Monday, May 13, 2013

Sensitivity Issues...We're Not Talking Feelings, but Clothing

When we had our first child, our son, who is now three and half, we were so blessed with all these really fun outfits!

Who doesn't enjoy dressing up their little children in handsome attire? I think it's one of the best perks to being a mom. (Why is it, little girls clothes are way cuter than anything I can find for myself?!)

Around the time he turned one, we started to notice that he seemed to strongly dislike a lot of things about clothing. In fact, pretty much the minute he figured out how to take his clothes off, they were ALWAYS OFF!

Getting him to wear pants...FORGET IT! Long  sleeved shirts were nothing short of a full blow tantrum of elephantine proportions.

I honestly, started to worry if there was something wrong. 

When he started to finally speak words, we started to find out a little bit more as to what was bothering him, or HOW it was bothering him.

Hats were a joke. A coat would only be worn if he actually found out it was cold outside, but couldn't be combined with a long sleeve shirt. AND it had to be a specific kind of coat and was only allowed with a T-Shirt. Socks, forget about it. They were too tight, to high, to turned, to something.

Every time we went to have photos taken, it was nothing short of a battle royal. I wanted a cute Christmas Photo with a sweater, he screamed and cried himself to sleep.

It is just heart breaking and frustrating as a parent to deal with this. Frustrating because you have spent time and money on buying clothes to keep them warm and protected, and heart breaking because you can't seem to make it better or go away.

I spoke with his doctor about it and she said that it is a Sensitivity Issue. She said usually, this is something that stems from one parent. Guess who that parent is.....ME!

He totally takes after me. Although, I'm not sure mine was like his or not, I did do a lot of the same things. (Except maybe cry myself to sleep or scream bloody murder.)

Long sleeved shirts and a winter coat, were a NO GO!

I lived in t-shirts. IF I wore a long sleeve shirt, I HAD to have a t-shirt or tank top under it. 

I despised socks and underwear. My mom and dad used to check me before I left for school to make sure I was wearing both, but shortly after I would get to school (and it was the most uncomfortable walk to school ever!), I would run to the bathroom and quickly remove both!

My cousin still laughs to this day about how I would always stuff my underwear and socks in places. It's pretty funny looking back on it.

While I've out grown my aversion to a few of these things, my sensitivities are still there. Jeans-have to fit specifically. Shirts, need to be long and kind of thin. I do wear a lot of tank tops under long sleeves. Socks, unless I'm working in snow, need only be ankle socks (but NOT go above them!).

Now as an adult, it is a lot easier for me, because I can control my clothing and style. I don't throw a tantrum or cry. I'm not sure when or why the change came about.

With my son, I realize, that I need patience. That things will eventually get better. I definitely PICK my battles with we absolutely HAVE to wear pants to leave the house.

But, I'm ok with the no socks and no underwear. I'm ok with the t-shirts and tank tops, and I'm ok with having to buy the same coat over and over and over again every year in a bigger size (as long as they are still making them at GAP).

I'm ok with hunting for stretchy pants and not jeans. You pick your battles, and realize that some day, they won't be there.

Did I mention hair cuts are awful?! We just did our last one at home, last night. He has spots that aren't quite right and honestly, after the crying and fighting, I'm ok with paying someone else to do it. Mom can only do so much on her own.

I know we aren't the only ones that deal with these types of sensitivities and I'm thankful that its my son and not my daughter, that has these. 

She is his opposite. She loves shoes, clothes and accessories. She likes being a princess and wearing fun stuff! At least one of my children will let me dress them.

For all you other parents out there who are struggling with this you're not alone. I pray that it will get better for you as well as your children get older. Mine seemed to get less severe as I got older. Kind of like how I would NEVER eat broccoli, then one day when I was in my tweens, I tried it and discovered I LOVED it! 

Do what you can to make it comfortable for them. 

I've started giving him options of clothes. We let him pick out his clothes and put them in his own drawer, so he can control the combination of them. He has a few different pairs of shoes, and again, he controls and picks out which ones he wears. It's not always easy. In fact, when the seasonal change from summer to winter happens, it's just a struggle to switch to bigger, more covering clothes. 

When you find something that works, like a pair of pants, BUY LOTS! In bigger sizes! Same thing with shoes. They grow so fast and hunting for the same stuff, once it's out of season is a nightmare!

We have already seen a lot of improvements with him, but we know that by the Grace of God, we will all get through this. He is, his creator after all, and He doesn't make anything that isn't perfect in his eyes.

I know there are a lot of people that give me strange looks when I try to explain to them that he doesn't like to wear socks. Or, that long sleeves are a hard sell. I've even had people tell me that you just have to force them to do it. They clearly have no idea how big a struggle this is, or how traumatizing it can be. I just get the general idea, that they really have no clue as to what they're talking about.

I just smile and kind of pretend I didn't hear them. Sometimes it's just a little easier that way.

I'm not sure how many of you understand what I'm talking about, but I know there will be some of you who do.

So, I'll settle for t-shirts in family photos and stretchy pants. It's really what captures who he is anyway. My son. I wouldn't want him any other way. He is Perfect!

How have you coped with this? Know anyone else who struggles with kids with sensitivity issues? Ideas? I'd love to hear input.

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"You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you."
Song of Solomon 4:7 (ESV)

"For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my souls knows it very well."
Psalm 139:13-14 (ESV)

Visit my other posts:
Friendship, the New Dating Game

Domestic Play Passport for KIDS! 

Keeping your Mouth in Check with Your Heart

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