Author Topic: Where to find help for little kids?  (Read 1306 times)

blue

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Where to find help for little kids?
« on: March 20, 2016, 12:31:15 AM »
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« Last Edit: October 07, 2016, 03:24:59 AM by blue »

Captains wife

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Re: Where to find help for little kids?
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2016, 10:43:21 AM »
Sorry Fern - it's so sad when institutions are not mindful of individual children's circumstances. My son is almost 5 and I had so many issues with the first school he was in. So I moved him into a public school program and I'm very appreciative of the fact that the teachers consider our special situation and are mindful of what my son is trying to process. Right now he is starting to feel sad at times that Daddy isn't with us. And it doesn't help that we live in a community with very few single parent families so there are a lot of things/activities that focus on the "typical" family. I just didn't know how to deal with my sons grief or some of the behavioral issues we have been having at school so I called his pediatrician and they kindly came up with a list of names of child therapists that could help. So we have enlisted one and  started going once a week to a therapist about a half hour away from where we live and I can already tell this will be beneficial. But I agree there is a shortage of potential resources for this age group. The only group therapy program for kids in my area is over an hour away, there is a waiting list and the kids need to be 6 plus. Wishing you and your son all the best- none of this is easy.

TooSoon

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Re: Where to find help for little kids?
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2016, 11:46:57 AM »
First, I am so sorry you're going through this and second, if I didn't know better, I would say that I wrote this post on the old message board in the fall of 2013.  My husband died when my daughter was 6; he had been ill for 2 years prior to that and they were very close.  there is a lot that I could go into here but I'll try to keep it short:  my daughter is fearful that people will disappear like her Dad did.  It manifests in strange ways, and ebbs and flows but it is definitely there - a fear of more losses.  That people are going to go away and never coming back. 

There isn't much you can do about the nuclear family thing except try to position yourself and your son in situations where the grinding message isn't that there is just one kind of "normal" family.  We quit our neighborhood pool because I just couldn't handle my daughter trying to play with other kids and their Dads in the pool and getting rebuffed or left out or her hyper-awareness of our being the only people without a Dad/husband.  When we want to swim we go to the pool where my parents swim or go to the public pool. 

And you are right, no one is going to bring up his Dad - I had a hard time absorbing that too once upon a time.  I made sure my daughter was comfortable saying, "I had a Dad but he died."  I made sure she heard me say it to other people.  I felt strongly that she should have the agency to say that out loud even if it made other people uncomfortable because it is a non-negotiable fact in her life, it is her reality, and we can't pretend it isn't.  Most of the time, other little kids sort of shrugged it off and they all got back to their whatever it was they were doing. 

At a year, if you're getting him into socks (we had the sock/tag sensitivity thing - mine grew out of it for the most part) and getting him to school, then you're doing a great job!  At a year, I was still very much struggling with the day to day. 

Finally, I want to emphasize that I believe the best thing you can do is follow his cues.  My daughter does not talk much about her father but every now and then she does and I just go with it.  The unfortunate truth is there are going to be things they don't remember.  I was crushed when my daughter told me she didn't remember the summer the three of us spent in Italy, because it was one of the best times in our lives, but that's just how their little brains work.  The good news is that they also forget lots of the bad stuff.  So I've tried to rationalize it by telling myself it sort of balances out.

I also want you to know that it took me some time and a whole lot of heartache to find my stride with the parenting thing; I remain a reluctant, insecure parent.  I was not the primary parent when my husband was alive and being thrust into that role has been traumatizing for me.  In the end, I hope that the investment in being consistently present for my daughter will strengthen the bond we share, a kind of inviolable trust borne out of walking this path together, a team of two.  Most of all, try not to be too hard on yourself (says the pot to the kettle).  The kids are going to be alright. 

If you can find a good child psychologist/counselor/social worker (you have to find a good one - there are a lot of not so good ones out there - are you near a University?  Try calling the psych or social work departments.  Do you happen to be in the northeast?), I would do it.  We have been going to ours for nearly 3 years and she's been an important advocate, advisor to me and also another constant for my kid who she knows is in her corner. 

Sending support.  Sorry this turned into a tome. 

blue

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Re: Where to find help for little kids?
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2016, 01:24:11 PM »
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« Last Edit: October 07, 2016, 03:24:27 AM by blue »

TooSoon

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Re: Where to find help for little kids?
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2016, 01:46:50 PM »
Fern,  I do not love being a parent.  I freely admit that I actively resent my situation.  It has been important to me to be able to acknowledge that I was ambivalent about having children to begin with but then we chose to have a child and I became the career person in our family and then he up and died.  WTF?!   You're going to do it just like so many of us do it.  And you'll do right by your kid.  There is no recipe or template for how it has to be - just love him.  And try to love yourself in the process.  If one more person tells me, "I just don't know how you do it."  I might self-ignite.  I do it because I have to.  Sometimes, when I'm watching "Girls" on HBO I think, "My god my kid is going to make a series about what a terrible parent I was and how much I fucked her up."  But if so, fine; I was there for her, every blessed day.  If you want to PM me feel free.  You're going to do it and you and your son are going to be better than ok.  Hang in! 

imissdow

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Re: Where to find help for little kids?
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2016, 02:12:06 PM »
My LH died when my youngest was 5. Her kindergarden teacher was horrid at dealing with her grief. Thankfully most of the other teachers have been much better.  I took all of my girls to a children's grief center. It was really good for all of us. If you can find one its well worth the effort. The girls also went to camp dragonfly put on by our local hospice. They only get to go once but I found it helped them. My middle DD went to a private therapist as well for several months. One size does not fit all so try lots of different stuff. One thing that I did do for my youngest was to make a photo book of her with her dad. It was a tad pricey but it's hers to look at when ever she wants. She has taken it to school to show her class and really is a treasured possession for her.
I was a little conserned when she started making up memories of her dad but I have been told it's normal and to only address those that are totally out of whack.
Like TooSoon I am/was a reluctant parent. My plans never included kids and although I love mine I sometimes have a hard time with being active and engaged.  I already had 2 kids when I met LH and often wonder how different my life would have been without my youngest.  I love her but she was very much daddy's girl and she misses him terribly .