Every year when we go up to our cottage, we have a great time. Our son loves it so much. In fact, he hates to come home. That part is very hard for him.
In past years things have been hard when we have had to come home for any amount of time during the summer months.
We have found that calendars with days marked off (showing him when we are at home and when we will be coming back up) makes a huge difference. This way he can visualize and be prepared for it.
Things have progressively improved over the last couple of years.
A few years back, I had a calendar as well as a couple of new items to try to distract his mind from thinking about leaving when he was in the car. He is a very passionate person. He never wants to leave. He would live up there if he could. That’s how much he loves it. I used to plan never to hurry when we had to leave. This way I could give him time to process it and be okay with it before we got into the car to drive home. Usually when I told him we were going home, there would be resistance, anger and sometimes tears.
One time he threw a temper tantrum so bad for such a long time before we had to leave. He was crying and screaming.
It has slowly improved. Usually I promise him a really fun activity when we arrive home and I give him some choices so that he has something to look forward to.
Today, however, I was so impressed with him. I packed all the stuff in the car ahead of telling him that we are leaving so that everything is all ready when it is time to go. I had the calendar with the days marked off that we would be home and the day that we would return to the cottage. I didn’t even have to promise a fun activity or give him a new item (both of which I was prepared to do).
I just talked to him and told him we were going home for camp and that we would be back up in a week. I showed him the number of days on the calendar so that he could visually see it. And that was it. Voila!! Calm and relaxed for the entire drive.
I was almost waiting for some resistance or something to happen, but it never did.
I am so grateful for these moments.
I am so happy that we have arrived at this point. It makes me believe that anything and everything is possible.