I think I’m figuring out what’s going on with Ryley…..why the behavior has been something to be desired, why the potty accidents have been occurring again, why the shirt-chewing has been happening…….and now why the sleep/night terrors and walking have started up again. I think I have a stress-ball on my hands. I think he’s really anxious…things have changed in his little life and he’s having a hard time dealing with it. Some of the changes have been really positive, but he still has a hard time dealing with things. I had my a-ha moment last night when Ryley was wandering around the upstairs, crying, and still asleep. We’ve been through this before. He had a six month session of sleep terrors a couple of years ago. They’ve started up again. So last night, as I followed him around, calmly leading him back to his room and his bed, it dawned on me…this is all from anxiety. And then I felt horrible for him.
Ryley does not handle change well, any change. We’ve learned the countdown thing for leaving places or going to places. We’ve learned to prepare him well ahead of time of big things/changes coming up. Sometimes, he does really well. He’s gotten so much better about coming and going. Other changes, however, still stress him out. Sad to think of a five year old as stressed, but I can think of no better way to describe it. He just gets in a weird place. Now, I’ve quit my job so I’m home with them, he goes to school only in the mornings instead of all day, he doesn’t get a nap/rest in the afternoon, we’ve travelled together once and then mom and dad left them at home for a weekend, we’re getting ready to go on vacation, and trying to mentally/emotionally/logistically prepare him for kindergarten which starts in just over two months. This may be just too much for him right now. How do I comfort him? How do I give him security? I can’t keep his life static just to keep him from going to THIS PLACE he’s been in for the past few weeks. I can’t always protect him from change. But I haven’t quite figured out how to help him deal with change better than he does. I have figured out that while I cannot let the poor behavior go on, I can be more lenient and understanding about the other ways he exhibits his anxiety. I just wish with all my heart I could keep him from hurt, keep him from being afraid and keep him from being so anxious about things that are good, even if scary. This Fall could be REALLY interesting.