I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. Since my son got out of the hospital, I’m in constant worry about his behavior. Will he make it through the school day? Will daycare go okay after school? It’s all a big question mark. Medication doesn’t solve everything, but it helps. It just doesn’t always help enough. So how do you stop the constant worry?
Stopping the Constant Worry
I am not 100% sure how to stop worrying all the time, but I can stop the worry some of the time using a few simple strategies.
Breathe. Just Breathe.
I take time during the day to take deep breaths to stop the worry from overwhelming me. Will he or won’t he behave? I can’t control it all, but I can control my breathing. I can slow down my heart rate. Take ten count breaths in and ten out. Repeat as necessary.
It’s Not Under My Control
I’m a control freak. I recognize that. I want to be able to control everything, but I can’t. I’m fortunate enough to work at the same school as my son, so that helps some with knowing what’s going on, but even though he’s just down the hall, I know I can’t control it all. Sometimes stopping the worry means letting go some. What will be will be. I will do what I can when I need to, but there’s no sense focusing on what I can’t control.
Refocus my Energy
Sometimes it helps to focus on something else other than the worry that comes with raising a child on the spectrum. During the day, I focus on my students and their needs. This helps. I have enough to focus on during the day that I don’t need to think about my son all day long. I see him in the hallway and at lunch and that’s enough checking in for the day. The rest of the day, it’s all about my students. My work consumes me, and so I can make it through the day by focusing on something else.
Keep It in Perspective
Yes, my son has issues during the day. Some days he sleeps at school, refuses to do his work, and is uncooperative, but that’s not the end of the world. The only thing I need to worry about is the days where he throws things, uses profanity, and throws furniture and those days are becoming less and less as we set up reward systems and keep him focused on earning his reward. Even at daycare, he makes it more and more through the day after school knowing that he has something to lose. When I think about it that way, I know we’ve got things mostly under control.
I still worry
Yes, I still worry. I still think about my son momentarily throughout the day and wonder if I’m going to get a visit from the principal that he needs my attention. But they’ve been very supportive and helpful. They’ve worked with him through it all. I’m thankful that he’s being well taken care of and that even on the rough days, I can count on them to keep me in the loop and allow me to try to get him under control again. Not everyone has this privilege. But hopefully, your schools are working with you to keep your child in the school where they belong like mine does.
In the end, things in are God’s hands. I can pray that things go well during the day and that my son will make it, and I know that most of the time, God answers this prayer. I have prayer warriors at my church who also help pray that my son does well. I’m thankful for that. I have a great support system through them.