Take a Step Back and Pause
Updated: Feb 23, 2021
Before you begin to focus your energy and attention on helping your PDA child, I want to gently invite you to take a step back from the situation. If you have experienced your child as violent, volatile, and/or unpredictable – a common experience with PDA parents – you likely have some trauma from this experience. You may also feel intense frustration and anger, as you ask yourself why your child is so much more challenging to manage than everyone else’s. I want to recognize, validate, and honor that experience, and I encourage you to do the same.
If you can, before diving into changing your lifestyle, try to take a pause in your life, to find some mental and physical space from your child. This pause can be for a week, for a day, or for five minutes -- whatever is accessible to you – but it is important to be able to think clearly and feel safe, before you try to implement anything like a “Lower Demand Lifestyle” or develop a plan of action.
When my son, Cooper, was at his most difficult point – his crisis between the ages of four and five – there were times when my husband and I simply could not be around him because it was too intense, scary, and triggering. We would take him to my mother-in-law’s home, so that we could recuperate. Sometimes I would take mental health days off of work just to be in my own home when I didn't have to hear his voice.
As you do this step, try not to judge yourself, and let any feelings of guilt go.