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Følelser. Når barn viser sinne… ikke legg til skam.

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I arbeidet med barn og unge har jeg observert og kjent på deres sinne og frustrasjon. I noen sammenhenger blir det kalt utagering, utfordrende atferd eller atferdsproblemer(særlig når det er mye av det). Barn som skriker, slår, sparker og ødelegger. Ødelegger matrielle goder og relasjoner.De kan komme til å skade seg selv eller de rundt dem. Disse barna kan kreve at andre skal komme seg vekk, holde seg unna. “Uoppdragene”, “krevende” og “vanskelige”. Noen til og med omtalt som håpløse eller umulige.

Ingenting provoserer meg mer enn at mennesker som jobber med barn og unge, eller har dem i livet sitt, legger skylda og makten på barna. At problemet ligger i dem og de må fikses. Det er så enkelt å jobbe med mennesker om det er slik man ser det. Gi staffettpinnen til barnet, så hva? La han eller henne løpe til h’n stuper? Er det pedagogikk? Er det relasjonskompetanse? Hva lærer man av det?

De sinte barna jeg har møtt så langt i livet, har all rett til å være sinte! Livet har vært ubarmhjertig mot noen. Skadelige oppvekstvilkår, traumatiske opplevelser, mobbing(også traumatisk), utestengelse, manglende mestring, blant så mange andre ting. For høye krav og forventninger. Uklare, for vide eller for snevre rammer.

Barn og unge som blir ydmyket av sine omgivelser, som får beskjed om å skjerpe seg. Si unnskyld. Ett barn fortalte at den eneste kontakten med klassen var når h’n måtte inn og si unnskyld. Unnskylde for sitt sinne.

Ingen unnskyldte barnet. Barnet som ble aktivt løyet til av de andre. Som gjerne ville, men aldri fikk innpass. Som ikke klarte å skjule og manipulere som de andre barna. Barnet som utrykket sine sårede følelser med sinne. Verbalt og truende fysisk. Som om ikke de hånende kommentarerene, latterliggjøringen, lyvingen, avvisningen og mobbingen var noe å bli sint for. Fordi barnets reaksjon var utilslørt, styrt av alarmsystemet i hjernen. Forsvaret, kampen og flukten. Den konstante avvisningen og falske inkluderingen setter spor i en liten kropp som har avvisning som sitt største reportear av relasjonelle erfaringer.

Barn som er blitt valgt ut for å være skrudd sammen annerledes. Terget og presset. Til ballongen sprekker. Slag, spark og dytting. Ute av kontroll. De andre blir ofrene. Gjemmer seg, gråter, henter voksne. Barnet får kjeft. Skam deg, det er ikke lov…

Hva da er ikke lov? Å sette grenser for seg selv? Å være sint? Å stå opp for sine egne grenser? Å si stopp, dette er for vanskelig for meg? Å få nok? Å bekytte seg selv eller andre? Hvis ingen lytter til dine meldinger om at du ikke liker det, at det ikke er gøy, at du har fått nok…. grensen er nådd. Du har prøvd å be om hjelp eller kanskje har ingen vist seg verdig til å være din støtte. Hva skal du gjøre da? Man blir aktivert! Alramen går, rullgardina går ned og kroppen gjør det kroppen “må”

Sinne aktiverer amygdala -det sympatiske nervesystemet. Når aktivert settes en «kjemp eller flykt»-reaksjon i gang. Du er i «overlevelsesmodus», amygdala kontroll over hjernen din. Det finnes ikke tid for en rolig og gjennomtenkt tanke, det gjør det vanskeligere å tenke klart, impulsiviteten har regien. Automodus som jeg kaller det.

Man er da utenfor toleransevinduet. Det er det “vinduet” der vi er mottakelige for læring og utvikling. Vi er trygge, passe avslappet, passe aktiv, hjernen er “åpen”. For dialog og for å se på tidligere hendelser i nytt lys. Noen er raskt tilbake i toleransevinduet, andre trenger lenger tid. For å kommunisere med noen som har havnet utenfor dette “vinduet” MÅ man ha is i magen! Man må også tåle å hjelpe barnet inn i tolernase igjen. Gjøre noe hyggelig, gi omsorg og nærhet.

Barn slår, i barnehagen, på skolen og hjemme. Noen mer og noen mindre. De slår i mangel på språk, i mangel på forståelse, i kommunikasjon om grenser.

Selv hadde jeg ett barn som forsøkte å slå seg vekk fra skolen. Fordi forventningene var for høye. Rammene for trange eller uklare og kravene for store. Han visste ikke selv hvorfor, men alarmen gikk.

Vi voksne visste det i forkant. Vi hadde forsøkt å komme i dialog med skolen. Vi visste at han overveldes av folkemengder, lyder og berøring. At voksne så mange ganger før har kjeftet og kalt ham umulig for at han handler som han gjør. Han har blitt straffet, gjort narr av og terget. Fått “konsekvenser”, blitt fjernet fra fellesskapet.

Når barn er sinte må vi lete etter årsak. Hva er det vi kan endre rundt denne situasjonen. Hvor mange ganger har man ikke hørt at man ikke kan forandre andre. Hvorfor mener da så mange at det kan vi gjøre med barn. Ikke en gang fengslene våre tror på straff.

Rehabilitering vet vi funker. Dersom man ikke rehabiliteres, havner man bare tilbake i straffesystemet. Hvis man vil endre ett atferdsuttrykk eller skadelige handlemåter må man faktisk lære og erfare nye handlingsalternativer! Rammene må endres og tilpasess.

Automodus betyr stopp!! Jeg har fått nok!! Jeg kan ikke dette!! Jeg er presset og nå skal jeg vekk!!

Mange av barna som viser sinne blir fjernet fra situasjoner, de får “konsekvenser”, blir “satt på plass”. Ofte uten mål og mening. Basert på den aktuelle voksne sin private “ryggsekk”, sine erfaringer med reaksjoner på sinne. Slår ofte ned på uakseptabel atferd.Men de de egentlig trenger er at noen lytter og leter etter årsak og hjelper til med å endre forutsetningene i situasjonen.

Forstå meg rett! Man skal ikke slå, true, skremme eller skade andre. Da må man få hjelp ut av situasjonen. Men det er ALLTID en grunn til sinne! En grunn til aktivering av automodus!

For å hindre automodus hos barn, må voksne lytte og lete. Både til det barna sier og ikke sier. Det de ser i situasjonene. De må eie ansvaret for å gjøre det overkommerlig og håndterbart for hver enkelt. De voksne må prøve seg frem og lete etter årsaker og tilpasninger i miljøet og eliminere etter tur. Hvis barnet ikke selv kan forklare hvorfor, så må du som voksen vri om “nøtta” til du finner rett vei. Slik at barnet ikke trenger gå i automodus, men kan formidle sitt sinne med ord eller ta valg som beskytter dem. De må ha ett handlingsrom som inkluderer dårlig følelser og som tåler dem!

Visste du at (i min kommune) registrerer alle barnehager fysisk tvang som avvik, mens skolene bare registrerer vold mot voksne? At selv om barnehagene har velutviklede rutiner som fremmer refleksjon og barneperspektivet, så har skolene ingen rutiner for dette. Barnet skal mestre alt og “oppføre” seg i skolen, ellers er det avvik fra barnet. Barnets ansvar. Noen voksne driver med straff og belønning. Du får ikke gå ut i friminuttet fordi du ikke var grei, du fåt ikke stjerner, du får streker, ved tredje strek ringes det hjem. Barn får beskjed om å oppføre seg langt utover mestrings nivå og straffes for å falle utenfor.

Det skal alltid være en målsetning å hjelpe barnet å mestre! Det er ikke noe barnet klarer av seg selv, det må de øve på. Og de må oppleve forståelse og det må formidles verktøy. Som en klok kollega sa en gang, hvis du skal ta vekk ett verktøy, må du erstatte det med noe annet. Vi må hjelpe barna å forstå hvorfor sinnet oppstår og formidle sine grenser før de mister kontroll. Hvis noen fortsetter å tråkke på dine eller andres grenser er du faktisk nødt til å agere!

Vær en god voksen og spør deg selv; Hva skjedde i forkant av denne episoden? Hva skjedde i situasjonen? Hva gjorde den voksne i situasjonen? Hvordan reagerte barnet på det? Hva kan gjøres for å unngå slike situasjoner igjen? Hva kan gjøres for at barnet mestrer denne situasjonen? Hvordan kan situasjonen reparers, slik at alle parter kommer ut av det litt sterkere, litt klokere?

Jeg gir applaus til alle barn som står opp for seg selv og for andre. Vi trenger en generasjon med mot til å sette sine grenser og begrensninger. Vi trenger barn som krever å bli lyttet til om vi ikke lytter nok.

Vi må tåle sinne! Vårt eget og andres. Vi må lære videre å undersøke hva det blir trigget av og hvordan man bedre kan formidle disse grensene! Sinne er en verdifull følelse som kan gjøre oss resiliente, sterke, tydelige og trygge.

En egenerfaring for å tåle og møte sinne er at det er lurt å lage noen regler for akseptabelt sinne. Hjemme hos oss er det ikke lov å ødelegge ting, slå og man må begrense hvor stygge ting man kan si(minsten med adhd kan si voldsomme og uhyggelige ting). Men i det vi tok dette vekk ble vi også enige om hva som ER lov hjemme hos oss.

Det ER lov å trampe hardt i trappa(det trigger egentlig mitt sinne voldsomt, men jeg må bare lukke ørene og gå vekk), kaste puter, bamser eller liknende i gulvet(ikke på noen), roping er ok, men helst på sitt eget rom. Dersom man har behov for å si stygge ting til andre kan man skrive det ned eller tenke det inni seg. Det er også greit å smelle med dører. Det er lov å være alene, men det er også lov å være med noen. Kos og regulerende lek fungerer også godt for å roe ned.

For å roe ned frustrasjon(ofte før eller etter sinneutbrudd(unngås ofte om du rekker å skjønne at sinnet er på vei før begeret renner over) kan man f eks benytte seg av noen thera-play inspirerte aktiviteter.

Når barna er litt på vippen i humøret og trenger hjelp til å komme ut av det, funker dette ofte for oss;

blåse ut lys sammen. Fokuset blir på å regulere pusten og kan gjenntas til barnet ikke gidder mer😅

Mine barn har døpt en av reguleringslekene våre “juling”(upassende som det er)..🙈Det er kroppslig herjelek i husets største seng. En kontrollert “brytekamp” med masse nærhet og kos kamuflert som “kampsport”(jeg deler hjemmet med bare gutter).

Vi leker også at barnet er en pølse. Barnet ligger på ett teppe og jeg tar på ketchup og sennep, mens jeg stryker over barnet fra hodet og til tærne. Deretter er det sprøstekt løk. Da prikker jeg over hele barnet. Og til sist pakkes barnet godt inn i teppet, eller lompa da😅Det retter fokus mot kroppen og nærhet, og jeg tror det aller beste er å pakkes godt inn. Det gir en tett og trygg kroppsbevissthet og jeg har aldri opplevd at ikke barnet vil gjøre det igjen og igjen og igjen og igjen og ig….. osv

Det hender også at vi tegner vær på ryggen til hverandre. En tegner på ryggen med finger tuppen og den andre gjetter hvilket vær det er. Av og til tegner vi følelser også. Også en lek som retter oppmerksomheten mot kroppen og regulerer pusten. Regnvær, lyn og torden, solskinn, vind, storm og tåke er av det vi tegner til hverandre. Det kan også være å skrive noe. Fin lek som bidrar til felles fokus🥰

Heia sinte barn! Måtte du ha voksne rundt deg som verdsetter at du kjenner dine grenser❤

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Norwegian artist my “go to” music.

I want to share this amazing Norwegian singer/ songwriter with you. ❤ Siri Nilsen ❤ sings in Norwegian, but in my opinion her songs are so well composed, that they can touch you, without understanding the lyrics.

This particular song is(in my head) about not finding your path. You do the same repetitive mistakes. You’ve heard all the same advice befor. It seems like everybody has it all, get’s to where they want to be, and you just seem to get lost every time.

I think this is much like how the world today works. We are all on social media, showing only our best sides of life, or the vulnerable side, but only in a way that makes us look strong or independent. Like a constant job interview. We seek to get what we think others have, but yet a lot of us “fail”.

Is it so bad? Getting somwhere different than you planned? Discover new and surprising places? Isn’t that what life is all about? Listen to this song of Siri Nilsen and I will try to translate the lyrics below.

Where should you go? All the roads lead you to the wall. The wall contains old marks, of previous meetings with your forehead. Who do you listen to? When everyone is telling you the truth, but you’ve been told it all before. You keep wondering where to go, you need a new path now. The trains go as planned. People seem to get to where they want. You keep waking somewhere other than you planned. How far can hope take you, when you think your gonna make it this time, but you always take the same path. And you wonder; where you should go, you need a new path now. When you cannot take struggle anymore. You close your eyes and all you see is black, there is no markings on your map. Who is in on this fight. Who are you meeting for duel. The only one you keep meting is yourself. Again and again. How far can you go, how many times can you take path, again and again. You ask in your clearest voice. Where should I go

Reminds me of many life aspects. Like parenting. You think you know how to behave, how to guide. And yet, you continue using methods you don’t like. Or as I told my pre-teenager. “I’m sorry. I don’t yet own the tools, or have the skills on how to meet your needs and behavior right now. I have no good tools in my system. I’ll work on getting better”.

We parent differently than our parents(or most of us do). I am educated in child development. But I continue falling in to behavior that I was met with growing up. But I don’t want my kids raised like that. I want them to know there is always room for them, every part of them. Good and bad. Nothing can change my love for them. I want them to be kind. But not to put others over their own needs or beliefs. I want them to say no. To care for others, but not carry the weight of others problems.

I fail sometimes. Sometimes more, sometimes less. I apologize. I promise my self to grow. And be patient. With them AND my self. We are all leaving the train at the wrong station every now and then. The right station might even be closed. Sometimes we make mistakes. It doesn’t define us. It makes us more reflected, more aware. Keep awake next time, don’t fall asleep. Or maybe you find something you need.

Ask for directions. When you feel lost. Tell someone. Maybe they see things differently, maybe they’ve been at the wrong stop to. Maybe they know of beautiful places at your destinations? 

I am cheering for you! Mistakes makes you better with people. Don’t judge others or yourself. Give guidance!

Be generous with your self. Make mistakes. It shows your kids (and other people) it’s okay. Admit flaws! Give yourself time and love to get it right! Or seek joy and growth in your challanges.

The understanding adult in kindergarden doesn’t need to be a educational personnel! It takes an open heart

(although educatied adults are crutial in every institution that involves kids or other humanbeings).

How an assistant managed in one week, what permanent staff failed to do for a year.

I’ve worked with toddlers for five years, children with specialneeds for six years and children who cannot live with their families(for many different reasons) for five years. I also am raising two sons, one with adhd and possibly autism(highfunctioning). Turns out I too do have adhd.

First year in kindergarden was a nightmare. Several times a week they would call me. Told me he was unhappy, mabye sick. Crying a lot. I left work early to get him. The moment he saw me, he was joyful, happy, playful and well. They just couldn’t make him feel safe. They failed to engage him in their activites and the overlooked his challanges, not able to form their structure or activities to connect with him.

At one time they had an assistent for a week. She sat with him on her lap. Singing directly into his ear. Holding him close to her. Connected. He was smiling, leaning towards her, saying “more”. I was so happy. I even cried, I think. She told me “he needs me to be close. He asks me to sing again and again. He is so sweet. If I stop he gets miserable. He needs to at least hold my hand. So that we are physically connected “.

As the permantent staff problematised his behavoir, his tendensy to disrupt, not sitting still, hitting, not listening to commands and running away. They blamed it on poor behavior and bad parenting. I’m not joking. They said it was “suspicious” that he hit. Hinting that we might hit him and therefore he hit.

One to two years old hit. It’s communication! They don’t have the language skills and get out their frustration in hitting. Nothing weird about it. Also(we didn’t know at the time) he had loss of hearing. I don’t know how many times I’ve told coworkers and parents this.

Young children hit, its our job to understand why and help them communicate differently. Punishment is not the way. Neither is shame. We need to show that we understand, or try to. A toddler needs to be met and understood to develop good communication skills. Their expirience and feelings must be acknowleged for them to listen to ways to communicate their needs.

This lady looked at what she could do for him. She changed the structure of his day, changed her ways and met his needs. She worked to get connected. Gave safety and protection. The staff gave her a hard time told her she shouldn’t cuddle him and entertain him like that. They never used her as an assistant again. And they kept failing to meet his needs.

If you as an adult sees a child “acting out”. Not behaving as expected. You need to look at how to change the demands or structure around the child. It’s not for the child to change. They do not still have the tools to. To change behavior we need to change the surroundings and expectations.

When a flower doesn’t bloom, you fix the enviromente in which it blooms. Not the flower(alexander den hejer).

Get your tools and get to it. Create better enviroment for a child who struggles to bloom. Adusjt the enviroment and expectations, not the child.

Ps. I am considering writing in my own language. My english is not that good, but I hope there are not too many big writing errors…

Why I write(now)

My first reaction when I feel something is to say it or write it. I write on impulse, before I think. Problem is my thoughts are running in every direction.

ALL THE TIME!

Thoughts about something I just read or saw. A genius business idea(seriously! I just never come up with how to actually making a living out of it. I don’t need to make much, but I’d like to keep our home and keep everyone fed).

Always ideas about how politics should be arranged. How to actually create strategies to build a healthy and productive community.

Creative thoughts like music videos(never have I ever made any), a dance, a book, jewelry or furniture to rearrange or create.

I get impatient with my own ideas. When it comes to the income side of an genius business I just get so tremendously bored. Why oh WHY do I need that boring money bullshit? Can’t someone just buy into my business, preferably with a lifetime salary and I’ll make this shit work? I’ll save the government loads of money by opening my business. There is just so much nonsense in my way.

Can’t I just be the creative creator and get a team for all the other tasks?

It’s like, nowadays you need to be a doctor to get the right help. You need to know what to check and specifically ask for it. Like when I invited a firm to tell me what building works needed to be done in our basement. I asked for advice and then hired them to do it. Halfway in the process they ask me why I wanted the old insulation gone. Like…. I hired you …..”#’*¤ to tell me because I’m a freaking child welfare worker. I know NOTHING about this old basement rebuilding stuff.

Is nobody an expert any more? Everyone is just supposed to google their brains out and educate themselves to be advocates, doctors, carpenters and building workers to get thing done right!

I want to be good enough, but then I can’t know it all. I’m just one of the ones good at only at a few thing, and in those I can always be better.

And I want to be able to give my best to the parts of my life I choose. I can never be enough if I also need to be my own doctor, my kids teacher, my carpenter or advocate.

My own boss though…. I most definitely could do that! I will do that!

As soon as I can concentrate long enough to find an income side to it all!

Back to writing(LOL)

I wish to rediscover my love for writing, using my urge to express my thoughts. Maybe some of it might be constructive for someone. I fear being vulnerable, to share my advice and views on subjects. I fear being personal, real and direct. I am… to those who know me. I want to find new paths to walk(or write). Maybe I can wake the writing ideas. A professional subject text, a personal fiction text, a poem(like I used to love).

I think I am searching for a new passion.

Whilst writing good-enough… I got an idea to write about good-enough parenting! Will be getting back to that in a later post 😉

Did your child have a ruff school start?

School isn’t for everyone. Do you feel like you are alone with finding it hard? Feel like nobody understands? Have a kid “wired” different than others? My heart goes out to you. It can feel lonely. I want to share our experience, what has worked and not. But first I want to share one of our sons first school experience.

The transition

We knew the transition to school would be challenging, we tried reaching out in advance, to get the right preventive actions set for him to have a positive start at school. Only one man from the “activity-school”(norwegian after school educational service)called us for a follow up. The first week in this service was ok, thanks to this man and that my husband could get our boy early every day.

Then comes the first day of school.

We knew this would be challenging, but never would we have imagined the intense experience this would be.

First day of school is the first time you get your class and teachers presented. The way it is done is they gather every first-grader, every parent and grandparent in the school yard. When the kids get their name called, they are supposed to walk alone, in front of all of those people, shake the prinsipals hand and go to their teacher, wait there until every singel child has done this. Approximately 95 children.

Any of you parenting a child with adhd? And possibly autism? Or an anxious child? Shy mabye? How would you feel on a new job. Every single one of your collages and their family watching you. Kind of nerve wracking.

We tried to talk about this. Tell him that everyone is nervous, and everyone has their own thoughts this day. That even teachers and maybe the principal would feel butterflies or elephants in their tummy. I knew it would be hard for him, but the moment it was his turn, I couldn’t imagine.

So, back to the whole handshaking the principal in front of several hundred people. When big social events freak you out. Overwhelm you. Drives your senses crazy…

He wouldn’t go. I felt helpless. No options on how to enter first day of school. I felt the need to help him. To make him do what was expected. To late to make different plans or strategies. I didn’t want to be the mother whos child doesn’t do as told(another blog will take one this perspective).

So I carried him to the principal. He clung to me like a scared baby, hiding his face to my neck. Trying to hide… dissapear…. And then his frustration, and the lack of options, forced himt on his feelings.

He hit and kicked towards the principal and then he started kicking and hitting me. With all his power.

There we were, in front of hundreds. My kid was going at me with all his physical power. I can still feel the humiliation. I wanted to cry, to let him run home, never to come back, to hold him and promise I would never make him feel like that again. To apologize for making him do such a hard thing, that I know is difficult for him. To quit my job, homeschool, move, whatever to make up for the hard feelings he felt.

I mean, who is that for anyway! Who likes that? Is that a good way to make ANYONE feel safe?

It was followed by 6 months of battle, at home and in school. We luckily have the most amazing teacher! That listen to our child, to us, both as parents and professionals. We cooperate and adjust strategies together.

In this blog I will come back to how, why and what we have accomplished together with this amazing teacher and what I recommend for parents, teachers, friends and family with kids who act out. Diagnosis or not. We have tried a lot, and we keep finding new strategies, we stumble, fail and try something new. I love my children and my husband more than anything. And luckily we are both educated child wellfare workers. And we work well togheter.

It is the structures and expectations that need to change. A child cannot be forced to change. Can not be forced to accomplis challenges that are to big!

As Ross Green says ; “Kids who can behave will do so”.

If you have had a hard time sending your child to school please like and comment. I hope to share some advise and experience with you. To help you and your child. If from Norway please tell me in comments, so I can tell you where to seek information and help for you and your child ❤

Flower for power

In a world of turbulence. In a world where society desides how you should look, dress and present yourself.

In a world filled with people in powerfull posisitions making poor desicions on behalf on all living creatures. War, pollution, jealusy, greed, ego, stress and poor politics… In a world where many stand alone in everyday stuggles. Where people are being silenced when standing up for human rights.

Where countries choose to undermine their people. Where people in power decide over girls education, self determination and liberation. Where women are told to be pretty, sucsessful, a good wife, a good mother and a professional. Pressure to be productive, happy, calm and sucsessfull. Contribute to society.

Be a flower. Any flower.

A rose or  sunflower . Be a weed if you like. A wild plant growing where it is not wanted and in competition with cultivated plants. Grow and bloom in what ever way you can.                              Be colorful, fragile, friendly and useful. Spred joy to those that need your compassion, colors and growth. Spred love, wisdom and keep growing stronger.

Together the flowers can take the beating of the storm. And stretch for the sun when the storm has passed.

If you like me live in a place where flowers only bloom a couple of months a year. Be a snowfalke; 

My feelings aren’t fragile  

my heart isn’t bleeding.

I am a badass beliver in human rights.

My toughness is my tenderness.   

My strenght is in the service of others.  

There is nothing more fierce than formidable, unconditional love.    

There is nothing more couragious than compassion.      

But if my belief in equity, empathy, goodness and love indeed makes me or people like me snowflakes…   

Then you should know…   

  WINTER IS COMING. 

(Don’t know who to credit for this small game of thrones inspired poem, but I love it. Had to get it in there )