E and J-Man have been exceptionally difficult lately. Our home has been challenging and draining for the past couple of weeks. Parenting is hard, ya'll.
If there's one thing I learned at the last adoptive parent training I went to, it's that "behavior has meaning." My teacher would be so happy to hear me say that! I'm always trying to find the meaning behind my kids' behaviors, rather than just focusing on the behaviors. Because when I can figure out the meaning behind them, I can usually better figure out how to handle them. The problem is that the meaning is not always obvious and sometimes you have to do some trial and error before you figure out what's really going on.
I think E's regressions have to do with the fact that he's starting his first year of preschool next week. He's been very excited about it and he even hung out there with a class a couple months ago and loved it. But I think he's also nervous and worried. That is completely natural, but with E, every emotion is extremely heightened. He's a very sensitive kid. So the last couple of days he has been extremely emotional, having a huge fit over any little thing like milk in his oatmeal after he asked for milk in his oatmeal. Yesterday's fit got so bad and so out of control that I almost called Chris at work because I just didn't know what to do.
I'm trying to talk with him more about preschool and what it will be like. I read the idea of sending a picture of mom with your kid when he starts preschool. They say it can be reassuring for the child to look at the picture or even just know it's in his pocket while he's away from mom. I think I'll send a picture of our whole family in his pocked the first day. I actually think he will love preschool once he starts, but I'm sure he'll be nervous the first day, and as I said, nervousness for E is like nervousness on crack for a lot of kids.
J-Man is another story. A few weeks ago we had a visit with his biological brother and his old foster family. It went way better than we could've hoped. But about a week after the visit, we started noticing some behavior that seemed to be related to grief and loss. That behavior has continued. J-Man's therapist suggested I print a picture of our visit and get him a little frame he can decorate special to keep in his room. I finally bought the frame today and I plan to let the boys decorate frames this afternoon.
Right now I'm probably a little negative about parenting and about my children. I'm tired and I'm unsure of solutions right now. But we keep brainstorming and trying new things and going back to some old things, and I know it'll get better again.