Being a mum at Christmas time can be magical and soul lifting. Your children are little bundles of happiness bringing light into the dark. This time of year is no different to any other time of year when raising disabled children. It has its ups and downs, lows and highs but I cope….don’t I? Its christmas, presents have been opened which means lots of new and exciting toys, the big meal has been cooked, eaten for another year and the new year is upon us. Its the time for family, for laughing and for relaxing isn’t it?
Our house is full to the brim, and usually with four girls it start’s to feel like a battle field on the cusp of war. Each side posturing at each other and goading each other trying to get a reaction. With one of the eldest glued tightly to her phone and the other glued to her laptop with the excuse of doing homework the youngest two have been amazingly entertained with colouring pens, drawing paper and that wonderful invention LEGO!!!!
Usually by now the magic of christmas has worn off and my youngest are fed up and bored and waging war on their older sisters and on me. You see our daughter who has ADD and Anxiety finds the holidays exceptionally difficult as there is no routine. What to you and me would be a time for play and relaxation causes her anxiety and pain. Pain in that she can not cope mentally and physically. The lack of routine disorientates, upsets and angers her. She becomes a social Piraña not able to cope with having her sisters and parents around full time and not being able to have her own space even though she has her own room owing to her little sister wanting to play all the time. This means that she becomes stressed out, hitting out and shouting out. Not unusual with her diagnosis but its so much harder when she is at home and not in a routine. Routines help her
- Make sense of the world
- Interact with her elders, Family, Professionals
- Control her impulses
- Reduces her anxiety
The exception this year……..
The exception this year being that the gifts are still being played with. The marvellous discovery of lego this christmas has led to an amazing amount of building, concentrating and general family time. We have had Duplo since the children were little but felt it was time to upgrade and move onto more interesting lego sets. Ergo we have found Lego Creator and Lego Friends and this is something that the whole family has got involved with, so much so we braved the sales to buy some more!!! .
We have found Lego helps:
- Development of fine motor skills…. the bricks are smaller
- concentration…..Following the diagrams means that they have been sitting there for ages following the instructions
- Sharing……helping each other to find the pieces that they need
- Motivation……..”I’m Bored” is a common saying in our house, Lego has become a good motivator to getting the children to sit still
- Creativity…….watching the bricks they put together become a car, a plane has been amazing
- Socialisation………perfect for mummy and daddy time helping the girls to figure out the harder parts
Its been a great success, so much so that we have been looking for more sets to keep the flow going and undoing the sets we have so that they can be built again. The creator 3 in 1 sets are especially amazing as when they are bored with one vehicle they can rebuild it into another one……oh my god why didn’t I discover this beforehand!!!
Don’t get me wrong it hasn’t been all lightness and fun, there has still been times that I feel like walking out especially when I am being hit and shouted at but I have to stand tall and remember that its the condition that makes my daughter feel and act like this. The anxiety and behavioural issues makes her act out and the memory loss makes the world a confusing place and school holidays for us like so many parents with children with ADD and ADHD can be a challenging time.
A great tip for next christmas, try some lego and watch their imagination’s and creativity take flight.
Happy new year to you all see you in 2017
xx Leanne XX