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.