Wesley’s behavior is still a bit of a wild crapshoot lately.
(What is a crapshoot? Am I even using that term correctly? When can I just say outloud, “Google…define: ‘crapshoot'” and something happens? Will someone make me another cup of coffee?)
As always, when he’s good? He’s great. But man…sometimes those moments are spread out across days.
His thing is still anger. We’re still working with him on how to express anger and frustration. I’ve basically put a moratorium on yelling (which is VERY hard on me, I’m a yeller) until his “Go To” move is not to scream at me when he’s mad at me. He’s not hitting me anymore (knock on wood) but it probably helps that I am handling MY anger towards him better. When he was in his “hitting” phase – I kinda look back and don’t blame him. It’s really hard to teach a kid proper anger techniques when yours come straight out of the “Worst Parents In The World” story book.
He’s definitely understanding things a lot better, so we talk a lot, but we were still having a huge issue at school before the break. I think most of it stemmed from talking out of turn, but towards the end his behavior reports went from “not good” to “bad”. We went from hoping for the elevation of the “chip” from where it starts out every morning, to begging him not do drop the chip BELOW that point.
Your standards change so quickly as a parent.
His last few weeks before break were a much higher percentage of “bad behavior” than “standard” or “good” and I was getting worried that my kid was becoming the problem child.
We geared up for yesterday’s First Day Back for awhile. We talked about what to do if our friends are being a bad influence. (He says – of course – his friends get him in trouble.) We talked about how many times over the break he made me proud with his good behavior (he likes to say, “I’m the worst boy in the world!”) and we talked about the things he would lose if he came home with a bad report.
So, when I was in the carpool line after school yesterday I was bracing myself for the worst. When I saw him walking up to the van I was looking for ANY indication of how his day went. He got in the van and said, “EXCELLENT EFFORT!” Which is on the “good” range of behavior ratings for the day! Even better than just “not bad”! We had a GOOD day!
I was so relieved. I know it’s just one day but it’s one day in the right direction, and that is so valuable when you’ve been going the wrong way for so long. To celebrate we had our “date night” I’ve owed him for awhile. (I try to give the kids one night out one-on-one as often as possible. It was his turn.) We got his haircut. We went to dinner where he wanted. And then we came home and he had a tantrum about not getting to watch what he wanted on TV.
But I didn’t let the tantrum ruin the day and I basically just told him I was ignoring him for that reason. “I’m just pretending your not doing this because I want to go to bed thinking about our awesome night and not about this tantrum.” After a little bit more grunting and screaming and writhing, he finally gave up and curled up and watched my TV with me.
All in all? A GOOD DAY. I wanted to document it because I rant about so many bad days around here, it’s nice to spice things up a bit.