It’s been unbelievably boiling hot these past few days (total understatement!). It’s really hard to cope and function in this weather and our special children are really suffering.
None of us are sleeping and we are all knackered and tired. We are tetchy, irritable and exhausted from the heat.
The consequence of this is there is a higher chance of massive rows and arguments, tears and tantrums.
So what do we do whilst the weather is so ridiculously hot?
My top tips to cut out the rows and keep our cool:
1. Recognise that you know he feels grumpy and give him opportunity to moan and talk to you – just listen and don’t criticise. Sometimes that’s all that needed – an ear to sound off that life is unfair and that he feels a certain sense of injustice.
2. Don’t place too many demands on him in this heat. Lay off the chores. That is not to say you let down the boundaries – you still need to be consistent and show him that some rules and expectations still apply. Just question yourself, whilst it is so hot and he is feeling grumpy, is it really necessary to reprimand him about his messy bedroom. Save it for another time.
3. Have movie time together – snuggle and watch something he loves with your undivided attention. Let him relax and calm down after a sweltering time at school. No need for you to rush around doing house work or chore – it’s just too hot. Forget it. The housework can wait.
4. Lay off homework if he is too exhausted – explain to the school that at the moment it is too much for him to cope with the additional demands of homework.
5. You all have to eat but use it as a time to make dinner together. Get him to help you chop vegetables and fruit. Make ice lollies and fruit punch. He must keep hydrated so drinks loads which will help him get through this tricky time.
6. Use this time as a great excuse to play together in the garden or the park and have some water fun:
*Get some water pistols or old washing up bottles and squirt targets
*Use water to ‘paint’ the fence, wall or patio. Get large brushes and make giant patterns
*Do a limbo under the spray of the hose
*Guide a ball through obstacles using the spray of the hose
*Play catch with ice cubes
*Two bowls and one sponge – transfer the water from one bowl to the other using only the sponge
7. Bedtime is a challenge at the best of times but in this heat is is a nightmare (pardon the pun). Keep curtains shut all day to prevent the sun heating up the room. If you have a fan, put ice cubes nearby to cool the air. Ironically a lot of parents have told me that the gentle hum of a fan actually soothes some children. Very cool bath and then flannel on the back of his neck. If he just can’t sleep maybe listen to an audio book or classical music.
So my advice. Avoid unnecessary confrontation and make an extra special effort to spend time with your child. I love the sun but blimey it’s hot.