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Calm the Chaos Newsletter

In store for you today:

  • Honey Mooning With Teachers
  • Self Care: Self-evaluation for Self Care
  • Calm the Chaos Parent Coaching

    Challenging behavior getting you down? Check out the
    Calm the Chaos Parent Coaching Program

    Honey Mooning With Teachers

At the beginning of every school year, I start off with
great hopes that "this year will be different." "It's a
new teacher and a different classroom and he's matured
since last year." I hold my breath as I put him on the
bus. I cross my fingers knowing that . . .well, hoping
that "this year will be different." This year I won't
get the frantic phone calls asking me to pick him up or
worse the cool, edgy phone calls asking for a meeting
with the Autism Specialist.

And it is different for a while. . .

The first day of school is eerily quiet, then when he
bursts through the door all excited about what a great
day he had. I breathe a sigh of relief and think--yes,
this year will be different!

The Honeymoon

The first day of school is often smooth sailing--maybe
even the first week! There's usually not much pressure
yet, and getting used to the new environment, new
teacher, etc. will occupy most kids, even intense kids,
for a while. This is called, "The Honeymoon Period."
It's that joyful time when parents and teachers can live
out the dream that things really will be different this

Unfortunately, the honeymoon doesn't last long. Soon, the
phone calls begin. If I neglect to explain that he has
trouble with transitions or that he gets easily
frustrated when he's overwhelmed because I hoped "things
will be different this year," then I can count on having
that Honeymoon be very short indeed.

When I take the initiative to make sure that the teacher
knows what my son needs to be successful, then she is
less likely to be surprised when he struggles with
getting all those math problems done or gets annoyed with
his classmate who is drumming on the desk.

Honeymoon Extenders

So how can you extend your child's honeymoon or maybe
even fulfill that dream of "a different year?" The key
is collaboration. Communication with teachers and others
that have daily contact with your child is going to be
critical. You are an expert on what works and what
doesn't work. Sharing these things with them in a spirit
of collaboration will go a long ways towards helping your
child get his needs met. Here's a few steps you can

Step 1: Sit down and think about what you do at home
that has helped your child be successful. Are there
phrases that you use, techniques that you've tried?
Write these down.

Step 2: Also, think about what you have tried that has
NOT worked--those things that cause frustrating defiance
or instant meltdowns. This is especially important if
your child has something like sensitivities to certain
smells or is easily irritated by high pitched noises or
other odd things that might seem normal to you and I.

Step 3: Write up this information as concisely as
possible. Try to keep it to one typed page or it may be
completely overwhelming to the teacher. Then give this
to the teacher.

Don't just send it in the backpack with your child. Hand-
deliver it before the Honeymoon is over.

Most teachers will appreciate you taking the time to help
things go smoothly. Working collaboratively will go a
long way towards having a peaceful as well as productive
school year.

This year really will be different!

Self Care: Self-evaluation for Self Care

This article is adapted from "20-Minute Retreats" by Rachel Harris, PH.D.

Self-care is an issue that is often dependent on how we were treated in childhood by parents, siblings, or even neighbors. In our culture, often women are taught that we should serve others before thin king about ourselves. This usually translates into doing self-care in some areas of our lives, but not others. This exercise (or retreat) is a way for you to notice where you are doing a good job with self-care and where you could use some work. Use a journal to record what you discover.

Step 1: Find a cozy spot where you can spend some time in reflection. Spend two minutes settling in and committing yourself to being very honest with yourself.

Step 2: During the next 15 minutes, complete the following questions and write down your ratings for each item. Remember your intention to be honest. Rate each item from one= being very low self-care to five = high self-care.


1. Physical – Do you do some type of physical exercise four to five times each wee k? Do you include strength building, stretching and aerobic activities? Do you wor k hard enough to brea k into a sweat?

2. Social – Do you have fun with friend or family at least once a wee k? Do you contribute in some way, with time or money, to the larger community? Do you have people in your life whom you love and who love you?

3. Spiritual – Do you commune regularly with your experience of the Divine? Do you reflect on your spiritual values in daily living as you ma ke decisions and set priorities? Do you have spiritual friends for sharing and support?

4. Financial – Do you live within your budget? Do you have the necessary financial plans in place for the future, in areas such as unexpected disability or death, your retirement, the birth of a child, or paying for college education? Is your chec kboo k balanced?

5. Intellectual – Do you learn something new every wee k? Do you see k stimulating experiences through cultural events, lectures, boo ks, or the media?

6. Psychological – Do you ta ke responsibility for your part in a conflict so you can learn and grow? Are you willing and able to see things through someone else's eyes? Can you communicate your feelings in an appropriate way? Do you have someone in your life you can turn to for help?

Step 3: Returning to the world: Use the remaining time to begin to plan how you can ta ke better care of yourself in those areas that require more attention. Reassert your commitment to be honest with yourself.

What is one thing you can do this week that will improve your self-care? Email me at and let me know what you come up with.

Calm the Chaos Parent Coaching

Are you finding that the Honeymoon is over at
School already and there are challenges at home too?

Now that Autumn is upon us, it might be a great
time to work on some of those challenges that you
put off during the dog days of summer.
Calm the Chaos Parent Coaching provides you with
the support you need to make lasting changes.
Check out the details here.

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Calm the Chaos Newsletter

This Newsletter is copyright (c)2007 Karen DeBolt, all rights reserved. You may freely reprint in any newsletter, website, or print journal. Please send me a copy and include the following attribution:

"Calm the Chaos Newsletter article (c)2007 Karen DeBolt, MA.
All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with permission. Helping families
Struggling with Chaos at home to have happy, successful children. Sign up for the newsletter at and receive a copy of the free report, ‘Conquering Bad Behavior Without Stress.’"

I send out an extra email now and then detailing programs and offers.

Karen DeBolt, MA. Parent Coach and Family Therapist
Struggling with Chaos at home and want happy successful children? Download our free report, “How to conquer bad behavior without stress.”
5234 NE Farmcrest St., Hillsboro, OR. 97124



Copyright 2010 Karen DeBolt, MA All Rights Reserved
5234 NE Farmcrest St., Hillsboro, OR 97124 * 503-459-2073 * Email

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