Post-Christmas Break Break Down {The Sky Is Now Officially Falling}

   Every year after the Christmas break is over & school starts back we have problems! Is this just my son or is this common, I bet it happens to a lot of our kids! It sucks & we knew it was going to suck but no matter how well you think you are prepared for something you know what? It still sucks!
  It’s partially my fault for taking the first few weeks of “How was your day Jayden?” “GREAT!” he would say. Yeah…just gonna take that a face value! Yesterday I pushed to find out how things were really going & found out what I should have know, if you don’t watch where you’re going while driving the titanic you’re going to hit an ice burg! Yeah… we hit an ice burg!
   Piles of old papers stuffed in his desk that stood as high as his desk itself, I learned from his teacher. That poor woman who I can only imagine probably, after this year of school, talks in her sleep… “Jayden, what are you doing?….Jayden, why is all this work in your desk?… Jayden, why are you crying?… “
    I have been trying all my tricks to get this under control this year before we head to middle school next year. (I don’t even want to think about it!) We have now moved from taking things away like game time or TV time when he has done something wrong to taking most everything away & making him earn everything back through successful work & life habits. Will this work? Hell if I know but man, I sure hope so! My hope is that without the distractions of things that we normally allow a bit of throughout the week like TV, Netflix, & generally Zombie-ing out around the house & making him mostly stay in his happy place(his room) reading, working on some of his projects that are a bit more brain stimulating maybe we can get him to where he needs to be! We spent a long time yesterday talking & going over our new way of doing things yesterday. A lot of tears were shed, many “I wish you would get hit by a truck” looks were given, & I think we all understand each other now.  We didn’t get there without some rough patches of the conversation though. About mid way through out talk I asked Jayden “How does this all sound to you? How do you view this? You can tell me how it makes you feel & you’re not going to get into trouble or offend anyone, just be honest & lets communicate.” I got an answer that cut me like rusty prison shiv! “Honestly, it sounds like the start of a very horrible life” So yeah… at that point I wanted to say “I don’t care about school, lets go out for ice cream & head to the science museum!” But I controlled myself & we talked a lot about responsibility, perspective, & the ripple effect that is set off by his actions.
     Long day! Looooong day! Today he came home with a positive attitude, had all his work in his bag,  & he got his snack then headed to his room to work some sort of invention out of circuits that I’m sure I will hear all about tomorrow.

4 thoughts on “Post-Christmas Break Break Down {The Sky Is Now Officially Falling}

  1. leann.whitman

    We tried the revoking all fun stuff (tv/video games/computer) thing with alex for about a year.
    It made everyone miserable and got us nowhere.

    Now when he has a major issue, he gets sent to the prinicpal’s office to discuss it, then has to write out what he did incorrectly, and write out 3 better solutions. Then he has to bring it home for us to discuss and me to sign.
    I thought it was ridiculous but after a year of hell I figured we could give it a shot.
    We came to the mutual solution during an IEP meeting with everyone- me, principal, teachers…

    And lo and behold- it worked! We have only had notes sent home 4 times this year, playground fights have stopped, he has quit fighting about assignments and willingly does his work and is a much better student all around.

    Our new principal is very involved and the system is working great for everyone.

    Now I have to go to bed, now that I have told you how fabulous he is behaving, I’m sure to get a phone call tomorrow morning relating to some insane incident of my spawn’s creation…

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  2. Nancy Ricotta

    We also experienced patterns of desperation/depression/anxiety and noticed that they appeared in late August (before the school year), late December (first semester burn-out) and late May (before end of school year). During these times we felt like we were dragging her through the curriculum, despite the tantrums and the tears. She’s twenty now, still in high school, but we have a little better perspective. We found the trick is not to let the really black days hit you to the depths of your soul as a parent, because, as you saw, tomorrow could be a great day. If you can modulate your emotional response to their comments (my favorite is that my daughter tells my husband that he must move out!), you can even out your own emotional ups and downs. That helped me not have to recover from depressing days and weeks. We got her into a virtual school program now, and have eliminated the social elements which were a real obstacle. We still struggle with the algebra, but at least we have eliminated the bullying, and feeling of “otherness” that she really picked up on. Good luck with those beautiful boys!

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  3. Melissa b

    I could have written your post! I have a 10 yr old, 5th grade boy, and this year has been our hardest yet. He was happy and smiling all through break, one week into school, that boy has disappeared. Work is partially completed or not done at all, and I’m sure when I go in next week to look at the desk, I’ll find a few papers tucked away in there. We have tried taking everything away, and now are working on a half and half approach. A guaranteed 15 min of screen time, with an additional 15 to be earned with good behavior and completed work. Will be looking to see how your approach works.

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