Well it seems like just yesterday we were starting the school year, and here we are the end of term!
The end of term brought on a whole slew of bad behaviours, acting out and general anxiety. Whilst most kids look forward to lazy mornings, more telly, extra play time and later bed times, for my kids it just seems to entirely rock their worlds (and not in a good way). I was relieved to have met up with a good friend and fellow adopter and to learn from her that her child was also really struggling with the end of term. It seems the loss of routine and predictability really doesn’t sit well with adopted kids.
The first few days have been hard. We’re back to intense jealousy from the oldest towards the youngest and we’re trying to calm them enough so that hopefully we can enjoy our summer holidays.
In our household we’re busy planning our first overseas holiday with the kids. It’s exciting, and yet nerve wracking. With the kids already anxious we’re hoping the anxiety can be replaced with some enjoyment once we’re actually there.
I’m trying to think of fun surprises to make the holiday theirs so that they’ll really remember it and cherish it. I started by buying them their own piece of luggage in their favourite colours. I also bought a luggage tag for each of them in their (according to my second) ‘other favourite colour’! I put the tag on the table one day after school and asked them what they thought the tag might belong to, my eldest got it immediately – ‘A LUGGAGE’ they screamed with delight. Then I sent them off on a seek mission to find their luggage (hiding under their beds). They were delighted to have their ‘own’ piece and immediately wanted to fill it. Thankfully, I’d also been pre-holiday shopping and bought them a few things which could immediately go in!
In preparation for the flight we’ve loaded up their Samsung Galaxy Tabs with new content (I just LOVE the Cbeebies app as it’s always got some GREAT games and they are free!), games and videos. I’ve ordered them a great Usborne travel book (Little Children’s Travel Activity Book) filled with stickers, puzzles etc and hoping the excitement will get them through their anxiety.
Once the excitement of our 10 days away has ended, I’m trying to proactively prepare for the emotional crash that always seems to come when we come back (the sheer relief they feel to actually come back to the same house, bed etc is always short lived, they then get grumpy about not being back on school!). I’ve started planning a lot of playdates for when we’re back and a few other ‘adventures’ (trips up to London to see a matinee performance, dinners out etc.) to help the holiday pass.
We’ll also be doing some catch up on reading. I’ve learnt from other adopters too, that developmentally our kids can sometimes remain behind the curve. This becomes a double downer for the kids. They are so emotionally overwrought about things (in my eldest’s case he remained on such high anxiety during the first ½ of the year his reading got further behind) they cannot absorb the school work, and then once they are not absorbing the work they fall behind which then leads to even more anxiety etc. So I’ve decided to spend some time this summer doing some ‘extra’ reading and maths work. I’ve tried to find books related to things they like rather than the traditional Chipp & Biff series which they had in school! I’ve found a great series by DK Books called DK Readers. They do so many topics it makes reading fun rather than onerous, they were actually just looking at the books as they loved the look of them and wanted to read them!
So that’s my strategy for the summer, lots of fun activities, hopefully mixed with some down time, play dates, some activities to remind them of school and lots of coffee!!!!
All the best everyone for the summer.