One of the behavioural problems my son has, is that he reacts first with his body before expressing himself verbally. This used to be quite bad in that he would hit out and hurt other kids and teachers too. Lately his self control when angry has really improved and he very rarely ‘loses’ it with us at home anymore. He also doesn’t hurt other kids very often which is great.
His special school sends home a communication sheet every day to let us know how his behaviour was during the day. There is a section on it labelled “current school goals” and my son’s alternates between “use words, not hands” and “it is ok to be mad but not mean”
Yesterday he came home with “Use words, not hands” again and I told him I was quite disappointed to see that it always seemed to say that when I thought he had stopped doing that sort of thing. He looked at me with wide indignant eyes and said,
“they can’t change that box on the computer! It says that for everyone!”
Rather than tell him that I didn’t believe him, I turned the car around and went back to school, where I could see his teacher still out the front. I told him that I would just quickly check with her because I didn’t want to get him in trouble for no reason.
Naturally the teacher told me that it is still a problem they are working on. He doesn’t really hit out very aggressively but he does still hit out. More particularly to the teachers. She said he speaks to them like a teenager with an attitude. He doesn’t want to do his work and says to them “whatever” when they tell him stuff.
I got back in the car and he said,
“what did she say?”
Me: “Well she told me that you do still use your hands with the teachers.”
Him: “but I didn’t do anything today!”
Me: “What about when you ran around the courtyard for 15 minutes and kept hitting the book your teacher was holding each tine you went past?”
Him: incredulously “But that’s a book! It can’t feel anything and it can’t get hurt!”
Me: “ahh so you’ve been thinking that if you are not hurting someone then it’s ok to use your hands?”
Me: “Ok. Well what they are really looking at when you do that is your attitude. It shows them that you are behaving with an angry and disrespectful attitude.”
I think that conversation really had an effect on him! I guess we all spent so long telling him over and over that it’s not ok to hit or hurt people that he couldn’t understand why he was still getting in trouble when he hit without hurting someone! Not sure if we will actually see any improvement on that but here’s hoping a penny dropped!