Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Silent Nights

As promised, I am starting my posts about Christmas.  I apologize for the wait but I had a silly accident last week and needed a few stitches in my thumb, so typing is a bit difficult.  Lesson learned, do not cut frozen butter with a sharp knife.  That's what happens when you are rushing and not using common sense.  Enough about that ... Christmas was different this year.

Last year, and years prior, Austin has always gotten very excited and over stimulated by Christmas.  He would be bouncing off the walls and very hard to calm down.  This year, we decided that we would be prepared and know what to expect, not so much.  It was almost completely different from the last few years.  He was very quiet and even withdrawn, very different behaviour and concerning when you are expecting the complete opposite.

We, my husband and I, changed a few things this year.  We did not decorate the house as we normally would in the past years.  (Kaleigh was not thrilled to say the least and tried to negotiate how she could talk to Austin so he would not get excited by the decorations.  It is always a debate with her. :D)  We only put up a single string of lights around the lamp in the living room.  Austin really liked them, so I asked if he would like some in his room.  I thought that maybe the exposure to a single strand every night in his own space may help and he can be afraid of the dark so why not give it a try.  I took Austin to pick out is own lights, he really liked the ones with the soft glow.  So we bought them.  He did however, dislike being in the aisles with all the decorations.  He did not get upset like he would at Halloween but expressed he wanted to leave and quickly too!  When we got home, we put the lights around his headboard and turned them on for him.  They looked great and Austin was very happy.  I was waiting to hear him start bouncing on his bed or something, but no, he was very quiet and did not react at all to the lights.  Not what we were expecting but very pleased for Austin.

We did not decorate until a few days before Christmas, the same for our tree.  We only got it a few days before and it not decorate it right away.  Austin was really pretty good throughout the days leading up to Christmas.  We told him that we would be having Christmas dinner for the family this year, about 20 people.  This got him a little upset.  He asked for a "safety zone".  Could he use my husband and my room as a safety zone away from all the people.  He asked and reacted in such a calm manner, both my husband and I did not hesitate and said "sure" right away.  As long as Austin could get away from the noise and people he stayed pretty calm.

The first few days of this quiet spell we were a little worried.  We were really expecting him to act so differently but he sort of came around and his behaviour levelled out to a more typical everyday behaviour.  He did have a few times when he came home from school and was a bit excited because, well, all the kids are more excited at school.  The crafts, decorations, talk of Santa, presents and their excitement affects Austin as well.  He really did surprise us this year.  We, are, as always very proud of him!

I always try to just go with the flow and accept how Austin is feeling and reacting to situations as they happen.  I continue to learn that things can change and you cannot predict how a child may react so I try to take it day by day.

All the best!  *HUGS*


Victoria said...

I'm going to try your approach this upcoming year. This year we kind of got behind and didn't do much at all, but Froggy was still overstimulated and excitable. She did get brave and talk to Santa though, so that was a triumph in itself.

I'm so glad you had a more peaceful Christmas. :D

Mommie that Gets It said...

Hi Victoria,

That's great news! I know Santa can be a challenge. Austin did not like Santa for a long time. He was so afraid.

It is hard when they are so excited. I pray that if you try what we did, that it works for Froggy. I hope all of you are well. :)

Thank you and I hope you had a lovely Christmas and New Year's!

:) *HUGS*