Thursday, June 25, 2009

let's play...

last night derek and i met with a resident in counseling at creative therapy associates. this group was recommended to me by a friend who once worked there, in an effort to get her license in play therapy. this whole concept of play therapy is so fascinating to me. it's truly amazing how much they can learn from children, while they are engaged in play.

i was quite nervous as we drove there last night, thinking about what this was going to be like. i just kept repeating to myself, why do we have to do this? i realize now that we are definitely doing the right thing for our child. derek and i both left the meeting feeling very confident about the counselor and how she could potentially help our family. after learning about her, the group, and exactly how play therapy works, she had us tell her about andrew. derek spoke first, which was nice. it was good for me to hear him describe what we've been experiencing. i then added some things to the conversation. many times i feel like people may think i'm exaggerating this whole thing, just because i'm the one who gets the brunt of andrew's outbursts, because i'm home with him more. however, it was obvious to me last night, that derek understands exactly what's going on and is fully on board with us receiving help for our son.
after hearing everything we had to say, she told us that she thinks we're coming in at a good point...before things get out of control. she said that a lot of what we told her is "developmentally normal" for his age. she shed some light on several of the issues we discussed and really made me feel that there is hope! she is definitely concerned about the anger and outbursts. she did mention that she'd like to explore the issue of sensory integration, which is interesting b/c i've been thinking about that too...with his sensitivity of noises.
we scheduled andrew's first visit for next thursday...i'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

decisions, decisions, decisions

for about three weeks now, andrew has been counting down the days until soccer camp. if you've seen or spoken to him over the past month, he's probably told you about going to soccer camp.

on sunday night he was so excited he said he couldn't sleep! yesterday, we headed to the soccer fields, where he was given a brand new soccer ball. he could hardly stand it! well, shortly after the "new ball excitement" wore off, and the kids were split up into groups, he decided he wasn't so sure about this soccer thing. understanding that it is very much like andrew to shy away from activities once he's made to be part of a group, i took many deep breaths and tried to work with him, rather than fight him on his decision to not participate. luckily, jacob is for the most part a chill baby, so he was ok in the stroller with minimal attention. for 1 1/2 hours, i played soccer alongside ten 4 & 5 year olds, and the coach. of course, i was questioning the whole time whether this was the right thing to do. i figured if andrew was ok with it, then it was a good idea. he wasn't fully participating, and i heard a lot of "this is stupid. i'm bored. etc" but we made it through the whole camp. on the way home, he told me he didn't want to go back to soccer camp tomorrow because it's stupid.
you can imagine my surprise when he told both derek and my sister what a great time he had at camp. "we kicked the ball...i scored was fun." WHAAAAAAAATTTTTT?!??! ok, so maybe he did like it...let's try again tomorrow, i thought.

how'd today go you ask? let's just say, not so good! andrew flat out refused to participate when we reached the field. he threw a big ol' fit about how it was stupid, he didn't want to do it and he just wanted to go home. at one point, when i didn't seem to be moving, he said "i guess you didn't hear me. i said i wanted to go home RIGHT NOW!" i told him we were not leaving and that if he just wanted to sit and watch the other kids that was fine. internally, i was we just leave? do we stick it out? do i ignore it? do i force the issue? eventually i decided we'd leave, but before doing so, i tried figuring out why andrew didn't want to play soccer. from our brief conversation, i gather that this is not what he expected soccer camp to be like. he thought they'd all just be playing soccer, not learning and doing new things. at one point, i said something along the lines of "andrew, i'm sorry this isn't fun for you. it makes mommy sad that you were so excited about soccer and now you don't want to do it." he looked up at me and said, "well, i'm sorry you feel that way mommy." that's when i decided it was time to leave, but again, my stomach was (it still is!) in knots. where do we go from here with this? i don't want to punish him, by forcing him to go...i don't want to let him make the rules by deciding he's not going...i don't know what we'll do tomorrow! after thinking about this all day, i think i'll explain to him that this is what we have planned for this week. we will be going each morning and each day he can decide to participate or sit on the sidelines. i'll just have to take lots of deep breaths!!!
any suggestions?!?!?!

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