My preschool son triggers hyperarousal symptoms

HealingMama

MyPTSD Pro
My son is a preschooler and like many he enjoys roughhousing. It doesn't always trigger hyperarousal symptoms for me, but it does at least half the time. It is worse if I have managed to get to a state of relaxation then join my family and boom, stuff is getting thrown at my face or he's hitting me or lunging towards me or using a fake sword on me or yelling in my ear. This is normal play for a kid his age, but I find it so hard to cope with.

I just got home from a massage session, walked into this hyper physical chaos and it's wrecked my peace of mind. How do I help myself stay well and encourage my body to relax if I can't prevent my own family from triggering me?
 

Friday

Moderator
How do I help myself stay well and encourage my body to relax if I can't prevent my own family from triggering me?
In my experience preventing/avoiding triggers is the opposite of being well. Learning to manage them -faster & better- on the other hand, is.

Whilst it’s rough not having total control over the triggers & stressors I’m blunting... because it takes sooooooooooooooooo much longer to eliminate them? It does provide a fantastic platform for learning how to get on top of my symptoms faster & better; as well as getting my stress management & emotional monitoring/regulation down to a freaking artform.

***

One way I did that when my son was little was that we never ever ever used timeouts as punishment. (Went with natural consequences, instead // let the punishment suit the crime). Timeouts, in our house? Were sacred. A time to let hot emotions fade and cool reason return. There was no set time limit, it was simply however long it took that person to get back to themselves. It could be 2 minutes or 2 hours.

Ha! Knew I wrote about it on here, somewhere. Hello 2014! So rather than link it, I’ll just quote it. Clearly, there are a thousand ways to do virtually anything, and this is far from the only way I learned to manage my symptoms better & faster. But it’s one of the most interacting-with-children ways, as HouseRules were followed by all of us.
House Rule: The TimeOut Compendium

- Timeouts aren't punishments, whether you send yourself or someone else sends you. You're not in trouble. (Although you may be after the timeout). TimeOuts are a time to let hot emotions fade and cool reason return.

- Timeouts are sacred. Unless it's an emergency, if a person is on Timeout, they are not to be interacted with/ pestered/ or in any other way messed with until they've completed their timeout.

- There is no set time. It could be 30 seconds or 3 hours.

- To "complete" a TimeOut you have to do 4 things (without getting emotional):
1 - Be able to describe what happened (I wanted to yell, or I did yell etc.)
2 - Be able to say why it happened (I was scared because of the noise, or I was angry at misbehavior)
3 - Come up with at least 2 different things to do next time, because there will always be a next time. The "why" will always happen again, even if the what doesn't
4 - Put it right (apologize, fix anything broken, decide on any atonement needed, do one of the alternatives, etc.)
 

HealingMama

MyPTSD Pro
In my experience preventing/avoiding triggers is the opposite of being well. Learning to manage them -faster & better- on the other hand, is.

Whilst it’s rough not having total control over the triggers & stressors I’m blunting... because it takes sooooooooooooooooo much longer to eliminate them? It does provide a fantastic platform for learning how to get on top of my symptoms faster & better; as well as getting my stress management & emotional monitoring/regulation down to a freaking artform.

***

One way I did that when my son was little was that we never ever ever used timeouts as punishment. (Went with natural consequences, instead // let the punishment suit the crime). Timeouts, in our house? Were sacred. A time to let hot emotions fade and cool reason return. There was no set time limit, it was simply however long it took that person to get back to themselves. It could be 2 minutes or 2 hours.

Ha! Knew I wrote about it on here, somewhere. Hello 2014! So rather than link it, I’ll just quote it. Clearly, there are a thousand ways to do virtually anything, and this is far from the only way I learned to manage my symptoms better & faster. But it’s one of the most interacting-with-children ways, as HouseRules were followed by all of us.
Thank you, I just recently started explaining to him that there's more than one type of time out so I could build on this!
 
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