Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Bare Necessities

Joey had a hard day.

We started with me running some advil over to him for a (highly unusual) headache at school. He got better, there were reports of unusual behavior- OK, but unusual- all day. Then he came home.

That's when, as usual, the Witching Hour began. It just never let up.

So when I caught him with his tablet after lights out, and he lost the privilege for three days (second time he's been caught!), it was not a surprise to us to be facing a Level 10 meltdown.

Yep. Long day.

So I'm grappling with his self-deprecation and other unpleasant language, and trying to stay quiet (trying to do social skills work at 11pm on a school night is just not a good battle choice), when JoeyAndyDad comes in, singing "I Wanna Be Like You."

One of our strategies for pulling Joey out of meltdown spiral is complete distraction and redirection. This is more difficult than it sounds, because you are trying to address a potentially explosive situation, and you can be so focused there, that it can be hard to come up with something to distract. Completely random, unexpected behavior, however, is a good trick for us. It kind of sets a shock to Joey's system. Here he is, upset about his tablet and not wanting to sleep and wanting his game and not feeling well and AAAAAAA.... and here is his father, singing and pretending to be an orangutan. You might see how that might be distracting.

And then we broke into a duet of "Bare Necessities", and having been Baloo in his play, how could Joey resist joining in? And then giggling? And then getting mad because he is giggling when he is supposed to be mad, which then makes him giggle more?

Sometimes, you just have to pick your battles. Joey and I can talk about what he said when he was in the red zone later. First, we have to get back to green.