Sunday, 17 November 2013

ON MY MIND | Proud Moment

When Kellie from Kellie Stamps ran a giveaway to win her Proud Moment wooden stamp, she asked entrants to share their proud moments. 

My recent proud moment was watching my eldest (9) talk to his mate who had come over to hang out. Isaac even made a joke. 

No big deal you might think. Well, it's not. Unless you are a 9 year old with Social Anxiety.



I didn't win the giveaway (darn it! lol), so I ordered my own (and the Love this Moment stamp as well...couldn't help myself)! 

I started thinking about our little journey with Isaac's "shyness".

He is very quiet, reserved, and to find out how he is feeling is not always easy. I often joke that he is one of those moody and mysterious types.

Isaac would speak normally to people he was comfortable with, such as immediate family and other close family members. The minute he was put in a situation with people he was not comfortable with, he would not speak. That's when the sweaty palms and fidgeting started. That was the anxiety kicking in.

When I asked him why he didn't talk to his friends, he simply said "Because I don't want people to hear me." I understood completely because I was EXACTLY the same when I was in primary school. Thankfully, I grew out of it and it looks like Isaac is too.

These past 4 and a bit years has seen tears and frustration from him. Frustration, guilt and helplessness for us parents. 

Isaac completed the BRAVE program run by the University of Qld and Griffith University last year which taught him practical strategies to assist in overcoming his anxiety. 

We have seen amazing changes, such as:

- he uses his words when mates come over; 
- he responds to adults who speak to him without pausing; 
- he participates in conversations with children his own age even if he doesn't know them;
- he talks to his friends at school;
- he is relaxed and can be himself with his mates;
- he openly tells us what is happening at school.

He is never going to be the loudest kid in the class, but hearing him use his words, even if it's quietly is a massive achievement.

I started to wonder if his quietness was affecting his written expression abilities. It's not that he doesn't write well, he's just not that big on detail or adjectives.

I bought him a journal, and at least once a week, I give him a topic to write about. Anything from Skylanders, to Halloween, to why he hates being late for school (happens most mornings).

Although he whinges and complains that it's boring and he would rather be playing games, once he gets into it, he does really well.



I absolutely LOVE reading his journal and most of the time, we read it together. 

My favourite part of reading his entries is the amazing insight into what is going on in his head. It allows me to understand him even more. I love that.

Being aware of his thoughts and feelings, and having the ability to express them in words will be an invaluable life skill for him. Train them young, I say!

This journal is going to be such a treasure. For him and for me.

4 comments:

  1. What a fantastic tool for him and for you to use. I love this concept and wonder if it would be something my Mr 8 would benefit from. He is definitely not shy but I think the reflection would be great for us both to look and watch his growth, especially since he has just started at a new school.

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    1. If you give it a go Kylie, I'd love to hear your thoughts. Thanks for dropping by xx

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  2. Sue this is fantastic. What an amazing thing for him to not only express himself with you, but something that you and he can look back on when his an adult. xx

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    1. thank you miss Kellie! It's great seeing him open up more before my very eyes xx

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