Wow! Life moves fast. A few months ago life was bumbling along, I was trying to juggle everything, and we had plans. That’s all, just plans. Then whoosh! Plans happened and life went spinning sideways.
What I mean, is our house is on the market. Was, rather. For about 3 days. Yikes!
It’s been a really tough transition for the kids. So here are some of the things we’ve been trying to do to help them deal with it and stay centered.
1 Stick with the program
Our kids do best with a routine. Not a schedule – where everything is mapped out and done at precisely a certain time. No, we have a routine. Things that we do in consecutive order, at around the same general time. Meals, quiet time, bed times – we’ve kept all of those pretty close to normal. We made specific rules for showing times and how we handle things to keep it as normal as possible for them.
2 Screen time
I know, I know. It’s probably not the best choice. But given the choice between behavioral issues and extra screen time to distract the kids, I’ll take the screen time any day. We happened to get some Wii games that they love around the same time, so they’ve been able to play Wii as we work around them on our own projects. We’re there, we’re present, and we’re interacting with them. We’re just getting stuff done while we do it.
3 Extra physical contact
My kids respond well to physical touch. It helps calm their anxiety and center them – so we’ve amped up the bear hugs and games we play that involve physical contact. I spent a few minutes tonight whirling my youngest around in a circle. His feet flew out, his arms clutched mine, and he giggled and begged for more! It’s a fun game, but it’s also calming for him in multiple ways.
Sensory issues usually cause trouble in our house, but sometimes they actually help. In this case, extra sensory input helps the kids manage their anxiety.
4 Stuff to do
Anyone who has shown a house while trying to live in it knows that you can’t really live like this. It’s probably the hardest thing for the kids to deal with – all the “stuff” is put away. I made sure that various “stuff” was put up in the school closet so that we could pull it out and play. It’s not gone, it’s just managed.
I’m enjoying not having a constant carpet of Legos, but I know that my kids miss them terribly. So compromise happens.
For myself, the anxiety is spiking as well. That manifests in stress cleaning, compulsive organizing, and some major purging going on. All of which are helpful for the move, but not for my health. I’m helping my kids manage the anxiety but I do really need to work on it more for me.
I can do this. Right? Tell me I can do this.