it's oh so quiet...
0 comment Thursday, May 15, 2014 |
We are nearly a month on from the last time my Son swore at me, and nearly two months on since his last abusive episode.
This is the longest period of anger-free time we have had from our Son in the two and a half years he has been with us. There is still moodiness, and there have been minor tantrums and problems with his Sister, but all That's been manageable so far.
So what's happened?
Well, there was the worst night (detailed in previous post), where I really feel we may have bottomed out his fear of rejection. His worst nightmare happened - he finally behaved badly enough to be cast out from this family, as he always feared he would. He doesn't feel he deserves this family because he's rubbish. He also doesn't want to be part of this family because it will hurt more when he gets taken away again. But he experienced losing us, being banished from us, and found there was a way back. He'd spat at me, told Husband and I he was going to kill us, made me cruel with anger, and yet... when he apologised he was back in with us. Forgiven. Not taken away. Not sent away. Forgiven, tucked into bed, in his home and loved.
There is also the rewards system we've set up. It's taken a few tweakings here and there, but there are five behaviours which we have made clear are absolutely unacceptable. If he doesn't do any of the five, then he earns something good for the next day. If he hasn't done any of the five during a week, he earns something else as well. And if he keeps it up for four weeks, he gets a nice big fat reward. He kicked against the system at first, but after the night that was, he has fallen in line and seems to get a lot from 'earning' his rewards*.
There is also the alternative reward system, where we have given him four ways to express bad feelings, and he can earn rewards for expressing his feelings in those safe ways too.
Another thing we've noticed is how the pair of them, Son and Daughter, drag each other back into patterns of old ways of behaving. They do each other no good a fair amount of the time and so instead of spending time as a family of four we've been splitting them a lot, one of us doing something with one, the other one with the other one. Most significantly on Saturday morning Husband now does Karate with Son, which I think is just brilliant, and Daughter and I go off to do the supermarket shop together. Sundays, we often find time to do one-on-one with them too, and this is working much better with both of them.
And I have been perked up by the antidepressants and have found that little bit of extra acceptance and understanding that he really needed.
Husband and I are being kind, consistent and strong with him.
I have learnt so much over the last year, that I feel a different person. I've had to toughen up to handle the crap these children need to project out. I am finding good ways of dealing with the shame and disappointment that can be the daily lot of mothering damaged children. I'm less screwed up worrying about what I think I should be doing and am finding my way to just doing what needs to be done.
I don't know what the future holds, or how bad things might get, but I feel a solid confidence has grown inside of me, that yes. I can do this. I can be what these children need. Just wish they didn't keep asking me to prove it.
*rewards include Wii time, Bin Weevel magazines, Moshi Monster cards and pocket money!

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