Saturday, June 30, 2012

Learning to Deal with Disappointment

I originally wrote this as a post for another blog (one which I am merging into this one.)  It goes along with the post Using Literature as a Means of Dealing With Disappointment that I wrote back in March.  Now that I am editing and merging I thought I would include it here!!!

Two months ago the last Steam Engine (the Shiloh) made for the Union Pacific.  We had received a flier announcing that it would be stopping in our town briefly on it's tour.  Not only that, but we would be able to see Civil War re-enactment actors.  As visions of how I could use this in future lessons, the train rushed by, followed by the disappointed wailing of my five year old son.  

See how excited he was

Can you see the train?  We almost didn't!!!  Now imagine the look on Chase' face as it went past without stopping

As we walked home he kept coming back to "Why didn't the train stop?"  It is difficult to explain to a five year old the why's of things when you don't understand them yourself.  I let him be upset, to mourn the loss of this experience, and told him that I was sorry he was disappointed.  He often struggles with expressing himself verbally so I was proud of him when he said, "Mommy, I'm so disappointed that the train didn't stop."  It was a proud moment, in a sad snapshot of time.

How do you deal with disappointment?????
  • Let them know their feelings are valid.  By allowing Chase to express his disappointment first in tears, and eventually just a whine he knew that it was okay to feel disappointed.  Not only that, but by telling him that I too was disappointed it validated his feelings even more.  .
  • Find a way to make up for the missed opportunity.  I had just spent the last two hours pumping my kids up for the train to stop and getting a good look at it.  When it didn't pan out, I felt that part of it was my fault (although I had no control over the trains schedule.  Sometimes in this situation it is needful to come up with an alternative treat!  I explained that the next time his brother was with us we would make a trip to the Train museum and he could ride a train.  This didn't alleviate his disappointment, but it did give him something to look forward to.  
  • Distraction!!!  I hadn't planned on heading to the park today, it was a balmy 87 degrees at 5pm and I was tired of being in the heat, BUT!!!!!  My child needed cheering up. 
  • Give them Love.  When it comes down to it, sometimes just loving your child is the only way to deal with disappointment. 
  • Give it time!!!
Yes, that is an expression of happiness on his face!
At the park Mia and Gavin played on the Merry-Go-Round, and played with a turtle.  It was wonderful to hear their squeals of glee, and nice for me too.  I got to talk to two previous students.  It was nice that they remembered me fondly, and reached out to say hello.

 Even after the park, after we had dinner, played in the tub and read our train book for bed, Chase still hung on to the fact that the train didn't stop!  At this point all I could do was put my arms around him and give him the best Mommy hug I had within myself.  He went to bed still talking about his missed opportunity, but fixating on things is nothing new in our situation.  As we prayed he didn't mention the train (which was a miracle).  He talked about having fun at school, going to the park, and asking Heavenly Father if he could play the Caterpillar Game tomorrow.  You know the old saying - Time heals all wounds! His wound healed- the disappointment is lessened.  Two months later we still go by where that train left him, without stopping. Every once in a while he will bring up "Why didn't that train stop for us?"  I still find myself giving him a hug - and now that it is summer time he gets to ride the train all the time at the amusement park!!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Hope and Help

The temperatures outside on Thursday were phenomenal!  In that they were record breaking.  It reached 108 in our neck of the woods (interestingly this occurred throughout the country this week - weird!!)  It broke the record of 105 set in 1952.  Wow! 

Although we own amusement park passes I did not want to bring my children into the heat - even for a water park.  I decided to take them to see one of the free kids summer camp movies at our local Theater.  "Puss in Boots" happened to be the movie - and the kids stayed into it, up until the last 10 minutes.  Emma started to kick Chase, Chase said "I'm done with this movie, mom."  And I was like, "But I want to know if he gets the girl!!!"  Suffice it to say, we made it through.

It was only noon when we left, and I headed for Barnes and Noble so that I could order a book my sister recommended for me, What Your Explosive Child is Trying to Tell You. by Douglas A. Riley.  This book is geared towards the defiant children (Especially those with Oppositional Defiance Disorder), and at first I shook my head at it.  Chase isn't defiant, but he can be explosive.  I finally read the first chapter of the book and realized that the author included children with Sensory Processing Disorder.  My child has TERRIBLE meltdowns, and well, they can be downright explosive.  Of course the store didn't have it, I knew they wouldn't - but it was an excuse to sit down and peruse books while the kids played with the train table in the kids section.  (Yes, a train table.) 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Blog Revamp

A good friend made some suggestions to me about blog etiquette and how important privacy is in this major technological world of Facebook, Twitter, blogging, and well you've got the picture.  My husband had once upon a time mentioned that he didn't like that I used the kids names in my blog (although I used their faces) - I guess I never quite understood the theory behind share the face but not the name.  In talking with these two (my friend is nearing 200 followers on her blog whereas right now I have eleven) I have decided that I need to make some serious changes to my blog.  I want to keep it, because it has taken me quite a while to write all this content - but I need to revamp some things.  While I do this I will be editing many of the posts and do a reworking of the entire blog.   If you have any suggestions shoot them out to me.  Although I have been blogging here for almost two years I still feel like a baby when it comes to all this!.

After much thought - my children will be known for their knew names on the blog - DD (Because that is what his nickname is!), Chase - because it almost was his name, and he keeps us on the go, and Emma (After my sister, and one of my favorite novel heroines - Yup, I'm a Jane Austen fan.)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Meet Chase

The name Chase has a duel purpose -  It provides anonymity to our middle child (He almost ended up with the name Chase Henry - but his brother insisted on calling him something else and we went with it).  It also is a perfect description of our life with him.  He is constantly on the go, and we often find ourselves in hot pursuit!  I start of at the beginning - because there always is one - 

Once upon a time . . . . 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Alphabing, Alphabags, and Rosie's Walk

I have been working on creating activities to work on with the kiddos. I will be working on activities  that adapts a multicomponential instruction framework that  balances alphabetic instruction with other literacy skills. Children need to become familiar with the letter forms, names and corresponding sounds which are all part of alphabetic knowledge.  Piasta and Wagner’s (2010)  acknowledges the reciprocal relationship between literacy skills and  assert that children, such as my Chase, who already struggle with alphabetic knowledge will “fall further behind their peers in reading acquisition, leading to gaps in spelling, reading fluency, vocabulary and comprehension skills” (p. 8).  Although Emma-bear doesn't struggle (she knows her colors, shapes, can count to 15, and is starting to recognize letters) she would definitely benefit from the same activities. 

Gross Motor Skill Activities

Two years ago I sat in a room with one of Chase's teachers as she discussed academic concerns with me.  I felt calm and ready to hear what she had to say.  I knew he had issues, I had been discussing them with his physicians his entire life (although they just said not to worry about it at this point).  She expressed a concern that Chase was developmentally behind in all areas, and that it might be a good idea to begin testing.  One area of concern included Chase's delay in motor skills. Research shows that motor development is the cornerstone to success in school (Cohen and Cowen, 2008).  When I learned this I was surprised.  No wonder P.E. and Recess are key components in a school setting!!!!