Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Starting Over with My Youngest?
It’s like starting over, only it’s the little one.
Today my boys were at a neighbor’s birthday party. Things were going great until my youngest son (age 7) became overwhelmed. The next thing I see is him knocking over a folding chair and screaming that he wanted to go home. I took him to the side of the house, away from the backyard festivities to help him calm down.
It was like my oldest all over again. Filled with anxiety he explained, “I don’t know what’s wrong!” When I asked if it was too crowded he said, “Yes! Too many kids!” Then he began to clench his fists and growl.
It was 6 years ago that I saw these same reactions to birthday parties in my oldest.
I tried to calm him with my words, but he wasn’t going to go back into the party. So I brought the cake to him and he sat on the side of the house eating his piece of cake alone.
Once the cake was gone he quietly left his corner and with a look of defeat, he slowly walked toward me. I invited him to sit with me, but before I could complete my sentence he was on the run, out the back gate and to our house.
Once I caught up to him I found him pacing outside the front of our house yelling to himself, “STUPID PARTY!!!” and ranting on and on.
As I tried to bring him inside, he tried to break a branch off our tree, then collapsed inside crying saying, “I don’t know what’s wrong with me.”
This event comes at no surprise. Off and on we’ve seen these moments. Even his teacher wrote up at the end of the year letting us know about his behavior during class which would include, “withdrawing from the class and putting his head down or having episodes of being very energetic and not being able to focus, sometimes he would switch between theses behaviors frequently and quickly.” She also mentioned that loud music, singing or classroom cheers would upset him.
Now you would think that since we’ve experienced these behaviors with our oldest that we’d be a step ahead of the game, but it’s just not true. If anything, it’s more confusing. Does my youngest son have an inherited illness such as anxiety? Or is this just a result of post traumatic stress disorder after all he’s experienced with his older brother?
As the saying goes... “Only time will tell.”