Thursday, 24 July 2014

Another Tough Parenting Call

Nathan had an incident at camp.  He hit several children and then when the counselor took him to time out, he slapped her.

Not good.

I'm at a loss for how to deal with these types of issues.  He doesn't hit or slap at home, so I have no opportunity to directly intervene.  It only happens when he's out of my custody, which means any intervention I do is after the fact and thus not particularly effective.  I'm doing my best, using his love of superheroes to remind him that heroes like Captain America don't hit first.  They protect people, instead of hurting them.

I talked to him and tried to find out what happened.  All I got was that they said mean things to him.  I asked him what he should have done and he said he should have asked a counselor for help.  So, he's learned that lesson, at least.  I told him that I know he was a good person and didn't want to hurt people.  I told him he needed to remember to keep his hands to himself and ask for help when he got angry.  It's honestly the best option I can think of to do.  (And to be fair, these incidents are usually widely spread over time instead of a regular occurrence.  So maybe it's just the challenge of being seven.)

The second challenge happened when he decided he wasn't going to go back to camp because everyone would be mad at him.  No matter how I reassured him, he was insistent.  He wasn't going back.

I already had my suspicions that he was under more stress than he could easily cope with, so I wasn't inclined to push him too hard.  I decided to go with a slightly sneaky approach.  I insisted that we had to go to the camp so that he could apologize for hurting people.  My goal was twofold: 1) he would see that people were understanding and accepted that it was a mistake and 2) he might remember how much fun he was having and want to stay.

Goal 1 worked.  Goal 2, not so much.

We ended up coming back home.  He had a quiet day watching me work and Alex have therapy.  He's agreed to go back to camp tomorrow for the last day.

No comments:

Post a Comment