This last week has been a bit one for the boy. He turned 8 on Wednesday and had a school sleepover on Friday night followed up by his party on Saturday. No wonder he is tired today!
The sleepover at school has been on my mind for a while because the boy doesn’t do sleepovers anywhere. We had been speaking very positively and enthusiastically about the sleepover at school for a while, that he would be with all his friends and in a room with 30 or so boys so it’s not like he would be alone….. etc etc.
On Thursday night it all came to a head and he went to bed crying that he couldn’t sleep without mum or dad there and he just needs us. It was decided that Dad would stay the night as well at school – not ideal but if it meant the difference between him staying or not then Dad would stay. He was happy after that.
At the end of school the next day I spoke to his teacher to tell her about the boy’s anxiety about the coming evening and how the man would be staying, and she said that she would prefer that he didn’t, that they would try to get him through the night by themselves. I asked that she be the one to tell the boy, as he wouldn’t believe me if I were to tell him that Dad wouldn’t be staying. So she did, at which he promptly burst into tears and said he wouldn’t stay then.
I then didn’t say anything else about it, and drove home with the boy being very quiet in the back seat. I said we had to via Nan’s house to pick up a sleeping bad and he got a bit cross with that because he was in a hurry to get home and pack!!
By the time we pulled into the driveway at home he was happy again and very excited to be going again. I had sent a message to the man earlier making sure that he wasn’t going to be home until after I had left to go back to school. Didn’t need to set the boy off again…
We went through a few strategies together that he could do if he got a bit homesick. Things like take a deep breath and thoughts like how proud he will be of himself when he has done it. And of course how proud we would be of him. When we were ready to leave he said, ‘If I get worried I just know to just get through it!’. Wow I thought!
I dropped him off at school and helped set up his bed, and didn’t see the boy again. He had taken off with his group of friends the minute we had finished in the room. I hardly got a ‘good-bye’. I wasn’t complaining!
It was very strange without him at home that night. I haven’t had a night without him for a long time, and if I am away somewhere then he is with the man at home. We went to bed with both mobile phones next to the bed in case we received a phone call in the night. But all was silent!
I asked him the next day how he managed to get to sleep, and he said that he just shut his eyes tightly and put his head under the blankets. Whatever works!!
We are so very proud of him, and how he has started to help himself though problems. We have noticed that he needs time to adjust to new situations and does a lot of internal talking and working out of problems.
Again, whatever works for him!