How many times have you been asked ‘ Is it Christmas yet? ‘
For me I have already lost count. Four very eager excited children means the countdown to Christmas is long and drawn out. The countdown seems to start as soon as they see the shops decorated and for most of us that is as soon as the Halloween stock has been discontinued. I find as a parent that shops in general make it very difficult for us parents. Christmas decorations, sweets and music two months before the actual date makes for a very long countdown especially for those of us who have young or disabled children.
For me and my husband having a daughter who has short term memory loss on top of ADHD can make this time of year very stressful. Short term memory loss is hard for anyone. Imagine you are 9 years old. imagine that you cant remember what you learnt in school the day before. Or that you have been given lines to learn but every time you get it word perfect you then forget nearly all of it. Imagine being able to remember what you ate last year but not being able to tell mummy what you had for lunch. Its very hard and can be distressing for both our daughter and for us. This is where story massage helps us the most. As I touched on in a previous blog due to medication my daughter finds it hard to eat as it suppresses her appetite. When we first wrote Magical food during Story massage training with a fellow trainee I couldn’t have imagined how much it would help my daughter. The story gives her the incentive to eat as it appeals to her magical imagination.
On the outside other than a pair of hearing aids my daughter looks the same as any other child you would see. There is no outward sign of her disability. The ADHD is a diagnosis we have had in the last two years it meant that the medication came on the heels of that diagnosis. The memory loss has always been there but for a long time it was masked by the hearing and the other behavioural problems. As a parent you want happy healthy children. A condition if that’s what you call it like ADHD has a huge impact not only on the child or person who has it but more keenly on those people that are around them. As a family of 6 we have had ups and downs. I very often feel that people think badly of me. I use to hate taking my children out for fear of people looking and staring at us. A trait of our daughters is that she can exhibit babyish behaviour. She can also become very fidgety and noisy. This obviously means people look.
Now a days though I feel a lot differently. I can pick up on the signs that she is going to have a meltdown, or that she finds a particular setting or activity stressful. Indian head massage and more recently Story massage has really helped with this. Having the tools to beable to calm down a situation should it arise has been a god send in our house. it has led to us as a family coping a lot better with the complex behaviours associated with ADHD.
story massage also proves still many weeks after starting a huge hit at bedtimes. so much so its asked for on a regular basis.
so back on track…..
most annoying festive questions are 🙂 :
‘is it Christmas yet?’ or ‘is it next week?’ or even ‘is that the next week then mummy?’
The same questions over and over for approximately 6-8 weeks. Not being able to give the right answer as in its Christmas next week can lead to shouting and upset. It can be very draining and very easy to become fed up with Christmas as an adult. So this year I have changed things. We have made up another story massage to help my children count down the days/sleeps.
Writing your own story massage once you have learnt the 10 simple movements could not be easier. Best of all children love to join in and help to write and choose which moves should go where.
so here’s one we have cooked up
This took us about 30 minutes to make up.
There was a lot of discussion going on as you can imagine. We simply sat down and had the basic idea of counting down the days till Christmas. Having a range of ages from 12 and 11 down to 9 and 5 years I find it fantastic that for the most part all my girls still believe in elements of the magic of Christmas. The older two know or think they know there is no santa but love to get into the swing of things for the younger two. Our daughter with ADHD is a firm believer in magic and santa. I am willing to enjoy it for as long as the children wish to believe as I fear for some they have to grow up much to quickly.
in regards to the story I find that this helps my daughter. Each morning or evening we can sit down and have five minutes to work through the story/rhyme and it just helps to reinforce that idea that there is x amount of days to wait until Christmas. It helps her in the sense that she has an answer everytime she asks that question. If its in the day time she will start to ask me then she will pause and quite funnily say ‘oh yeah its x days cause we did that song mummy’
I find it amazing. the positive reinforcement of the massage along with the story seems to make the information stick in her brain a bit better (I am wonderfully technical not!!) plus the repetition means that some information gets remember where it wouldn’t have if I had only just mentioned it once or twice while being annoyed. Doing a countdown this way as well means that there is positive touch at the start and end of each day. Children need this interaction with parents especially in todays world where most of us don’t have the luxury of being a full time mum. that time at the end of the day is precious. Story massage and indian head massage is a relaxing fun way to spend time with your children and the benefits far outway any negatives.
As usual if you would like any more information on story massage please see
or if you would like to chat please feel free to contact me through my website