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Did you ever hear parents say in September when the children are heading back to school, “I’m so glad they are going back, some normality again” etc. etc.

Throughout life, I’m sure we have all said it at some time, but why not make this year different, as when September arrives, you can say, “we had a wonderful summer and it was fantastic just being with and enjoying our time together”

What has worked and what has not? Let me give you an example. In my house, David disliked going to summer camp. I felt it was great for him and it gave me time with my other children while David was enjoying himself. When I left David at the camp I was assured that he had a great time and I’m 100% sure he did as he was surrounded with fantastic people, however, David still did not want to attend,  so from the time he left the camp to when he returned he constantly complained and “gave out” about this. It upset the whole house.

Eventually, as the whole situation was upsetting everyone, I went and got advice from different people who knew David, family, friends, physiologist, psychotherapist and after listing to all their advice, I took the advice of the psychotherapist, who said to me, “I realise, and you realise what is good for David, but you are not listening to him, it’s his summer too and he wants to be at home with you and do whatever you do and go out with you.” So with this in mind, I asked David was he sure about not wanting to attend the camp and he assured me “yes”, this was what he wanted.

However I still wanted to spend some time on my own with Sean & Kate and still wanted a little independence for David, so I looked at what he liked and remembered that because of his hearing loss, he didn’t like being in crowds and preferred one-to-one better. I approached the Irish Wheelchair Association and again discussed this issue, they completely understood my frustration and were able to offer David a few hours of one-to-one per week that David loved and I was able to take Sean & Kate for those few hours. Again as David loves going out for breakfast, we came up with a plan that I would take him on his own for breakfast one day a week. This in the end meant we all had quality family time and time on our own. It worked out fantastic and we had no hassle, no upset, just relaxing and fun.

Just writing this article makes me realise all the fun, laughter and happy times I have spent with David, Sean and Kate. And in the off-chance my children are reading this, let me tell you how very proud I am to be your mother.

Listen to your child, work it out, and enjoy the summer.

Dolores.