Saturday, March 28, 2009


We are having a whopper of an afternoon. Joey has so far broken one of Andy's toys, written all over one of Andy's artworks, and "ruined" something else we haven't yet clearly identified, but JOey came out and informed Andy of the deed. In the world of sibling rivalry, it is the deliberate nature of this destruction that is concerning us most. Here come our deerstalkers and pipes- another mystery is upon us.

Is this simple sibling rivalry? Are we acting out in place of lashing out with words? Instead of calling brother names, we scribble on his things when he isn't complying with our wishes? And what does Joey want? Does he want Andy to play with him? Was there some other action we missed- for example, did Andy tease him, hit him, threaten him? Did Andy tell Joey to go away?

Is this something deeper? Is he lashing out against his brother because he is having troubles elsewhere? Is he using Andy as a surrogate to lash out at, instead of someone at school or the playpark?

Is this a acting out against something totally unrelated? Other frustrations, other issues, other discomforts?

If we solve this mystery or not, we still need to do something. This is not acceptable behavior. Joey needs tools for dealing with frustration, discomfort, and unhappiness that are not destructive. We need to help him manage stress. He needs a better way to communicate stress. Screaming at the top of his lungs when we express our disappointment is just not that helpful or constructive.

UPDATE: We finally got Joey calmed down enough to talk to us. Apparently, some of the kids at school are calling him names, and it makes him angry. He felt much better after telling JoeyAndyDad all about it.


Niksmom said...

Hmmm. Not sure why this occurred to me as I was reading but here it is:

I know you use social stories with Joey, yes? What if you did a *reverse* social story where Joey fills in the blanks about what happened or what the "little boy" (in the story) gt so upset about. Then you can turn it around to teaching him (erm, "the little boy") a more appropriate way of handling the situation?

'Cause, you know, I use this all the time with Nik (pardon me as my nose grows and grows). ;-) Anyway, the thought was there and I had to share it.

Sally's World said...

even with kids, they lash out at those they know have unconditional love for them, mix that with sibling rivalry, and it can be hard. Aaron always lashed out at his brothers and sister, knowing, and he was even sorry (sometimes) but seemed to have no control over it.

we still made it very clear about a million times a day what is and isn't acceptable, some of it does sink in. if he thought we would be soft...goodness, it was worse...boundaries are even more important with special needs...i think so anyway...

good luck, i know its knackering, but stay strong, scream into your pillow later!!!

sending big hugs...

Casdok said...

So sorry to hear Joey is haveing some problems at school, but pleased that he was able to talk to you. Hope you can get it sorted out.

Miss Kitty said...

My thoughts are with you & your family--man, that has got to be tough. And it's too bad kicking bullies' butts still isn't considered good for parents to do. :-P I volunteer to come up there and jerk some bad little kids around. No excuse for calling Joey names. NONE.

Anonymous said...

I keep forgetting how much I can relate to you and your stories. I shouldn't be away from blogs so much because I really needed to hear some of this stuff.

The Elder is having difficulties at school, particularly on the playground and lunchroom. He's been reassigned back into the CDC classroom with opportunities to earn time in the Kindergarten class. I've heard him on many occasions complain about people calling him names or making fun of him. But even so, THAT is still hard to decode as a parent. Does he know what "making fun if him" is or did he hear that phrase and is repeating it. (so and so "called me a boogieman" isn't that difficult to decipher)

Oh and he's hilarious with Knock knock jokes. I really like Joey's Blue one! lol

btw-Thanks for posting the widget.