Wednesday, February 19, 2014

How to Handle a Never Ending Meltdown

I found this post from January 2009.  It was a good reminder of how far God has brought us. Bubs was just 5 1/2 years old at the time of this writing.

Let me give you a glimpse into an afternoon in our life.

Today at approximately 1:00 p.m., I gave Bubs a job to do. The entire job was something he does frequently and is age appropriate. The total job would take 5 minutes if he was focused and on the ball. Depending on the day and his emotional control at the moment, this job is

Immediately, he informed me that didn't want to do it. I said I understood this but he wasn't going to do anything until the job was completed. 

Here is a time lapse: 
1:00 - Task given and denial for obedience spoken. 
1:30 - "Mommy, I need you to hold me." 
2:00 -  "Mommy, I want you to stay in the kitchen with me while I do my job." 
3:00 - The job was moved to his room. I helped him get started. He was told that he was welcome to come out of his room when his job was completed. Bubs started crying.  
5:00 - "Mommy, I am cold." 
5:50 - (Stopped crying and calmly said) "Mommy, I need your help please. Something is wrong." I helped fix the problem.
5:55 - Success!  The job was completed.
Did you do the math? 

That was five hours.  Five hours that Bubs spent putting off a small task.

Many people will read this and think that Bubs is very strong willed, as I used to. Now, I realize is it so much more.   A mixture of sensory overload, anxiety, and inability to control his emotions. 

Some will think that I should have handled this differently. Maybe I should have.  But, because of the Holy Spirit I can say that I never lost my cool and always kept the problem in Bubs' hands. 

By the time the five hour stent ended, Bubs had learned some valuable things.
  1. Unless he is in control, Mommy will not help him. 
  2. Mommy means what she says. 
  3. If he starts to whine, he must repeat what he said in a calm voice.
  4. As Dr. Kevin Leman writes in his book Have a New Kid by Friday, in our home "B doesn't happen until A is completed."
Don't get me wrong.  This was a rough five hours.  It was brutal on a momma's heart to watch her little boy internally struggle.  But, it because I love him so incredibly much that I could have peace that setting and holding the boundaries and expectations firm was what God has told me to do. 

And afterwards, the hugs and the look of satisfaction on his face made it all worth it. 

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The Our Out-of-Sync Life blog focuses on encouraging women to deepen their spiritual life, simplify daily tasks, and impress Jesus on the children around them.