OMG What a week! The last 10 days or so J’s behaviour has been outstandingly bad challenging, with the trip to the zoo being the only good day we’ve had.
He really has gone into overdrive with the challenging behaviour. We’ve been making excuses, (although still trying to deal with the behaviour), for the last few weeks, afterall he’s had alot of change recently with the move, starting playgroup etc. However last weekend, (a disastrous day out), he pushed us to our limits with his behaviour and has continued to do so since then. We’ve had lots of screaming and I don’t mean screaming, I mean really really loud high pitched screaming and alot of the time lasting for over an hour, both at home and when we’re out and about. He has physically attacked us both on several occasions, usually hitting, kicking or scratching but has also included pinching, pulling hair, biting and poking/pressing eyes.
This isn’t the first time we’ve had to deal with his behaviour. At 9 months J would have hour long temper tantrums, these can now last for the whole day, (and night at times). These day long tantrums started when he was about 2yrs old, so we’ve had abit of practice at dealing with them now but they seem to be getting more severe as he gets older. At 18 months he started hurting himself, banging his head, hitting and biting himself, the majority of the time for no reason and only occasionally because of frustration, anger etc. Thankfully this has now eased and he now only occasionally hurts himself. J likes routines and has certain ways of doing things, he usually gets very upset if anything is done differently. J is also very easily frustrated and can erupt at the smallest of things.
We’ve tried pretty much everything trying to control manage and deal with his behaviour. We’ve had a time out mat, star charts, a contract and rewards, we’ve tried ignoring the negative and praising the positive, we’ve tried talking to him, we’ve tried taking things away, (toys, tv time etc). Nothing seems to work and his behaviour is so random there is often no warning so it’s very hard to predict when he might erupt and what we could do to prevent it. Most of the time there appears to be no trigger.
We tried to seek help when we went back to the UK, unfortunately we saw a terrible “specialist” who told us that he was clever and he needed to be stimulated more, (thanks for telling me I’m not doing a good job!). She then went on to tell me I was only worried about his behaviour because I was depressed because it was Christmas and we were trying to sell the house! mmmmm………..Great help she was!!! We did however have a fantastic Health Visitor and a wonderful Children’s Centre with various courses and a few new friends. Thanks to our Health Visitor, the Children’s Centre and my fantastic new friends I learnt new ways of dealing with J’s behaviour and new ways of encouraging positive behaviour.
Unfortunately not alot works with J and his behaviour is very unpredictable. He can be very good at times and even when he displays challenging behaviour the majority of the time he’s not being “naughty” (we use the word silly at home, never naughty), and we don’t think he’s doing it for attention as he has that whenever he wants it. Everything we’ve tried has so far only worked once and only for a small period of time.
So what do we do, we don’t want teachers, parents and other children to label him a naughty child because that’s really not the case. He is actually a very loving, happy, well behaved boy. I know that probably sounds like I’ve got my wires crossed but as I said the majority of the time the outbursts are for no reason at all and can happen while he is happily playing a game, it’s like he has a switch. Who knows what is going on in his head. How do we help others to understand him? How do we help him to try to control/ manage his emotions better? How do we deal with the behaviour? How do we cope with the unpredictability? How do we explain it to others without sounding like over reactive parents? He’s not a naughty badly behaved child, just very unpredictable and extreme. I’m sure there’s something more going on with him but I don’t know where to go to find out and until people witness it they don’t really appreciate and understand just how random and bad it can be. I think most people just see us as over reacting parents but that’s not the case. We just want to know what’s going on with him, so we know how to help him and how to help us to know the best way of dealing with it and to help others understand. I’m sure the move and starting playschool has unsettled him and that this along with his dislike of change has made things worse. As the time for starting school gets closer the need to understand what is going on with his behaviour is increasing.
So where do we go from here?
If anyone is going through or has gone through similar issues or has any ideas on what we can do I’d love to hear from you.
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