In my efforts to work out what is going to help my son when we transition into a 3 child family, I have been looking at what helps my son feel comfortable. It has been quite revealing when I look at how simple shopping trips can affect his emotional stability. Generally Holidays are quite a trying time for us, we spent the first week dealing with meltdowns and stress from dealing with misbehaviour and then the second week, things get easier and then it's back to school when the meltdowns increase again. Needless to say we are not a huge fan of these times.
As an example when we started the holidays I come up with some ideas on how to help the boys behave better and did up some simple activities for them to do once each day. Mind you this was just one hour. I managed this for the whole week. The boys loved the attention, loved the activity and I learnt a lot about how well my son is really doing with his learning (of course I through in some language worksheets). Virtually we stayed home for most of the week besides weekly shopping and a few activities. However when we did go shopping I noticed how much he felt safe at home as when we went to the shops he retreated into himself and even struggled to talk to us.
Second week even though I did have things set up we struggled to do as much activity and routine as the first week. The change in my son's behaviour was amazing. The amount of meltdowns increased dramatically naturally the fighting did too. Overall he was not coping as well as he did the first week, his anxiety out and about increased also. The whole experience was quite an education.
What I felt that was almost alarming is that for my son being at home was a safe haven, he was better behaved, overall was an easier kid to parent and be around. It also got me wondering how much of a stress is going out the front door going shopping on the sensory front as well as the emotional front. The challenge is when bub comes how do I keep things as routine as possible, when he is staying with relatives, or when I come home and he is home with me and the baby and his brother. As parents I have realised that we do have our lives pretty routine orientated and this really makes a difference to our kids and how they cope, whether or not they have any other issues.
Next up I will chat about how I am sorting out some routines to help with the changes and using board-maker to help me with that. I will also show you some examples of what I am doing so you can see what I am talking about, I have completed one but I have a few to go.