Lizze and I have found ourselves in a position where we aren’t sure what the right thing to do is. Normally these positions revolve around Gavin but this time it’s Elliott.
As many of you know, Elliott has aspergers and severe anxiety. He’s been through a great deal in his life, especially in the last month or so.
This week at school is martial arts promotion and the schools annual Christmas program. Elliott wants nothing to do both either. Promotion is actually this afternoon around 2pm. However, that conflicts with Elliott‘s weekly OT appointment.
At this point, Elliott is doesn‘t want to miss OT. He’s also dead set on not participating in the Christmas show his classroom is putting on this Thursday.
As his parent, I’m at a loss as to what we should do.
I understand what’s behind this. He really needs OT and knows that it will help him to feel better. He’s been through a lot this past weekend and is grappling for some control and stability in his life. Personally, I’m of the mindset to let him have it. Lizze however, thinks he should at least go to promotion.
Part of me knows that she’s right. Promotion is a pretty big deal and it’s all about building him up. She’s absolutely right.
However, we both don‘t want to make his anxiety any worse.
He’s already struggling with the fact that we had to put my old dog Rogue down over the weekend. She has been there all his life and now she’s not.
This is really his first run in with loss. Do we really want to push him?
It’s not like he’s asking to just stay home. He wants to go to OT and that’s productive and a physical outlet. I want to give him control over his life, as does Lizze. The question is, how much control?
As far as the Christmas show on Thursday, I honestly couldn’t care less what he does. This is something put on for the parents and he’s really freaked out by this. Lizze and I don‘t want to force him to do something that really isn’t important in the grand scheme of things, especially if it will upset him this much.
He told me today that he’s having a hard time remembering the words to the songs and he gets confused and embarrassed.
I’ve offered to help him learn the words as well as encouraged him to go through with it.
However, I think that all he really wants is to be rescued from this and told that he doesn‘t have to do it. Again, I’m of the mindset to let him make the choice.
Having said that, I don‘t know if that’s the right thing to do.
I mean, Elliott‘s only 6 years old and lost a great deal in a short amount of time. If he needs to make some decisions in his life, shouldn’t we let him? We’re not talking life or death decisions here. We’re talking attending events at school that have him extremely anxious.
Of course, he’s going to have to learn to do things, even though he doesn‘t want to. However, he has the rest of his life to do that. We have a chance to provide him with some relief and I don‘t see a compelling reason not to give it to him.
What would you do? Have any of your kids been in a similar situation? How have you handled it? How much control do you give a 6 year old little boy?
I would really appreciate your thoughts on this.