Saturday, March 22, 2014

Backlash.....dun, dun, dun (sound of suspense)

  As many of you know, either thru experience or by reading what we deal with, you know that RADlets (a term of endearment for our RAD affected kids) do NOT like change. Good or bad, expected or unexpected, it throws them for a loop. For our little RADlet, he usually handles the actual time of change moderately well. Instead, he is okay for a while, lulling us into a false sense of security and then WHAMMO we get blind-sided. Why do we always think this time will be different? Well, because he is doing so incredibly well most of the time and we are full of hope for him. One of these days we will be blind-sided when he does NOT react to change.
  So the week before last was spring break. We had some minor issues, mostly because for most of the break we were cooped up in the house by bad weather. Lots of physical activity is the key to his regulation. Excess energy equals bad behavior, plain and simple. It was fairly minor and well within the 'normal' kid behavior scenario. Then the first week back at school he was awesome. Right back into the groove, happy, regulated and successful.
  Then this week came. It was a bit like March coming in like a Lion. WHAMMO! In a nutshell, this week included lies, bad words, calling other kids names, pinching, pushing, hitting, more lies, two trips to the principals office and one really ticked off Mama. There were other things but my brain can only hold so much bad data before it overloads. (I wonder if his brain is like that???) Not the worst he has been but very different than his usual current behavior.
  My biggest problem is how to give him a consequence/punishment that will actually make an impact on him. If you haven't noticed, he is an incredibly intelligent, strong-willed, defiant kid. If i take something away from him he doesn't care. If I ground him, hey, he is still having fun. If I send him to bed early, he lays there without complaint and is perfectly happy. A consequence needs to be unpleasant so that making the right choice is more desirable. Yeah, I have no idea what that consequence would be for him.
  Today I came up with an idea. It was a combination of 'time in' (where you keep the kid with you instead of putting them in time out) and giving him many chores. I decided that I was going to make him my mini-me today. He had to do all the chores I do and keep up with me all day. Oh, baby, this is going to work. I came pretty close to patting myself on the back for my brilliance!
  Oh how misguided I was.... Instead of punishing him, he LOVED spending all day with me. Instead of making an impact on him, I spent the day listening to non-stop non-sense chatter, having him invade my space in 407 different ways, and tripping over him as I did my normal Saturday chores. I got nothing done and have the worst headache. I ended up rewarding him and punishing myself. Stupid, stupid stupid......not really.
  It didn't work the way I anticipated, but the extra attention helped him regulate himself and get back on track. He is being the sweetest, most helpful child tonight. It is incredible how awesome he is now. I may have totally, accidentally come up with something. Totally accidental. We will see......

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