Monday, July 29, 2013

Another Corner

It's no secret that we have struggled (and likely will continue to) with Eli's behavior at times. Almost exclusively in the area of anger. We had a few meltdowns in the last two weeks that were off the charts. It got so bad one night that we removed a significant amount of 'stuff' from his room. And while he doesn't have an excessive number of toys and there are no electronics (tv, i-anything, game systems or handhelds), the boy has enough in there to keep him occupied and happy. But after that night he was left with a few lone books and a handful of small, forgotten action figures. It was bad.

We've had more heart-to-heart conversations with Eli (when everyone has calmed down) about what happened, why it happened, how to prevent it from happening again, etc. But every time the temperature rises, that all goes out the window. Eli struggles (as many of us do) with 'walking away'. He will go toe-to-toe with you even after he's lost; he will not back down. Lehr and I have tried many many things to help the situation, none of them working. (But then again, what part of parenting 'works' at this age....we aren't supposed to take stock until they're 25, right?)

I am VERY happy to report that Eli turned himself around on two occasions over the weekend. Both times started with some minor disobedience on his part that required minor correction. And both times he took his consequence in stride and it ended with that. Wow. It ENDED with that. That's not how things have been playing out for Eli lately, so this is HUGE. (Normally, it starts with that and escalates immediately, like a tornado ripping through an entire town in thirty minutes.)

Both Lehr and I talked with him after one of the small infractions, reminding him what a smooth interaction we'd had and praising him BIG time for making the responsible choice to own his behavior. (Most times things get out of control because he blames us: Eli will always tell us, "It got bad because YOU made me do x, y. or z.") As with all things, I am not saying we are past this 'phase' of Eli's, but I am sure glad to have a weekend where everything was calm!

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