Sunday, July 5, 2015

The Safety Bubble

This past week I realized that my kids have been in a safety bubble. For weeks now we’ve stayed close to home, most days enjoying the lazy days of summer in our neighborhood, not venturing out too far. With my husband still home looking for work, my kids have had the ability to stay with dad and not run the usual errands. They barely leave the house and they’ve been so happy, life has been pretty easy.

Then the night before a planned adventure to a small lake in the forest, my little one broke down. He was overcome with intense anxiety, crying out for me to hold him and never leave his side and begging us to stay home. He clearly didn’t want to leave home.

I popped his bubble.

It hadn’t dawned on me until then that my kids were so at ease because we have been living in a safety bubble where almost everything was predictable. The daily stress of school was gone, the constant movement of church groups, sports and activities had come to a complete stop and everything in my son’s world just got very comfortable. No wonder he has been so cheerful and compliant. He was stress free and there wasn’t anything to fight about.

I wish his stress ended there, but over the next few days with back-to-back adventures and a 4th of July party, he faced many more tough moments. I even saw it in my oldest when he was unexpectedly placed in social situations with his peers. He shut down and became very stressed. I was thankful that he was able to keep it together, but I could tell, and so could everyone else, that he was pretty upset and uncomfortable.

This week has taught me two things. First, my little one can not be homeschooled. Pulling him out of school would make his world too small and it would make it even more difficult for him to function outside our home. Second, we need to have balance. Sheltering my kids too much can have a negative impact on their ability to adapt to new situations. I don’t ever expect them to enjoy it, and I don’t want them to be constantly exposed to it, but they need to venture out of their comfort zone every once and a while to work on what’s hard for them.

Yes, we will still be the family that modifies almost everything we do so that our kids can enjoy life and we can enjoy being with them, but there is a fine line that we need to be aware of.

Balance, like everything else, whether it be food, exercise or social settings, it may not always be fun, but it’s necessary in staying healthy.


  1. Very well said, balance is really important for staying healthy.

    Hope your kids get well soon.

  2. What you describe about socializing for your sons reminds me so much !!
    I've also been diagnosed with C-PTSD. My tdoc told me that it's very difficult to treat. A very small event can trigger huge flashbacks that are even more draining mentally than socializing.

    With this safety bubble, you responded to your sons' needs.

    Now, for socializing, I'd say the same as my tdoc : start low, go slow.
    Psychiatrists do the same with meds : start low, go slow.
    You'll get nothing but more problems by doing everything at the same time.

    You are not trying to win a race with other moms. You are doing what's best for your childrn at the moment you need it.

  3. I am so sad as I read your blog. I feel like a failure as a mother. I can't seem to make any kind of peace in my house with any of our boys. You seem successful in this area. I don't know what to do or what to change.

    1. HI Shari,
      I read from a previous post you made that your son is on meds, but starting to refuse them. I wanted to share a resource that I highly recommend. It's for behavior modification. The meds can only do so much, once my son was stable, it took about a year of behavior modification before we brought consistent peace back into our home.

      The book was recommended to us by the doctor who wrote it. He is highly respected and his plan worked wonders for us. It isn't easy, it takes work on the parent's part, but it could change your family's life for the better. You can get a used copy online for pretty cheap and it is a very fast read! Check it out!

      Raising Winning Kids without a Fight: