Life on the Front Line – Week 21


A weekly blog from a family made by adoption, warmed by the laughter, broken by the sadness, held together by love with a big dollop of hope, oh, and often soaked in mummy tears.

Back to school and back to life feeling like it could give way from beneath us at any moment.

Small, managed three mornings of getting to school on time and a full day on Tuesday in his mainstream setting. However by Thursday the anxiety levels had grown and as school began, he and I were still at home. He lay with his head in my lap and I stroked his hair as he repeated in a breathy voice, “I can’t do it, it’s too hard”.

We got there eventually, he needed a bit of a run up to it all and he managed fairly well once in school.

Having been on our knees at the end of the previous half term, I’d made a decision that we were not going to bring unfinished school work home with us this term. It didn’t go down that well with his teacher at the PRU who suggested we needed to keep up the pressure and not allow Small to “opt out”.

I tried my best, with an emotional croak in my throat, to explain that Small needed down time and the pressure of more work at home was too much for him. Plus it was starting to undermine the trust we are building in our relationship.

I knew that this stress was also too much for all the family. Small, swung between digging his heals and refusing to complete the work, to a meltdown of not being able to do it and then finally an hour or so later, reticently doing the work through sobs. Far too much for all of us.

Tall was on his knees tired on the first day back at school. I was very worried about how he might manage. However , those supporting him in school, report that he has had his best return to school, following holidays. He also completed a full merit card in the first week back, which had him almost bouncing through our front door on Friday afternoon.

Yet again I had that Friday feeling last week. For me on I Friday I look forward to, once we are all home, closing the front door and keeping us all safe for the weekend. We don’t really do very much apart from hang out and home, just the four of us.

I asked Tall this weekend if he ever found our weekends boring. “No I like it being quiet and calm” he said. This is also how I feel; I just want to feel safe and calm.

So now we are revived after a quiet weekend and ready to face another week, let’s just hope.

In Other News

We’ve got Tall’s parent’s evening this week although he’s lost our appointment card. Wish us luck.

Had Smalls’s revised EHC back and I’m happy to say that the additional content gives a greater representation of his complex needs.

Rewarding Small for going to school is costing us a fortune, does anyone else almost pay their child to go to school?

2 thoughts on “Life on the Front Line – Week 21

  1. Karen

    Not to go to school but not to soil himself at school. We have a treat bag. At the start he could take a treat every day that he was clean, now we are weaning him off it and he has to complete a certain number of clean days to get a treat, we started at two and are currently working on a run of 12.

    When we were on daily treats, each treat cost a maximum of £1.50 but most were were just £1, now we have less frequent treats I have allowed the budget to go up to £3 per item. Our treats are mostly toys although he can choose a new story book instead of a treat if he wants to.

    I don’t think there is anything wrong with rewarding the behaviours you want to encourage, so long as there is a plan to reduce and remove the rewards once the new behaviour becomes the norm.

  2. Sandy

    Sounds like quite the struggle! We’re fortunate that our lad had taken well to school, after the initial stress of moving from nursery. The anxiety of missing his friends was tough at first. We’ve made a real effort to keep seeing his two friends from there which is what has helped the most we think. He has even been handling the transitions from holidays back to school better as the year goes on.

    The thing that is going to bankrupt us is getting him to brush his teeth without any hassle or tantrums. It’s up to 50p a day (25 for the morning and 25 at bedtime) now and it’s starting to work as he’s realizing the benefits of pocket money. This is our last battle ground for control and we’re certainly not out of the trenches yet.

    Keep up the good fight!


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