I've been thinking about the best thing I could do for my child when he gets home from school each day to help him relax, unwind and settle back into his center. It's a long day away from home (8am to 4:30pm) with a whole lot of listening, sitting still and doing what you are told. That is a whole lot of external influence. All that with only 20 minutes recess a day!
I found the perfect thing.
Do you Grey's Anatomy geeks remember that episode when the surgeon with Asperger Syndrome, Dr. Dixon, looses it and explains in a clinical way that she needs intense pressure on as much body surface as possible to help calm her nervous system. See pic below.
Did you know that a they use a similar principal to calm animals down when leading them to slaughter thanks to Dr. Temple Grandin, a female scientist who also has autism.
So now when my boy comes home from school I spend a moment snuggling with him on the couch, giving him a nice strong snuggle with as much body surface as he will let me. It goes on a tad long, 20 seconds to a minute. Surely something that only a parent could get away with. But most days he lets me. And it does seem to help. And heck, it's good for me! It's nice to have an outlet to fuel all my missing-my-boy-afraid-the-world-will-hurt-my-son-angst.
Other days, he is cheeky, so I pick him up like a baby, hold him to me as tight as I can, and sing Rock-a-Bye-Baby". He thinks it is hilarious! Laughter is good medicine too.
Plus afterwards it is nice to just see what bubbles up from him. I like to think he may be more open afterwards to sharing something troubling him. Or something happy! Most times he is ready to move on and just get to playing.
Try it out on your lovies, and tell me if it helps!
I remember growing up that my mom always greeted me warmly the minute I walked through the door when I got home from school. If she wasn't right there, she would yell down 'hello' and that she would be right there. And she always came down. This always made me feel important. And loved. And secure. She would stop what she was doing and look at me, connect with me, give me her 100% attention. I may of not said much. I may of been too pooped. I may of felt invisible all day in my early years. I may of been dealing with a lot of dramas, in my later years. But her being there certainly helped.
So when your kids come home, take a moment to connect and see them for who they are. Give them a tight squeeze. Who knows, maybe they will grow up and write a really cool blog post about it!
The Domestic Yogi