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He’s Back

I”ve mentioned an uptick in Little Man’s anxiety as the end of the school year approaches. Much as we know it’s coming, the expected change in routine, the difference between scheduled and unscheduled, and even the differences at school as all the end-of-year activities come up throw him off. His anxiety shows in different ways – he’s harder on himself, he cries more easily, his outbursts are more frequent. He’s much better than he used to be, but the anxiety is part of him, part of who he is, and all his triggers are in play this time of year.

It’s been months since he’s come into our room during the night and snuck into our bed. He’s been sleeping better for a long time, and I contribute that to a growth spurt and hormone change. He’s also been in a much better, more relaxed and confident place this year. Whatever the causes, better sleep for him is better sleep for everyone.

He’s been in our bed, or tried to get in our bed, four nights in the last week. I woke at 3:30 this morning to a clicking sound. I initially thought it was Spouse getting a drink of water. Then I realized it was the familiar sound of teeth grinding and jaw-clicking. Spouse does not grind his teeth, and in my middle-of-the-night stupor, it took me a minute to figure out it was Little Man in our bed, grinding his teeth away. Sigh…in my bed, and grinding his teeth – a sure sign his anxiety is at a high level.

He has 10 more school days. We will have the inevitable fallout of him adjusting to the summer routine/non-routine, so I figure I have about a month of him crawling into my bed most nights. I’d just gotten used to him staying in his own room and sleeping soundly all night. That anxiety-fueled, teeth-grinding, flop-around-on-the-bed insomniac is back. Dang it all anyways.

9 thoughts on “He’s Back

  1. hang in there. we had a lot of issues with anxiety and change in general when my bf son came to live with us full time. how we handled the changes in schedule for bf son was to display it on a clock. when he was younger, we went to the dollar store and bought about 5 clocks. each has a glass covering that I was able use a dry erase marker on. each day when he woke up for breakfast we would ‘plan his day’. I would color in the times on each clock with a different color. each clock would go in a diff room for easy looking.
    this helped him relax and adjust to change.
    it got to the point that I had to use wiggle lines for ‘wiggle’ room in some activites.. like going to store and straight lines for activities with definite time ending, like bedtime.
    I know this doesn’t work for everyone. it took a lot of trial and error as well as time effort with all of us. it made him comfortable. after a while I was able to get rid of a clock in a room. only had one where it was marked out what we would do when he would get home from school due to him getting older. now he doesn’t use it.
    I understand what u are going thru. hang in there!

  2. My boy graduates from high school on Friday. We’re working with the transition caseworkers to enroll him in the local junior college and find him a part time job. Big changes! I’m keeping an eye on his anxiety behaviors. High five to all of us Moms at this busy time of year!

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