Keep Calm and Carry On


Several months ago, the origin of the phrase Keep Calm and Carry On was all over the web. I love the sweetness of the “little engine that could” story and how the phrase has resurfaced after all this time. I started thinking about the phrase over the weekend because it’s kind of become my mantra lately.

I think I’m finally starting to see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to Max. I don’t mean to imply that he’s “cured” or no longer has needs. I’m talking about how I feel about them. I’m finally starting to understand him a bit better and get less frustrated. I tell myself at least once a day “stay calm and move on”. I know now that when he’s hungry he has a melt down. I know that when he’s tired, he has a melt down. I know that the hours between child care pick up and dinner or bedtime are prime times for biting. I know that when these various melt downs happen, all he really needs is a hug. I’ve learned how to talk him through a situation and find a better solution than biting or screaming. I’ve learned that if I simply spend some time with him (and Ben) after school and before prepping dinner that our evening is generally much more enjoyable.

I’ve learned to keep calm and carry on when Max doesn’t want to participate in an activity (like Father’s Day strawberry picking when he wanted to leave as soon as we got there). What used to drive me batty because our day was “ruined” I now know will pass. Now, I take a deep breath, put a smile on my face, keep calm and carry on with giving Max the support he needs to learn how to better handle his emotions and social situations.

I do have to say that I never thought this moment would come. I never thought I would feel at peace with our situation, but it does come and I do.

3 comments on “Keep Calm and Carry On”

  1. Thanks Steven. Glad to hear that you and your sister have found a mantra that works for you too. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  2. A few years ago I saw a box of cards with this saying. I didn’t quite know what I would do with them, but I simply couldn’t walk away from the table without buying the box. Then I started to see the quote all over the place.

    I sent one to my sister, who has a daughter with Autism and I think she has adopted this saying as the basis of her parenting. As the father of 3 “typical” kids, I have tried to follow this advice as well, but she is the master. I have heard her answer the same question 4 or 5 times in a row, seen her deal with meltdowns and perseverative fits and still manage to smile.

    Thanks for sharing the impact this little saying has had on your challenges, and thanks for the link about the origins. I assumed that it had been widely circulated in Great Britain during the war, and was surprised to see that it has only recently been exposed to the world.

    Carry On.

  3. I’m really glad that you’ve learned to “go with the flow”. It becomes so much a part of how you live that you will find yourself doing the same with your other child.

    My son had an “overstimulation” disorder as a young child. I’m not sure if he still has the disorder because you’d never know he’s the same person now. He’s learned to deal with it and we had too. It meant when he was having a meltdown he needed “me time” to himself. It meant that you just can’t leave anywhere without advanced warning (we would hold up our five fingers to indicate to him that he had “five minutes warning” that we would be moving on.

    We got so used to it that our behaviors continued with our second child who did not have this disorder. We do indeed still hold up our five fingers to her (he’s 17 now and really doesn’t need them) when we are ready to leave and she quite enjoys having “me time” as all kids need a break sometimes regardless of their situation.

    You’ll be amazed at how your life will change once you understand the situation from your child’s point of view.

    Keep Calm and Carry On! You are awesome!

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