Little Man has been struggling of late….nothing new….it’s part of his journey, normal for him. As I’ve written recently, he’s been avoiding going to class, which results eventually in falling grades. With high school looming, we’ve had to incorporate some tough love into the routine. Teachers and the principal are on-hand to track him down if he doesn’t show up to class. We are notified if he misses a class.
At the beginning of the week, when we were alerted the extent of the problem, we took his phone and computer away. We took it all away. Caveat – he does have his phone at school. He listens to his music when he’s getting overwhelmed…I give him his phone as he gets out of the car to go on campus, and take his phone back as soon as he gets home.
The first couple of days sans devices, he was fine. He even seemed happier, less amped, less stressed, less reactionary. I thought, “Hey, maybe this is actually a good thing for him.” Yesterday, he hit a wall. He was pacing. His breathing was elevated. I saw all the signs of high anxiety levels in him. He still has three more days after today without his phone and computer. Who knows how that’s going to go.
He has had to be more creative. He created a paper character to make a stop-action film. He’s been drawing more. He still isn’t outside much. And he really wanted to talk with his friends last night (he typically texts or facetimes them every afternoon). He had something of a meltdown when he realized he wasn’t able to do that.
It pushes him when he doesn’t have his devices. That’s both good and bad. Those devices are his way to decompress, but then he becomes reliant upon them, to the point of tuning out the world. I think he needs to tune out the world for a little bit when he gets home from a 7-hour day of school where he has to be “on” and mentally/emotionally working the entire time. He is tapped out. But if allowed, he will ONLY be on his devices, watching YouTube videos and playing video games. It’s a very difficult fine line to find, much less stick to.
Wish us luck this weekend. It could either be great, or a complete nightmare.