Hudson Valley Parent

HVP March 2018

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Page 14 of 39 n Hudson Valley Parent 15 in routines, notifying children ahead of time can provide the time they need to mentally and physically prepare. In my house, our routine leads the day from getting ready for school, to the drive home, meals then playtime, bath, and finally bedtime. When things are going just right, I am the proud mama to a happy, well-adjusted toddler. On occasion when the unexpected threatens to disrupt our day, I talk about it with my son as soon as possible to give him enough time to process the news. Prisoner of rigidity For a long time, everything about our routine seemed to flow with ease. Then one night Daddy turned off the light instead of me and it was complete chaos. Our son was having a full blown meltdown because the wrong person turned off the light. Without realizing, our son had been making a mental map of our rou- tine, down to the tiniest detail. Our routine has become so perfect and uninterrupted that he couldn't handle even the slightest variation. My son was a prisoner of rigidity. And just like that, all our hard work to build a comfortable routine for him had to be thrown away to break him from his rigidity. Feeling completely counterintuitive, we started purposely changing our routine to help break those concrete patterns for him. It was heartbreaking. As a mom, I just want my son to be happy. Forcing him to deal with changes like this was causing him so much turmoil and many nights I just went to bed in tears. I com- pletely understand his strong need for things to be a certain way, to make him feel safe and comfortable and now I'm completely screwing that up for him. The guilt and worry was overwhelming. Helping people with challenges live the fullest life possible. If you're looking for supports for children and families... If you're caring for a medically fragile child at home... If you're working to recover... If you're working to be healthy... If you're in crisis or know someone who is... ...We are here to help 1-888-750-2266 Specializing in children from infancy to teens Children with special needs welcome Sedation Dentistry available Child friendly environment with video games, Netflix TV and playhouse Most insurances accepted as full or partial payment. (Continued on Page 16)

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