I wake each day wondering what the weather will be like in our house. We have a particular little person who is the weather man in our house. For reasons beyond our predictability, he will wake angry at everything and everyone, defying EVERY single request, or he may wake peaceful. Even he doesn’t know why the weather is the way it is. But, one thing is for sure, the second you know it’s a stormy day with a chance of tornados, you have to embrace yourself, put on your armor of God, yes, but also equip yourselves with your storm gear, or else the tornado will whip through the house leaving nothing but debris and emotionally exhausted people. I try and stand strong but sometimes I get swept up in the tornado and spat out once it’s done.
When I write it down, the reality of the intensity of our day to day life living with an emotionally unstable and intense kiddo is apparent. The hard part is, when the storm is raging and the tornados are coming, I know this isn’t my kid. The anger, aggression and defiance is not the child I gave birth to. This is the extremely frustrating part. It’s devistating. I don’t get the super calm, chilled, summer vacation kind of weather in our home often, but when I do, it’s divine. It makes me teary because I get to see a glimpse of my actual son. Unfortunately it only comes a few times every three months or so.
There are a few things that I’m doing to try and help him with some success which I’d like to share in hope they might also give anyone experiencing our challenges with some tools to use:
Detox that stuff out
Straight to a hot bath with Epsom Salts. I put on some candles, an audio book and leave him be for about 30mins. Goodness, maybe I should lock myself in the bathroom and give myself a calming bath too. How good would that be?! With 5 kids, it’s something I can only dream of doing.
We have started working with a Biomed doctor. She has really helped so far. He is definitely slowly improving with her help. Citrate Mag and Zinc helps his farm to be more calm.
We use the Zones of Regulation for our son. It’s a wonderful tool to teach children to recognise their emotions and how to get them to their calm, happy place. They learn what each zone is like (ie, in the Red Zone my body is angry. My hands get sweaty, my words are loud). They then decide on a few activities they can do to get out of that zone back into their calm and happy Green Zone. This tool has been really helpful, especially in my husband and I having a common language to use with our son, and pre established activities that can be used when he is struggling in the red zone (the chart is on his wall for quick reference). I highly recommend this.
Histamines are his ANGRY foods. Especially Cocoa, bananas, anything with starters like yoghurt or cheese, probiotics and tomatoes turn him into a beast. We have to watch his diet very carefully.
Being out in nature without any boundaries or expectations help because to add to the fun, when the storm is about, oppostional defiance accompanies it.
During the storm, aggressiveness and impulsivity kindly join us alongside the ODD. We have a ‘no excuse for abuse’ rule in our house. Whether it be a verbal or physical abuse incident, its consequence is timeout and making amends. It’s important that he takes responsibility for his actions, even if he didn’t mean to. But, there are some days he is struggling so much that when he is in the midst of a tornado, when asked ‘do you need a hug?’, it is usually met with a ‘yes’ and sob from both of us. We usually spend some time in prayer together at this point too.
It’s our heartbreaking reality. I keep praying for my calm, happy guy to hang around more consistently. Our Biomed doc is giving me hope this may just be around the corner. I sure hope so, as it’s this kind of hope that keeps me going.