List of Interventions: Age 4-6 by Heidi Stuber

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Vitamins. Sensory Diet. More exercise. More hugs. Squeezy hugs. Pressing on the joints. Pulling on the limbs. Weighted blankets. Heavy work – carrying stacks of hardback books back and forth to the kitchen. Shoveling dirt – holes in the garden, holes in the backyard. Keep a shovel, always in the trunk, for shoveling sand at Golden Gardens. Milk without Hormones. Meat without Antibiotics. No Gluten – too hard – less Gluten. Cranio Sacral with your sports masseuse who says not to worry when Levi hops off the table after 20 minutes, Little brains adjust quickly. Worry anyways. Worry all the time.

Homeopathic mini white spheres that shoot out of a small blue vial like pellets. Ashwagandha. L-Theanine. Magnesium. Methylated B-Vitamins. Omega-3 Fish Oil. More fish in the diet. Less sugar in the diet. Bovine liver. Porcine brain. Chiropractic adjustments. Energetic adjustments. Nutritional Healing. Clearing the karma from past lives. Breaking psychic bonds. Calling on Master Jesus and Master Buddha. Calling on the ancestors. Prayer. Your prayers. Your mother and father’s prayers. Prayers at church. Prayers of your parents’ friends. Prayers of your friends. His father does not pray.

Co-parenting arguments. Co-parenting therapy. Parenting books. Parenting classes. Family meetings. Swinging. Spinning. Rocking. Swimming. Dark rooms. Limited decorations. No background noise. Never turn on the radio in the car. Never sing to yourself while doing the dishes. Never run an unexpected errand. Never burst into tears. No quick transitions. No sudden requests. Always leave time to take a break – start again. No zippers. No buttons. No snaps. No tags in clothing. No seams in socks. No jackets. No hats. Clothing is hard. Car seats are hard. Car rides are hard. Crowds are hard. Vacations are hard. Holidays are hard. Avoid hard. Slow down when speaking. Give time to process. Repeat specific phrases. Break down directions into individual steps. Keep a routine. Make a daily schedule. Write down the schedule with Levi and post where he can see it. Add pictures. Talk through new experiences. Break down into steps. Talk through again.

Get a dog. Get a well-natured dog. Have the dog always ride in the backseat with Levi. Allow laying on the dog. The dog walks to preschool. The dog goes on trips. The dog sleeps in Levi’s bed. The dog helps with reading. Practice letters. Practice numbers. Repeat sounds. Repeat directions. Repeat supplements. Try cutting out gluten again. Limit screen time. Schedule screen time. No more screen time. More time in nature. More time for play. More tolerance for big emotions. Talk about socially appropriate behavior. Talk about gentle touch. Talk about how to be a good friend. Talk about how it is okay to be angry, but it’s not okay to hit. Talk about safe bodies. Say, Use your words. Say it thousands of times. Say it so often Levi begins to scream, NO WORDS!

Make less requests. Triage. Focus on the most important things. You don’t need him to close the car door. You don’t need him to finish his dinner and carry the plate to the sink. You don’t need him to wash his hair. He can go without socks. Without underwear. Without haircuts. Without forced family outings. He doesn’t have to sit for picture day at preschool. He doesn’t have to go to children’s church. He doesn’t have to hold your hand. He doesn’t have to say he loves you. You can adjust, you can accommodate. It’s not that hard.

Meet the Contributor

Heidi Stuber WriterHeidi Stuber is a writer and businesswoman who lives in Seattle with her red-headed son. She writes about feminism, the apocalypse, extraordinary parenting, and her all-time favorite topic, spider monkey social structure. Her previous publications include Unbroken Journal and The Moth Radio Hour. She is currently working on her first book, When Your Heart Won’t Budge.

Image Credit: Flickr Creative Commons/Airman Magazine

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