This post is about the journey that many of us are on, helping our children to be the best that they can be.
When parenting a child who in some way, shape or form needs that little bit extra, this journey can feel arduous. Physically, emotionally and logistically, the demands are greater. The list of ‘I shoulds’ a mile longer. It’s easy to fixate on the end result, forgetting that it’s a process of give and take, involving not only forward momentum but backward steps too.
Do you ever get so bogged down by it all that you throw in the towel temporarily? Either out of defiance or sheer exhaustion? That’s exactly what I did last year. The result? A broken window. A broken window and an $800 repair bill.
The story begins in term 4 last year. Opportunities to speak and work individually with children began growing rapidly. My husband was travelling interstate more weeks than he was home. Our amazing chiropractor went on maternity leave. The children’s end of year exhaustion hit. And I had 3 weekends in a row away from home.
I had stopped doing so much of what had helped my son to progress on his path. I had stopped doing what I recommend to my clients and to the educators I train.
With less time to connect, more exhaustion, inconsistent movement therapies and irregular chiropractic care, my son’s integrated Moro Reflex returned. This is the fight or flight reflex. The one that we had worked so hard to successfully integrate. And it was back in a big way.
The window wasn’t broken by conscious choice. It was broken in a Moro meltdown. A tantrum like no other, when a child loses all sense of impulse control and conscious awareness. (For the differences between a regular tantrum and a meltdown, read this).
From that place of rock-bottom, how are we getting back on track?
1. Unconditional Love
It’s really hard to show love to a child who has just broken a window. But I dug deep and did it anyway. Mr 5 didn’t receive a consequence for his actions. Seeing what he had done and my reaction to it was enough (shock and tears, oh so many tears). We talked openly and honestly about the Moro Reflex’s return, why we thought this may have happened and what we could all do to get back on track as quickly as possible.
2. Quality Time
Moving into 2015, my husband will be travelling less. My work commitments will be sufficiently spread out to ensure that my calendar actually reflects my values (family #1). We’ve also scheduled a Mummy/Daddy solo Saturday for each child every term. This is something we’ve talked about for 2 years and never got around to actioning.
3. Consistency in Movement Therapies
To create any kind of neurological change, the body needs consistency, intensity and duration. Therefore we’re back to doing our movement therapies daily (a combination of Rhythmic Movement Training and Move to Learn). With shared responsibility for this with my husband, when I’m not home, it will still be done!
4. Resuming Regular Chiropractic Care
We found another chiropractor who specialises in neonatal reflex integration. And we see her regularly! This complements the movement therapies beautifully, speeding up the reflex integration process.
5. MTHFR Investigations
I have the MTHFR gene mutation. It was found to be the cause of my pregnancy complications several years ago. It’s highly likely that I’ve passed this onto my children, Mr 5 in particular.
This podcast on Underground Wellness opened up my eyes to the role that this gene mutation may be playing in my son’s development.
I’ve known for some time that when nutrition isn’t 100% right, chiropractic adjustments won’t hold as well and integrated reflexes can sneak back in easily. I thought our very clean family approach to eating was enough, however if the MTHFR gene mutation is present, a lack of folate and B vitamins will be undermining our efforts. Correct supplementation, however, can make all the difference.
So back to the broken window. What did I learn?
I’m not superwoman. I know that this approach works. And yet sometimes I fail to consistently implement my own advice in real life. This doesn’t make me a fraud as I had feared. It makes me human. It helps me to better relate to the families on the journey beside me. It expands my personal and professional experience of life. It sends me back to what I know with a new sense of determination and dedication.
The journey never ends. It just evolves.