hugs not hits
0 comment Sunday, April 6, 2014 |
I lead Son by the nose all last week. You might have blown the main prize, I said, but if you keep getting your Smiley Faces I will take you out to spend your pocket money on that thing you really want at the weekend. It was very hard work, but he made it.
I thought he would blow it on Friday night. In the afternoon I'd finally got a call from the school. You, know. One of those calls. Never had one before, but it would seem that my intuition that Son was unraveling at school in the same way he is at home was right. He'd been in some three way pushing contest with his two 'friends' which had got really nasty, then he'd them made all sorts of accusations against these two 'friends' (including, interestingly enough, that they swore at him, which is the same accusation he made against me and my husband to CAMHS), and his 'friends' had duly accused him of all sorts of things back.
Worse, he'd got into an argument with a black girl in his class and told her that she had 'rubbish coloured skin'. This racist remark has had to be logged by the school. That was the main reason for the call from school.
The Learning Mentor who dealt with all of this (not the usual drippy one) said that Son knew what racism was, that he'd admitted what he said, and that he had apologised to the girl. She also said that Son started to have an attitude when she told him that she'd be phoning me, and that he'd been back-chatting her and been very rude.
Welcome to my world, I thought, and also pretty much said.
When Son came out of school he turned on the waterworks. He'd been bullied by his two 'friends' he said, they'd knocked him over and hurt him. I got down on my knees, held him and said that I had had the call from school, that I knew everything that had happened, that he was safe with me and could trust me. Then I reminded him of the Safe Ways to deal with Bad Feelings and that if he could manage this tonight, then although he'd had a bad day, he could still have a good weekend.
I managed him like this all night. He kept flipping between fake tears, real tears and seeming happy. The only time I saw danger is when I talked to him in his room about the racist incident. I could see his face harden as he started to think that having an attitude was the best way of handling this. I didn't shame him, I didn't punish him. I simply talked about what racism is and why it is so important that we don't say the things that he said. I don't know if my words got past his bravado, but I hope so.
He was difficult all weekend until we went up to my in-laws on the Sunday. He was fine most of the time. We even sat at the table together as a family, and chatted and laughed, and had no silly or controlling behaviour, not from either of them. And they both loved playing with their grandad.
Then it came time to go. And yes, he had had his count down, yes, we had told him the plan for going home, and what was going to happen for the rest of the night. He still locked himself in the utility room. This was after he ran off and wouldn't be caught.
We tried not making a big deal of it and just got on with getting ready to go, then we tried bribery (if you come out now you can still play on the DS when you get home). We tried threats (if you don't come out now you will not be playing on the DS when you get back).
In the end, it turned out he wasn't locked in, he was just holding the door! So I went in and gave him one last chance, nope, so I got both his arms and pulled him out, speaking softly all the while, and then husband picked up his legs and we swung him out to the car singing 'see saw Marjorie Daw'. An unconventional way to get your child in the car, but it worked.
Husband had to sit in the back with him on the journey home, to keep his seatbelt on, although he wouldn't sit on his booster. He worked wonders with him, calmed him right down and got him almost normal by the time we arrived home.
He remained normal through tea time. Then he said he wanted to go on the DS. We looked at the rules, and the ones he'd broken that day, and I reminded him that he had been given a chance to win back the use of the DS by coming out of the utility room when he was asked and he hadn't taken it. I wasn't pissy with him, I was matter-of-fact, kind even.
Didn't make any difference. He exploded anyway. The usual stuff. Screaming obscenities at me (i'm so over being called a fucking bitch these days) as he banged his way up the stairs to his room. So, just because, I started singing to him that I loved him, still love you anyway, don't care, I love, oh but I love you. Met every one of his vile words with love. That really got to him! So he chucked a few things at me as well.
I had to go up the stairs after him because I heard Husband come out of the bathroom and I didn't want him to interrupt what I was doing with Son. I sent Husband into the bedroom and That's when Son started hitting me, in fact, he even took a flying leap and kicked me in the thigh. It hurt. But I remembered something the SENCo woman had said at school, got down on my knees and said no, hugs, not hits, hugs not hits.
It worked, He let me hug him and then hugged me back. Then we started blowing raspberries on each other and played 'smacky bottoms' (our game, we made that up). Then we had a game of cars in his bedroom together. Then he wouldn't let me go anywhere, and clung to me so tight it hurt my arm, so I let him go and watch his Sister on the wii whilst I sorted out the laundry.
Later, he went to bed with no trouble, other than not wanting to let go of my arm at one point.

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