I went to start-up in february, and since I came home many things have changed with my son , Philip (5). Some things for the better, but also some things for.. no not worse.. but different and challenging in a new way.
Philip has always had a lot of aggressive behaviours, like pushing, pinching, scratching, hitting, screaming etc. For a long time I have tried to find out what his payoff is. Finally, some weeks after start-up I realised that his payoff has been control. He has controlled my feelings (especially) all these years and I haven't realized it until now. You see, I have tried to be calm for a long time during his tantrums and it really didn't work until I not only acted calmly, but also FELT calm. Now, when I have come to believe that his behaviours are OK, he has stopped pinching me etc. That's wonderful! But, -in comes a new behaviour:
Now that he has found out that he can't control my feelings with aggressive behaviours, he has started to look for other ways to be in control. Now he repeats everything I say, goes after me and close the door if I close the door, if I move an object he moves it afterwords etc. Also, if anything unpredicted happens to him, i.e. if he falls, he goes back and falls again on purpose as to get the feeling that he had control over the fall. (It is kind of cute too
In the playroom he has a strong need to be in control too. His nr 1 ism is cars and has been since he was 1. He parks them, names them over&over. He wont let me join in this ism. I have tried in many different ways, but have ended up with this one: I just sit peaceful by his side, sensing the peace that he is making for himself, sending him the message that I am OK with his activity. Many of his isms are verbal. If he is isming verbally and is exclusive, he gets very frustrated if I join. If he says "yellow truck" and I say "yellow truck", then he starts screaming and has to repeat "yellow truck" again, so he had the last word. So, I have learned to see when he is talking ismy and when he wants contact, and I don't answer him when he is talking ismy.
From all this I see that he really needs a strong feeling of control in general. I respect that and I give him control as much as possible inside and outside of the playroom. Still it doesn't seem like he is relaxing more. Some days I am OK with him repeating me, closing doors etc, but some days I get insecure. So, that is why I write this post. I would highly appreciate if a teacher or any other experienced person could look at what I have written and give me som feedback on this. Am I on track with what I am thinking/doing with his need of control, or should I handle it otherwise? Is this typical? Will it pass?
Until now, in the playroom, he has mostly been isming or we have been isming together. He is using me much as an isming toy too, and I let him do that. (He wants me to say certain things, repeat him etc.) Because of his need of control I find it hard to come with much input from my side. Is this OK?
I hope for an answer
And thank you for this new site. It is much more easy to navigate than the former one.