Thanks again for your very detailed response. It really did make a difference in the way I’ve been interacting with him. But a few things jumped out from what you wrote that I’d love to discuss more.
Firstly, you mentioned that you have come to regard a lot of what your son says as part of the emotional release, whereas I thought I recalled Patty saying that unless they got to tears, it wasn’t really helping? I must say that hearing you say that has made things a little easier for me. I’ve found myself being able to relax more about anything that he’s doing and whatever way he’s expressing himself…just been available to him.
We’ve been experimenting with allowing them to watch more screen at the moment than they’ve ever watched before. In some ways I think this has helped our relationship…they really seem to love having choice around it – but in other ways they are more disconnected. I just get so sick of saying no all the time!!
I wonder Kathy if you could explain more about what you’ve written here:
“The other thing I’ve learned is to set ONE limit at a time. Particularly when you get all those words and/or my son starts to throw things around, I would then try to set a new limit. Again, the words and the throwing things around are part of the emotional release.”
What do you mean by you would try to set a new limit? And at these times would you try to stop your son throwing things?
I think one of the hardest things with my son is that his off-track behaviour comes out in talk, and what I notice myself labelling it in my head as ‘silly’ behaviour…just that impenetrable disconnected silliness, with disconnected laughing. It REALLY triggers me. I’ve tried talking about it in LP’s but I don’t know how to even go there! It just makes me feel yuk!
About the slamming bedroom doors…when they do this and start kicking the door from the other side, what do you do?! I often say if you keep kicking the door I’ll need to take it as a sign that I need to come in – I can’t let you kick the door. If it’s my younger son, he’ll generally keep kicking! So I push on the door a little, just to provide enough resistance so he can’t kick anymore. Does this seem ok? Or should I never force my way in? I wonder how you’re able to listen to your son throw things around without feeling like you need to get in there to stop him form wrecking the place! I think I would find that really hard! You’re amazing!!! And as I read more of your post, about all that you and your son must have been through, I know that you ARE amazing! And that you get almost daily listening time…wow!
When you do hold your son Kathy, in the blanket things you spoke about, does he ‘get’ what you’re doing? Does he use the time well or does he just seem like he really wants to get away?
I love this paragraph too, and would love to know more:
“Bringing ALL of it to my LPs allows me to be clear on what ONE limit I’m setting (although a SAFETY LIMIT trumps all), be clear if I need to set a safety limit, think really well on how close to get, how playful to get, when to get playful”
Could you give me an example of what setting more than one limit might look like (in case I am doing it and not realising!) and then how a safety limit trumps all. I’d love it if you could put all this into a scenario!
One thing I’ve realised since he started school is that, although in many situations he does tends to be quite good at letting other kids know if they’re doing something he doesn’t like (even if it’s in an emotional way – upset and also angry), there seems to be times when he seems extremely vulnerable, ready and willing to do whatever other kids suggest – this frightens the hell out of me.
I’ve just started on with ST again…only usually 10-15 minutes at a time (I have the two of them) but I want to do it daily. I feel sure this will help, even if he generally wants the screen.
Tonight it all feels too hard. We went out to dinner and he had a horrible incident with some other kids in the play area. He was being trapped by them in some way. I looked in and saw, and I kind of screamed out to them to let him go. And I felt so scared, and so devastated that he hadn’t called out to me for help. I’m sure had this happened 12 months ago, he would have. I think it’s since starting school. Our relationship has really taken a dive. I’m working on my own school-days stuff but there’s lots.