course the obligatory 1st day of school photographs, you know the ones, with bags, without bags, in side, outside, faces, full length etc etc.

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We found a lovely spot near a field with some lama’s to park the car just round the corner from the school which also allowed us a nice little walk, we like to walk a little bit of the way at least. Middle girl ran on ahead, baby girl clung to me and big girl held daddys hand. We called middle girl back and asked her to hold a hand, because even though she was running on ahead and making out that she was ok and didn’t need us, we knew inside she must be nervous too.

We arrived just before the school doors opened so had to wait on the playground for a short while. Whist we were there one of the mum’s came over and asked which of the girls was going to be in year 3. ‘Middle girl’ I said. She went on to tell us that middle girl would be bringing home a birthday invitation that day as it was her sons birthday and before the holidays he’d told his mom about the new girl in his class that he’d met for an afternoon in July, and asked her to make sure the new girl got an invite! WOW that’s middle girls 1st birthday invitation in over 2 years! I felt so happy for her!

We took the girls right to their classrooms, again middle girl insisted she didn’t need us and wanted to go on head by herself but we insisted. Baby girl was reluctant but with a little shove gentle persuasion she joined her class mates. Last but not least we took big girl to her class, she was nervous but she did her best to be brave, I helped her find her desk and her peg and left her to it.

I felt quite confident that the girls were going to have an ‘ok’ first day. I’d given them each a little wooden heart with a message on as a transitional object, I’d even sprayed a little of my perfume on them. They’d all walked in to class clinging on to them, so I knew they were going to offer some comfort, even if only for a few minutes. I’d also sneakily left some little I LOVE YOU notes in their lunch boxes, just in case they needed a little pick me up at lunch time. And with that, I went home (well to the CAMHS meeting).

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The day flew by, and we soon returned to collect them. They all came out of class beaming, all their teachers said they’d had a great first day and I believe them.

The rest of the evening was a little more difficult, the girls had clearly held in all of their emotions and all had so much to tell me, show me and share with me, so at the same time as showering, feeding and calming them, I tried to give them all some time to tell me all about the day. We had a few tears, but only out of frustration when a sister told me something they wanted to say so I reassured them, that hearing the same thing 3 times over was fine. I wanted to hear all about their 1st day from all of them. It was still really difficult, they were wired, emotional and exhausted.

Bedtime came and like over tired toddlers they all thrashed about in bed, arching their backs, kicking their legs until finally they could fight it no more and dropped off to sleep.

Quite a success I think!

Stress, how do you do your’s?

Published June 11, 2013 by thefamilyof5

Stress, we all do it, but how do you do it?

Stress is a person’s response to a stressor such as an environmental condition or a stimulus. Stress is a body’s way to react to a challenge. According to the stressful event, the body’s way to respond to stress is by sympathetic nervous system activation which results in the fight-or-flight response. Stress typically describes a negative condition or a positive condition that can have an impact on a person’s mental and physical well-being.

My girls all respond to stress in different ways and likewise, so do I.

Big girl gets very teary when she’s stressed. She becomes very bossy and dependant on how stressed she is, she sometimes self harms. She struggles more with her sleep when she is stressed. I’d describe Big girl as being very ‘stressy’.

Middle girl bottles all her emotions inside, so well in fact, that its actually very difficult to know how she is feeling at any time, she hides everything behind a huge smile. I think its safe to say that amongst other feelings she has, she feels frustration and anger, I see it behind her eyes sometimes. I’m not sure what her response to stress is though because I can never tell if she’s stressed.

Baby girl is a very sensitive little girl, but she doesn’t really understand emotions at all right now, so when she gets stressed she gets very confused about why she feels the way she feels, this can lead to her feeling chaotic and mixed up. This often looks like ‘crazy and silly’ type behaviour, but as her mom, I know this is stress.

When Daddy gets stressed, which isn’t very often, he gets quiet, he doesn’t sleep well and becomes irritable.

When I get stressed my face feels really hot whilst my body shivers, the smallest of tasks can feel colossal, I become irritable and find myself with an insatiable need for sleep.

5 very different responses to stress.

So how do you do your’s?

Things always come in 3’s

Published May 23, 2013 by thefamilyof5

You all know that saying, the one about things coming in 3’s, well it couldn’t be more true here.

I’m feeling pretty fed up tonight, 3 issues to deal with, all 3 girls in trouble in some way or another and tonight, even though its no different to any other night lately, it all just feels like too much.

I know there is probably an element of my mood involved, quite possibly I have a cold coming, there may be some hormonal contribution and I’m definitely tired and emotionally exhausted, which is also no different to any other night lately, but tonight I really don’t feel like I’m coping very well at all.

Nothing major has happened, it never does, its just a constant stream of non-major events grinding me down bit by bit every day, stress upon stress, worry upon worry, leaving me constantly balancing on the edge of coping. I spend most of my days holding it in, brushing it off, smiling and hoping tomorrow’s a better day.

I sound like I’m being dramatic don’t I, and I probably am, but right now, this minute, this is how it feels. You know that ‘ice cream’ headache sensation you get when you fight back the tears, the lump in the throat, the desperation to just curl up and hide, well its here. And quite often it feels like this, in fact I can’t remember when it didn’t feel like this. Is this parenting? Is this what life is about because quite honestly I’m not enjoying it one bit!

But I know tomorrow is a new day, so I’ll cling to the hope that it will be a better one, again!

The Swimming Badges!

Published May 3, 2013 by thefamilyof5

A few months ago big girl achieved her 50mtr swimming badge, she was elated, more so I think because her sisters didn’t, up until that point they’d all been achieving their badges at the same rate, but this time just big girl got her 50mtr badge so she was extra proud of herself.

Big girl has asked a few times over the last few weeks if she could take in to school her album of swimming certificates to show her class. I felt a little uneasy about this because whilst I know lots of children don’t have swimming lessons, I also know that there will be some 8yr old children that will have achieved much more than their 50mtr badges and it would only need 1 child to belittle her achievement for it to have devastating effects on her self confidence.

So I made a deal with her, I said if she had a good week ‘sleep wise’, then she could take her album in on the friday of the ‘good week’. I made this deal because I know if big girl is tired, then she is anxious, and if someone were to make a negative comment she would fall apart, but with sleep on her side she would be better equipped to face the negativity.

If you follow my blog you will know that on Monday of this week big girl had an appointment with the ‘autism sleep people’. They gave her some relaxation techniques to try out.

The results were remarkable. On Monday night big girl fell asleep within 30 minutes which is a massive improvement for her. Tuesday and Wednesday were the same, I was blown away! So Thursday she asked me if she could take her swimming certificates in to school. Of course I said yes, I pointed out what a great week she was having with her sleep and got her album bagged up ready to take in to school the next day.

Thursday night was a whole other story, she took hours to get to sleep, tossing and turning, thrashing about restlessly just like she used to. The novelty of the relaxation exercises had worn off I thought, I was gutted for her.

Needless to say I put her swimming certificate album back in the cupboard knowing she would be tired. I informed her Friday morning (today) that she wouldn’t be taking it to school afterall. She stropped.

Tonight she went to sleep beautifully again, slightly longer at 45 minutes, but she was back to being calm and relaxed like she had been at the beginning of the week.

So it would seem that the anxiety of taking her swimming certificates in to school is what kept her awake for hours last night, even though it was something she wanted to do, it was still too much pressure. She so desperately wants to be the same as her peers doesn’t she.

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