We seem to have a new trend going on at my house.
The school week, is going well…usually. Morning drop off is smoother and there is a happy boy saying “goodbye” and heading off to 2nd grade. When I pick up my son from school, he is happy and gladly shares the highlights of his day. This update is generally about recess only, but I’m okay with that since last year recess reports were never good. He tells me who he is playing with at recess and what they are doing. I usually get a little extra commentary about who was naughty and didn’t play fair. I listen and then gently remind him that those children will have the opportunity to start over tomorrow…just like he did after his hardest days.
Once home, we have a snack, complete reading and homework, and still have plenty of time for “The Crafting.” The afternoons are enjoyable and usually low-keyed since we do not have planned (deliberately) after school activities. This is typically what Monday through Thursday has been looking like. I have noticed that Friday afternoons, there is a little less skip in his step as we walk home. He shares a bit less and isn’t as cooperative to do his homework. This last Friday, he shared what seemed like it should come from a man after a 10 hour day at the office…”Do you mind giving me a little time to recover from the day? I’m exhausted!” He continued by saying, “After all I had a spelling test, completed math, and read to someone! Really! What more do you want?!”
Here’s what else I know….Not only does it take him energy to do the school work, but the socializing and the maintaining his emotions takes the most out of him. Because he is bright but socially immature, these skills drain him far more than his spelling or reading. Being able to do this all week, probably IS exhausting.
Now let me share what is exhausting to me…the fall out that I get on the weekend.
Just like our Monday thru Friday routine. We have a less enjoyable weekend routine too. On one of these days (you never know when), there will be a tantrum. It usually starts with a request for him to do something like laundry or cleaning instead of Mine Craft or Legos. The whining begins…it reaches a loud screeching level…and then it hits the peak with a bit of name calling and anger. Usually food and a bit of reflection (in his room) helps to form an apology. We continue to work on the importance of a heartfelt apology and the fact that saying “sorry” doesn’t immediately erase the previous 20 minutes of misery. This “sorry concept” continues to be challenging and one that seems to need an unfortunate amount of practice!
I knew this would happen. I wrote about it in one of my earlier posts where I warned families about the challenging transition from summer to school. The need for him to “recover” on the weekends is important. What I forgot when I wrote that post, is how draining this “recovery” can be on everyone in the family! This is where I have a moment to feel sorry for myself and ask…When is MY recovery?
So I ask you…When (and how) do you build a bit of recovery time in your schedule?
I don’t have advice for you, just compassion. You seem to have diagnosed the situation pretty well. Hopefully the recovery periods on the weekends will get easier as your son adjusts to school.
Yuji-Thank you! These outbursts are shorter than last year and less frequent…that is the good news! I hope maturity and time will help him develop other skills to recover. If we catch it in time, breathing, humor, and a distraction can all help at times.
I was hoping there would be some fabulous ideas here in the comments – but i guess everyone else is searching for that elusive recovery time as well! I struggle to find that time for both myself and for my kids. It seems like there is always something to do and by the time I get a spare moment, I am too exhausted to enjoy it! I think people that are less “Type A” than I ma can let more go, like the house cleaning and laundry and such, but i really struggle with that. Let me know if you discover the secret – and hang in there until you do! 🙂
I hear you! I was hoping for a “miracle” fix too! I struggle with letting the house and laundry go because that tends to create more chaos in our house. If I discover any “secrets” I will share them;)