Sunday, March 12, 2017

Getting Through Church Services

We've still been going to church. All of us. To all three hours of church. It's not easy, but it's been doable.

I figured something out. It's what I do at home to keep the girls positively occupied and productively busy.

I have been printing out bible-themed worksheets for them to do during Sacrament Meeting, the hour and ten minute part of the service that is our church's main worship service and the hardest part for kids to sit through.

I have word searches, cross-word puzzles (easy ones), mazes, and for my littlest one, coloring pages. All are gospel-related. There is so much available for free online!

Something that didn't work very well was letting Blossom join this past week's youth activity. Three of the girls in her youth group were in a school musical and the activity was to go see the performance. I agonized, but with the assurance that the youth leader would give Blossom the level of supervision she needs, I agreed to let her go. Blossom was picked up at 6:45pm and got home just after 10pm looking weary and a bit dazed and definitely NOT looking like she'd had a good time. The youth leader started apologizing to me right away.

Apparently, the musical was much more "out there" than she'd realized. It was an Elvis music theme and was about romantic relationships. One "relationship" theme was that of a girl who dressed up like a boy to be close to the boy she liked and he fell for her, as a guy. Definitely not the message I want to give my children. In the end, the relationships and genders "all straightened out," according to the youth leader, but she knew it wasn't the best thing for Blossom to have been exposed to or even for the other girls in the youth group to have been exposed to. Thank heavens, it seems to have been confusing enough not to have made much of an impression on Blossom, but I can't know for sure. She hasn't talked at all about it other than to say she knows why I don't usually let her go to things like that and that she felt weird being there "with all those other kids."

Next time, I'm going with my gut instinct rather than torture myself trying to "let go" more. I'm often torn because it's hard to know what mainstream experiences they should have or can even benefit from. What I'm learning, is that the older they get, the less mainstreaming they need because they are further and further behind their same age peers since their development has peaked (Jie Jie has a little more developing to go still). What they do need are more activities with others with special needs, but it's hard to find such things.


Catherine said...

I wished you lived closer! Our church realized the same thing you did and now offers a Wed evening group for special needs teens and adults with their care givers. There are over 100 people that attend weekly! Hopefully you can find something similar at a church in your area?

Anonymous said...

I think its a positive thing for Blossom! Not to worry:) it's good to be exposed to all different kinds of people and relationships. It's not something that cm be avoided in the real world. And who knows, maybe she will be able to identify with them and find comfort in that:)

Anonymous said...

Search for "Quiet Bags" on Pinterest. Tons of great ideas. My church actually passes out clipboards and crayons for kids to get through the service.