Holidays are tough for our crew. A time that should be joyful and fun is tumultuous because of routine changes, decorations, and surprises. One would think that after the holidays pass, and things return to normal, so would the struggles calm. However, this is not necessarily the case. The endorphins, adrenaline, and hype still need to be released from their little bodies. All that build up and expectation have to drain as they built. This takes time and sometimes looks explosive.
Yesterday, Will had a rare outburst. Something we used to experience multiple times a day but had largely abated, reared its ugly head. We calmly enforced that he needed to do as he'd been instructed THEN spend time in his room cooling off and we continued with dinner. When he had regained his composure, I hugged him, reassured him, and told him I was proud of him for cleaning up even while he was so heightened.
The process of reclaiming normalcy is challenging. Almost as much so as during the upheaval. Calm responses to our struggling kids will go a lot further than if we join them in their explosions. This is not simple. It is human nature to yell back or stomp too. However, our calm can become their calm. Like last night when Will was struggling, if I had yelled back at him or made a big deal over his struggle, he would have had further difficulty coming out of it. By maintaining my calm, I was able to help him indirectly. I didn't sit with him or actively help him but the general calm of the house because I maintained myself helped him faster.
Deep breaths, closed eyes, remembering they're struggling can all help you remain calm so they can feel the mood and join it. We have had more struggles these last two weeks from Will and Mack than we typically do. But holiday upheaval is serious and hard. The struggle is almost over and we can reclaim normal.