Boredom Is the Mother of Creativity – Entertaining kids with PANS!
Entertaining kids with PANS, PANDAS or neuroimmune disorders can be a challenge like no other, our kids are notoriously difficult to please. As parents, most of us are always looking for ways of entertaining our child with PANS because we feel the need to get them out and enjoying life. The motivation is more what WE want, having them engaged, and way less about what they want. We know from experience that dragging a child with PANS out for fun against their will is tantamount to disaster: It’s too hot, it’s too cold, I hate this, I hate you, “pleeease mom, I just can’t leave this horse”, I can’t get in this car, give me ice-cream, I need the bathroom, it just goes on and on and on. Entertainment feels more like torture. It’s once more Saturday afternoon and I have a need to leave the house and do something, anything, constructive. I am also hell-bent on getting these kids out because I know everything I read says I am a really bad parent if they stay locked and loaded on their computers and phones all day long. So out we will go. But…
What on earth do you do with a kid who has no desire and no drive to leave the house (maybe even has extreme separation anxiety from the house)?
Festivals are too overwhelming, we know that any more than 5 people surrounding us and we will have an extreme meltdown due to stimulatory overload. Forget music festivals – they are way too loud. Food festivals are too smelly. Paintball too dangerous. Craft fairs are “lammmmmeeee”.
Maybe indoor activities?
Trampoline park, too many people, too many germs. Ice Skating – pain in the ankles makes ice skating not fun, ditto for roller skating. Roller rink too loud. Ice rink too many people (and for a parent, too many escape routes).
So what? What’s left? How about the movies?
Too dark, too loud, too cold, too scary, too hot, too many people, too many restroom breaks.
Bottom Line …
Parents of kids with challenges try, they try their best to entertain, to be the parent every journal article professes we should be, (thank you Harvard) but our barriers are immense and some of the obstacles seem insurmountable. Is it any wonder we stay locked inside, heads down riding out another boring, event-less weekend? Stop judging, start empathizing.
Overall, what my kids like is not what yours will probably want to do, I found this great blog post and started reading along, some of the suggestions are great even if my kids don’t agree “1. Jump for joy. Trampoline parks have the best of all worlds: They allow children to bounce off excess energy with their friends in an area sanitized frequently with hospital-grade cleaners. Encourage your kiddos to use hand sanitizer stations throughout the large, ventilated area for an added cootie-killing boost.”. How to host a party for children, not flu germs
This weekend we are off to look at chicks, yes animals seem to be the only motivation to leave the house most days. Of course, we are not going to be able to leave the store without at least two little chicken babies carefully cradled in the box. So I have to say sorry chickens but know this, you will be loved, and rocked, and petted and fed to your heart’s content. Nothing is easy but we choose our battles.