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2011-01-19

What's Up at School - Adjustments

We are 2 weeks into DS1's transition into the English Stream at School. He continues to do really well -  even better than we had hoped in many ways! He is finding his school work easier and he's not having to use his Worry Scale right now (which is absolutely wonderful as he had been having frequent crying outbursts). 

Now, there are still some times when he needs to put the Scale into practice at home - he gets overwhelmed by homework, or anxious about going somewhere, or "off balance" in some other way. Then I need to remind him that when he begins to feel himself becoming overwhelmed or upset, he needs to take a break. If he ignores his body's signals that he is stressed, and tries to "keep at it", then the stress will continue to build, and he will become even more upset.

Sometimes, he will be beyond the power of suggestion, almost paralysed with the fear of "not being able to do it". In those instances, I may have to literally lead him from the table to the couch and hand him a drink, book or other diversion, or sit him down in the rocker with some tissues if he is crying uncontrollably (in those cases, I also find a visit with his hamster can help to re-balance his mood once the tears stop, and get him back to a better mood). And, there is the fine balance of enough but not too much focus on this, a very thin line between helping him and adding fuel to the fire - too much or not enough sympathy tend to increase the intensity of the tears, while just enough helps to end the "episode" within a few minutes. Thankfully, I've learned this over the years at least!

He feels pretty good about the transition at this point, though he does miss his friends from his old class, and has had a lot of anxiety Sunday nights/Monday mornings: butterflies over going back into a classroom where he doesn't know everybody yet. The guidance counsellor echoed my feeling that this is quite normal and is to be expected for children switching classrooms mid-year. Still, I was encouraged by her reassurance, and to learn that her son also experienced similar feelings when he switched streams. She has also spoken with DS1 about these feelings. He always appreciates those chats with her - there is something about hearing it from someone other than Mommy apparently ;-)

All in all, a HUGE improvement so far, and immensely rewarding to see! Once he gets used to the new friends and environment, I am sure we will see an even bigger change.... and I can't wait to tell you all about it!

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