Surviving a Water Landing (aka, “crash”)
As you head into the busy pre-holiday weekend (or if you’re celebrating Hanukkah, you are right in the thick of it), you are likely to have at least one event ahead that may be stressful to your child. Despite our best laid plans, if you are in a difficult situation with your child, there’s unfortunately almost always the possibility that you will encounter turbulence. Having your holiday book and visual supports with you will certainly help, but if your child’s emotional regulation has already gone out the window, it may be difficult for them to focus enough to be calmed or aided by the books.
If your plane is going down, follow airplane rules
- Put on your oxygen mask first! Take a deep breath. Try to move your child to an area that you feel comfortable dealing with the problem. You are amazing. You are your child’s hero. You are an ENT administering emergency treatment. In this moment, you can do no wrong; only your best.
- Use your flotation devices. What are the objects or activities that calm your child? Utilize any available means to calm him. You can give him a favorite object and find a quiet place that the child can have a break and calm down. In the crisis moment, try not to talk too much. If they are too far out of the zone, it’s hard for them to hear you and your voice just becomes more noise in their head. Just focus on the calm.
- Don’t hesitate to use the emergency exit. If it’s over, it’s ok to let it be over. You have permission to do what’s best for your child, so don’t feel pressure to stay in a no-win situation if you have the option to escape!
You are a Gift
In this crisis moment, please do not feel self-conscious about whatever is happening! Those who love you know what a rock star you are. People who don’t get it don’t matter. And remember there’s a huge community of people out there who do get it without knowing you and we see how amazing you are and we love you for all you do. Seeing a mom in a humbling moment fully and selflessly engaged with their child trying to make it better feels like I get a peek through a window into your soul and your love for your child. It is a blessing that fills my heart with love and hope for the future…and I know I’m not alone. My wish for your this holiday season is that you feel the unspoken love surrounding you and your child. It is there. You and your child are a gift to the rest of us. Thank you for being you.