Transitions

This is a time of year for transitions.  Many of us are winding down our school years and getting ready for Summer activity.  For children with trauma backgrounds,  transitions are hard.
I have been wanting to write about this, and I’m glad I waited a few days before writing, because we wound up having to help Sweetie 4 through some transition.

We seemed  to have  run into a perfect storm over here during this time of year.  Anniversaries combined with teen age girl angst and transitions can bring out behaviors that are unwanted by her and by us.
She was STUCK.

As I was focusing in on what to do, it clearly came to mind some of the things we had let slide.

1. Nutrition
At 14, it is harder to make sure proper nutrients are taken in.  Letting things slide like breakfast, or allowing unhealthy snacks instead of healthy protein has been happening over here too much!

2.  Supplements

I am a strong believer in fish oil and vitamins.  We also use some herbs and was letting that slide.

3.  Schedule

We have been going to bed later and starting school later.
Dinner has been late, or sandwiches for about 2 weeks.
There have been reasons, but it doesn’t matter.  For a child from a trauma background, some things cannot be allowed to slide.

HMMMM>>>>  Anybody see a pattern here?
ME!  My lack of being diligent to make sure my part is done is a contributing factor here!

Back to transitions:

Apparently I start to get lax during these times too!  I need to be aware of my own habits so I don’t cause my child to not feel safe.
We had some very sad situations arise that involved our local extended family and friends.  Two deaths occurred that were very untimely.  So for me to be grieving  on top of all the transition added to her dysregulation.
It is not bad for her to see us grieve, this is real life. It was just the first time for her and she didn’t know how to respond.

So needless to say,  we have pulled the reigns in and are getting ourselves regulated and ready for Summer Transition Time!

One of the best ways to get ready for change is to begin to talk about it ahead of time in a positive way.
“In the Summer, we are going to have so much fun!”
Include your children in the ideas and plans  so they feel they have a part in it.

Make a schedule and KEEP IT! (preaching to self here)
Do not have completely unplanned days.  This is not good for a child who is  prone to dysregulation.
Have a wake up time, bed time, even if they are later for summer.
Make sure to have meals and snacks planned.
Have a routine of game time,  reading time, play time, park time,
swimming time, work out time, etc.

We have plans for specific arts and crafts during the summer as well as swimming , volunteering and play dates at specific times each week.  That way she knows:
On Monday we go to the Library, on Tuesday we volunteer with dogs, on Wednesday we have swim/picnic day … etc.
Don’t forget to include daily clean up rituals, and time for reading and rest, so that things can remain orderly.

If you need to, write out a schedule and put it on the fridge for all to see.  Let the children check off on the list if this helps them, so they know what to expect.

I believe that staying focused during the summer, helps with the transition back to school which is so structured.
Structure helps our children with felt safety, and we need to keep that structure in our homes to help with the transition from school to home.  (this includes winding down home schooling and switching to a summer schedule also.)

Comments warmly welcomed!

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