Is Your Child a Homebody?
Summertime. A time to be carefree; a free spirit; a new world explorer. Or maybe not.
Our son loves to be home. Given his choice, he would stay home pretty much most of the time — in his pajamas with his hair all messy and toys all around him. He doesn’t, of course. He is usually pretty busy between school, sports, OT and so forth. However, we have had a two week break between the end of school and before summer camp starts. Getting him out of the house with the babysitter has been a real challenge.
Don’t get me wrong. In general, the babysitter situation, as I wrote in my last post, is working out well. We hired a 17 year old boy and our son loves playing soccer, basketball and XBOX with him. This is good. However, he does not want to leave the house to go to the playground, or to the batting cages or to the YMCA pool. I attribute this to his being uncomfortable with anything new which I think is part of his cognitive rigidity aspect of ADHD. It is difficult for our son to face new situations and changes.
My approach to this has been twofold. First, try to get a good friend to do the activity with him. The idea being that a good friend provides our son with the comfortable framework that he needs. Secondly, I strongly encourage him to try the activity (encourage might be a bit euphemistic) and tell him that if he does like not the activity then, after he tries it, he can come home. Usually he then goes and has a great time!!
We go through this for every new activity. It is frustrating, it is annoying and it makes me sad that it is often so difficult for him. I remember my summer days of free flowing play and exploration and wish that things could be easier for our son.
I often question myself on whether he is just being a homebody or is it a form of anxiety/cognitive rigidity? My mother’s instinct tells me that it is his anxiety. And so we soldier on trying to think of new ways to make him comfortable enough to try new activities, situations and sports. It is a daily battle that I wish was not a battle for him at all.
Do you face a similar situation? How do you handle it? Any ideas for me and for others would be greatly appreciated!!
Until next time …. Take care!!