August 8, 2019

Difficult behaviors are often symptoms not defiance

The kids had a long day at camp today. Being “on” for 6+ hours, socializing, reigning in big energy, focusing, frustrated, auditory stimulation, sensory overload —— meant that when they got home their energy spiked.

It was like they couldn’t contain themselves.

It looked like bundled up, raw, bubbling to the surface big feelings; power struggles; sibling rivalry; escalation; intensity.

Every time I turned around they were about to clobber one another physically or verbally. They were activated and ready to pounce.

These behaviors are symptoms of exhaustion; sensory over stimulation.

When I’m aware of the reason, it’s easier for me to handle the intensity with grace and compassion and to redirect the energy in a way that’s beneficial for each young person.

The solution?

It depends on the child.

Today it looked like the oldest taking quiet space in her room, alone (before having to do any chores even though it’s my preference to have them done ASAP).

It looked like the middle child going to the basement swing and listening to music. And then going outside with an excavation kit to pound and deconstruct.

It looked like the youngest throwing chalk bombs and clay as hard and high as he could. And then, it looked like going to the field to kick a soccer ball and climbing.

Before all this energy redirection it looked like anger, frustration, defiance, and challenging behavior.

After the redirection we ended with an Epsom salt bath to help de stress even more. The salts help calm muscles. The Magnesium helps with anxiety and overwhelm. Immersion in the water helps to reconnect with the body and calms the nervous system. 💗✨

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