Originally Posted by oceanbaby
But I still have the same question that keeps getting asked here, I think by TripMom: While I am working on meeting this need of his, assuming of course I even know what it is, what do I do about the behavior in the meantime? What do I do when I have calmly told him that I undertstand he is frustrated that his train fell over, but that he may not scream at me, and he continues to? And if I do manage to go into another room, telling him that I am available to him whenever he can stop screaming at me, he then picks up the train and throws it (one of the few hard and fast rules we have in this house is no throwing trains). So then, I tell him that that I understand he is angry, but that he may not throw trains. He can hit the couch, he can tell me about how angry he is, but he cannot throw trains. But he interrupts me, screaming things like "you're not part of my family, get out of this house, you're stupid,". So how long do I continue to tell him what he may not do (i.e., set boundaries) while he just continues to do it anyway? And what specifically do I do about it? This is the part I don't understand.
Well, I try to make those things he can't
do, if they are truly things that I can not tolerate.
Not to oversimplify the issue, but -- throwing trains apparently is a big issue here, since it's one of a few hard and fast rules. If this is something he's really struggling with, if it's something he can't (or won't, which in a small child I'm not sure is all that different) control -- why not put the trains somewhere he can't get them? And I dont' mean in a punishing "now you can't play with trains way" but more in a "the place trains go when they aren't being played with is up very far away, and they don't come down very often and only during very stable times." Sure, sometimes it's going to slip through that he gets mad while playing with trains and throws one, but then "Oh, I see we're through with trains, up they go again."
When my little sister was going through a god-awful-horrible-throwing-things-slamming-doors-raging time in her life, my parents went to some pretty extreme measures -- even to the point of taking doors off of hinges so they couldn't be slammed. She ould throw and break "trinkets" -- so literally ALL our trinkets went away.
Basically -- they knew she was at a stage where she was going through some BIG things and that until she worked through them, they could either fight against her acting out at the same time as trying to work through the issues, or they could prevent the acting out. Does that make sense? And I hope I'm not stating anything completely obvious that you've tried 100-fold before, but it's what occurs to me. If I know there's a big issue with my kid, I'm going to try my best to prevent any little thing -- like slamming doors -- from becoming an issue.
As far as yelling -- no, you can't take away his voice. And yelling sucks and feels bad. But you can remove yourself, and you can tell him again and again that "this is not acceptable and not how I expect to be spoken to." And you refuse to engage and you ignore (even though I know it's very, very hard). By trying to do that talking when you're in the middle of it, all you're doing is engaging.
I'm not sure I'm explaining very well what's in my head, and as I only have one child who's younger, I may not be able to fully appreciate the situation. But these are the thoughts I had reading this post.
|And another question: What ARE some of the things you suggest to your child to do when they are angry?
My child is only three, but we suggest:
-- get a pen and paper and scribble to get out some of the "big feelings" (anger/frustration -- this is his favorite; he will often cry and scribble for up to ten minutes and then seek out one of us to "talk about it")
-- step out on the back porch and yell as loud as he can
-- get on the floor and stomp his feet or jump up and down
-- if someone is able to go outside with him, go outside and run around the yard to "run out" the big feelings
-- go in his room and lay on his bed and try to breathe out the big feelings so he can be calm
-- tell us what he would like to do, or what will make him feel better, or ask for help figuring out what he's feeling (he often does this one after doing one of the others)