Sunday, 11 January 2015

Dry January

Another year has passed us by and a new year has sneakily begun without us even really noticing. I have not posted since the end of September as I have decided to take on more stress in my life and I have started a 4 year university degree course in Inclusive Studies.

Christmas in the past has been one of the most stressful times of year for Ryan. He does not cope well with all the disruption, both in school and at home. The dynamics change there is a distinct element of chaos. Excitement, different activities in school, going to stay with family or family comming to stay with you.  In previous years Ryan has been physically ill with the stress of the holiday festivities, not knowing how to react and respond to the numerous changes and differing emotions, but this year has been one of his best ever. He has been in secondary school for a year and is now in year 8, so he knows the routine of the school, has a nice small friendship group now, is was prepared for what to expect and how the school runs up to, and then winds down for the Christmas break.

We planned to go and stay with family in Devon, but chose to rent a holiday cottage so that Ryan could have his own space and quite place. I showed him pictures of the cottage on the internet and gave him a detailed plan and timetable of what we would be doing and where we would be going each day. We arranged to have a large family Christmas meal in a local pub and I arranged well in advance a separate menu for Ryan with his input.

We had a lovely few days break and some much needed family time. As is so usual with the festivities lots of chocolates eaten and for the adults lots of alcohol consumed. Now although Dadi Skilts and I never over indulge and get drunk (much too old for that) both boys nagged us about our drinking and how bad it is for us. As it happens soon after returning home we saw an advert on TV for the Cancer Research charity challenge of completing Dry January to raise money for an outstanding cause.

One thing I can say about us as a family we are quite competitive with each other and when our two boys unite together and set us a challenge there was not really any question on raising up to it. Dadi and I signed up with Just Giving there and then, created our Dry January team and became Dry Athletes in a matter of minutes.

If Ryan can continue to astound us with his ability to learn to cope with situations he finds difficult and stressful, then the very least we can do as parents is attempt a situation we may find difficult and show him we can overcome and adapt too.

Challenge accepted

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