If you’re homeschooling a high-needs child, you likely already know a thing or two about the ups and downs that can occur throughout a typical day, much less a typical week. Anything that throws off the schedule even the slightest bit can make “down” register a lot more prevalently in your day—and anything that throws off your schedule a lot can mean meltdown mode for days.
Thankfully, it’s survivable.
First, take a deep breath. Remember that as often as not, your child can’t control the behavior that’s frustrating you. Then….
Redirect. If something about your day isn’t working, continuing to force the issue probably isn’t going to make it better. Change activities, change subjects, or even set school aside for a little while and see if it makes things better.
Reevaluate. What is it that’s causing the conflict on this particular day? Is it something that you can set aside without it causing too much of a problem? It might be worth doing away with it just for the peace. Remember, with many high-needs children, it’s important to choose your battles carefully—and you may discover that some things just aren’t worth it.
Re-prioritize. What things are really important in your day? Those are the things that should take the first priority. If it’s not really important, then on the bad days, it can be tossed by the wayside. Perhaps your child is responsible for making his bed every morning—but is it really important? (The answer can be yes, depending on your reason—but decide whether or not it’s worth battling over.) Or perhaps it’s a particular subject that is a constant battle. Does that subject really have to be done every day, or is there a compromise to be had? Look for the way out of the conflict. If there is one, embrace it—especially if it only requires you to let go of things that weren’t important to begin with.
Remember, bad days are going to happen with any child. With a high needs child, they’re that much more common, and that much harder to handle when they do come—but having a plan of action in place ahead of time can make them much easier to get through.