yeah, well, we're back finally!

I wrote this three weeks ago when we returned from Sydney, but wasn't able to post it because of ongoing problems with our internet provider. Finally we're back on line! Hooray!

We have just come back from our third RDA (Relationship Development Assessment) with our consultant. It was again, a really good week. We learned a lot and have come back with a good plan to tackle the next few months.

One thing that was really good was to check through a lot of different objectives. RDI has both parent objectives and child objectives. Getting the parent objectives right has a big impact on getting the child through his or her objectives.

There are six stages of parent objectives, and hooray hooray, after 12 months of doing RDI, we have successfully made it through to stage six. This means, amongst other things, that we won’t have another RDA for a year! That makes me a little bit nervous... but our consultant is still within driving distance, so I can always pop up there if we need to.

The main thing that we have to work on is getting him out of some bad habits of using me as an emotional crutch. This has developed because I have taken a lot of time to calm him down when he gets anxious and upset. I have done a lot of cuddles, which has turned into carrying and more carrying, and coaxing and soothing and basically being on his string.

(What started out as appropriate soothing (and good parenting) has become inappropriate soothing (and bad parenting). It gave me a bit of a jolt and my great images of myself doing so well came crashing down, but hey, these things happen, and this is why we pay a consultant – to get the realistic and honest feedback and strategies on how to change.)

We know that he can emotionally self-regulate when he wants to now (whereas he couldn’t so much before), so we are going to start handing him back the responsibility for his own emotions. Basically, we are going to help him to ‘struggle successfully’ and not rescue him emotionally.

That being said, we’ll be working on that stuff at home. When we’re out, I’ll do what it takes to keep the calm, but at home, he will be tested, and more and gradual stress will be added as he becomes more competent at emotional self-regulation.

Our consultant thinks it will take a couple of weeks. Once we’ve had two or three weeks of basically happy, stress-free days – whatever we would consider ‘normal’, we’ll start to fight the battles in the public arenas too.

Bright Eyes is nearly up to stage 4 in the child objectives. This brings him to about a 2 ½ or 3 year old’s level. We are just working on getting more information and communication going through facial expressions.