Sigh. I don't know why I thought things would be any different this year. True to form, difficult child 1 got in the car this afternoon and began catastrophizing over his classes and teachers. There are too many new rules. The rules are too strict. The teachers don't care. This year is going to be awful. I'm going to fail. I never should have come back to regular school. I should have stayed at the independent school. And his eyes just kept getting wider and his voice kept getting louder and his brow got more and more furrowed and he was just so agitated it was all I could do to keep from freaking out myself! He really seemed headed for a panic attack or some other form of emotional meltdown. I tried to just listen, reflect, and listen some more. I didn't try to argue or change his mind. I just let him vent. We went home, he got a snack, then we learned that he had the wrong textbook for one of his classes and had to go back to school and then to pick up easy child from her school. On the way to pick her up, he had calmed down enough so I took the opportunity to tell him that I knew things would work out, that he just needed to take this one day at a time, and that I was confident he would be o.k. I made him look me in the face and I told him point blank that I believed in him and that I know he can get through this just like he got through the hell of the past 4 years with all his health problems and the creative school situation last year. He seemed to relax a bit. I told him that if he thought things were getting out of control again, we could go see his therapist, and that I was counting on him to tell me if he started feeling like he couldn't handle things anymore, and to TELL ME before his anxiety got so bad that he did something to hurt himself again. I saw him shift and relax a bit more. And the rest of his day went well! He got busy on his homework once we got back and his mood was much better. So here we go... one day at a time! And tomorrow is his 17th birthday!!! He's having a banana split for breakfast!