It can be difficult to know exactly when the right time is to push boundaries and explore more potential. You can be mentally scared from previous disappointments and become comfortable in set ways. It can also be challenging if there are absolutely no signs of interest or natural progression occurring.
I’m personally finding it hard to confidently let go and encourage complete independence.
We have so many goals to work towards and milestones we’d love to achieve but I feel like there are signs or that gut feeling that needs to be explored at the right time that usually has a higher success rate.
Super sensory Thomas was experiencing toileting issues for an extended period of time, much older than the standard age expected. Over time we repeatedly attempted to encourage change, but he became emotionally overwhelmed by it all. We rode it out and at the beginning of this year he was just ready.
Recently, due to Covid-19, new rules and regulations forced us into making changes.
At first, I was extremely anxious but then opportunities continued to arise where it felt like the right time to push those boundaries and encourage more independence.
We’ve always walked in and collected both kids from their classrooms but on return to school after restrictions, parents were asked not to enter the school grounds. We may have been given an exemption if necessary, but we decided to give it a go.
Madi was probably ready anyway but I wasn’t sure about Thomas. Lots of verbal preparation as usual warning before change and initially their aides met us at the gate. We arrived 15 mins later and earlier to avoid the chaos.
After the incredibly successful first week, I suggested we attempt them walking to their classrooms completely unaided and reverted back to normal drop off time.
Once again, lots of verbal preparation with clear instructions of what exactly was happening and what they were expected to do.
I proudly watched them walk through the gate independently and waved goodbye. Their aides texting me upon safe arrival. On return I was there waiting at 3pm sharp to watch them run back out to the gate.
An unaccompanied play date has been another goal for some time now. Madi’s bestie has been eagerly anticipating the opportunity so I then thought it was time to rip off the band aid these school holidays.
Our verbal barrier and inability to communicate resulting in a negative behaviour is still one of my biggest fears.
Madi is extremely comfortable in her best friend’s surroundings. Together we’ve frequently visited her house and recently she’s not even acknowledged me being there. Her friend is experienced caring for Madi everyday at school and is confident she’ll be able to defuse a situation if necessary. I’ll leave her with a backpack full of essentials and will only be a phone call away.
I'm so happy to say it was a tremendous success and we're now more confident moving forward.
At home Madi has also began vacuuming and cleaning occasionally unprompted. Our next intention to create more independence was to introduce a weekly chore chart and earn pocket money for her jobs. So, I think now is the perfect time.
We constantly feel mixed emotions about most if not all our decisions. We’re traumatized from our challenging past but must be positive about the future.
Both kids are constantly surprising us. We need to confidently continue following our instincts and overcome our own insecurities. We need to let go for more independence to grow.