Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Mental Health Day off school

Tonight's dinner was spoiled.  Not by the usual and acceptable comments of 'what is this Mum? I am not sure what I am eating?'.

Tonight there was crying, screaming and downright close to vomiting over a 5 cent piece size of roasted zucchini.

Popps was not going to try it.

I was not giving in.

She threw it across the table, smashed it up, let it go cold and damn right refused to try it.

It went on way too long.

It eventually went in her mouth and then the bin and she begged to go to sleep.

She was still crying as she prepared for bed, nearly vomiting as she cleaned her teeth.

By 7.30, she who never sleeps was exhausted and asleep, but not before needing to talk about her latest love - school choir, and the stress of trying to eat lunch and get to the toilet before the choir teacher told her off for being late. And what happens if she forgets the words at assembly on Monday. Or the ordeal of having to sit with a kid in sick bay who fell off the monkey bars. She was worried about what would happen if I couldn't get a car park in time and was not there to pick her up one day. Lastly all those w h spelling words were swirling in her head giving her a headache and she couldn't talk anymore

She worries too much.

I have announced tomorrow Mental Health Day for Popps.

She doesn't know it yet, and I am not even sure how she will take it. She may be excited, she may be stressed that it is against the rules.

Either way, she is getting the chance to recharge and learning that sometimes you need to look after yourself. You also need to eat your greens.

Do you give your kids a day to rest every now and then?


  1. I think this is a really great idea. As a child who stressed about school a whole lot this sounds like a brilliant way to manage possible anxieties before they manifest and to show it's important to look after yourself. Good call, Mumma!

  2. Oh that's so heartbreaking. They do need a day to recharge every now and then. As do we.

    Do something fun, a coffee out or a quick trip to smiggle - something to remind her it's about having fun too. Their little minds work in overdrive don't they? Miss8 is stressing about Naplan this week and it breaks my heart to see her worry.

    1. I am hoping Naplan is gone in three years so I don't have to worry about it...

  3. I think it is important that this little Miss Perfect worrier at school gets her time with mum at home tomorrow. Back to balance again. Best idea for many...highly recommend. Xxx

    1. Thanks Denyse. It is possible after a few games of Twister and Kerplunk we will both be ready for her to head back on Friday!

  4. That is so sweet. I have a niece (a teenager) who gets to miss A LOT of school - totalling weeks in a semester - so doesn't appreciate moments like you are about to give your daughter!


  5. I was/am a worrier too & can feel every bit of what she told you in my heart. At least she can talk to you about it and doubly excellent she has you to guide her and teach her how to unwind. Big hugs x

  6. Mental health days and sick days are very different to one another and my daughter stresses about missing school when she could be there and it has been hard to convince her that taking time out to re-group is a good thing for her and for us. I was very close to declaring this week a mental health week for her as a result of the self-imposed stress of Naplan. Fortunately, after many hours of discussions she has realised that the school is being tested rather than her so as long as she tried her best it didn't really matter how she went. It was hard work and I think I could do with a mental health day if I get through this week!

  7. Gosh, I can't stand teachers like that!! Give the kid a break! She's in PREP!!! Good on you Mumma, GOOD ON YOU.

  8. Sure is! I think both my kids have benefitted from the odd mental health day across the first couple of years of school in particular. (Although I had to tell the small boy's teacher and the office that unless there was a temperature or excess bodily fluids, he probably wasn't sick - this was once he realised I would come and get him if he got sick at school!)

  9. I sure do, and as they have got older I call it what it is. I want my kids to know that it's OK to just stop and regroup. My son (in high school) had one last week. School is important, but so is mental health.

    (He too is a worrier, and over the years we have come up with a range of strategies to get him through days with minimum anxiety. Perhaps you could help her practice mouthing pretend words just incase she forgets them - so she looks like she's singing. That's the kind of thing we did for our boy. )

    On those days they usually stay in their pjs all day, watch a favourite movie, just mooch around, I cook them something they really like to eat and are sent to bed early.

    The next day everyone is so much happier.

  10. Oh no , have jonty home today ,just needs time to himself and go at a slower speed and not keep up with the Big boys at school on the footy oval!
    Yes i hope NAnplans are gone by then have abbey doing the grade3 one and is over it and Matt doing the year 7 one at school .
    Way to much pressure on the kids to be the best all the time . Kids need time to be kids! playing in the dirt or mud and making up there owm games! I wouldnt eat the green mush either!!!

  11. I always need a mental health day after eating zucchini as well. I'm with Popps. x

  12. So important to just take a day to slow done sometimes. I imagine this is a pretty full-on time for her, even in terms of the hours and stimulation let alone the worry, and I'd do the same thing if I was in your shoes. Hope she was able to relax and enjoy it today :)

  13. I used to be like that with pumpkin, still am.
    Sounds like a mental health day is just what she needs to recharge.

  14. Yes!! Sometimes they build everything up too much and it gets overwhelming. I let Bell stay home when she gets to that point, even though she tells me she should be at school.....sometimes you just have to rest. Enjoy the break with Popps.

  15. Fabulous idea for a mental health day for your lovely little worrier. You're a fab mum. How did she take it? Hope you had a nice day together.xoxo

    My littlest hates most foods but he loves roasted zucchini and sauteed Japanese eggplant - he's a freak! He won't even eat mashed potatoes for goodness sake!!! You can never bet what they'll try/like/hate/resist.


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