Games, Language and Anxiety…Never a dull moment!

On Saturday night, we decided to have a family games and pizza night. Daddy made very extremely yummy home made gourmet pizzas and I brought out the Star Wars Monopoly, Pictionary and Uno.

We ate our pizza and commenced with game night. We began with Monopoly as that can be the most tiring, but we had every intention of doing a short version so as not to overload little six year old brains….needn’t have worried! The kid is a monopoly legend! He beat us, fair and square. Yes, we did cut the game short when he started to fly the little space shuttle things around the board instead of focusing on the game, but he had so much money and property that I’m pretty sure he was going to win even if we took it to the end!

Next, we moved on to Pictionary. Since we only had three of us, we took it in turns to just draw and guess and when it was our son’s turn, we took turns as to who would help him read the word on the card. I thought he might struggle a bit with this one as it has drawing in it and he’s not great with that sort of thing. Nope, no problems, he can get a picture idea across as well as either of us! That one was fun because no one really wins or loses the way we play. 

At around 9pm we started on Uno, as it’s an old favourite of his, and he’s very good at it, so we figured that would be a good one to end on. I was very impressed that he had now been playing games with us for a good 2 and a 1/2 hours! We decided that the first person to win three games would be the winner. It turned out to be me 🙂 – Even though the boys tried to gang up on me and make me pick up millions of cards. Given the long playing time, the late hour, and a recent unfortunate exposure to more kids, and more colourful language at school, the next part was somewhat inevitable!

I won my last hand, called ‘UNO’ and that was it…

Son: (slamming his cards on the table and getting up off his seat) “That’s it! I’ve had enough of these F%&#ING games!” He then slipped a slightly worried look over his shoulder and ran to the lounge where he buried his head in the cushions!

Now, we’ve been pretty lucky with him in that we haven’t really heard any language like that out of him before. We don’t really swear much, and definitely not around him, so I know he learnt it at school and figured he’d give it a go and see what happened.

He used the word with the correct grammar, emphasis and drama, so I can’t really complain too much 😉

Anyway, I inhaled a shocked breath, and Daddy went to the lounge and said very softly, “I think you’ve really upset Mummy by using that word.” To my surprise, he started crying and apologised. I was relieved. We simply said, “it’s not nice to use that word, and we don’t use it in this family OK?” He agreed, and I thought that was the end of it. 

Naturally it wasn’t. On Monday I caught up with his principal to see how things are going since they aren’t giving me any communication at the moment. She said things are moving forward, but at a very slow pace. He still doesn’t really do any work in class blah blah blah I knew that…

Principal: “Where does he learn his language?”

Me: Thinking she was referring to his fabulous vocabulary and fluid, comfortable use of the English language…”Probably from me”

Principal: “Oh! He was certainly using some very colourful language with his teachers and Aides today!”

Me: Feeling slightly embarrassed that I had misunderstood her term “language”…”Oh no! That’s definitely not from me! He learnt that at school! (Yes I did realise as I was speaking how defensive and stupid that sounded, but I didn’t care! It wasn’t my fault, it was all the little ‘potty mouths’ he goes to school with!! Really!)”

Principal: “Hmm, well he told his teachers to F-off because he didn’t want to leave the classroom. He was upset that his teacher had to do playground duty and a sub had to come in. He gets pretty upset when she can’t focus on him”

Yes, I know that. I decided not to worry about it too much though. Sure I don’t want him swearing at his teachers, but last year he was throwing chairs at them and biting them, so swearing is surely better…right? Please tell me I’m right 🙂 I told him when I picked him up that I was disappointed to hear that he had used rude words at school and that he must not ever do that again. He agreed… but then he always agrees. It’s like he’s read my notes on how to deal with anxious and argumentative children/people

1. Agree

2. State your case (briefly)

3. Move on

He’s got it down pat. Ahh but what can we do, but keep on with what we are doing and hope it starts to change things.

Yesterday, we went back to his psychotherapist and cutting a long story short, we are going to start trying some anti-anxiety medication in the near future. She said his behaviours and the level of anxiety he has shown so young point to a severe anxiety disorder and we really need to give him a chance to feel life without being anxious in order to really change his behaviours. We kind of agree with her, and so, sadly, we embark down another medication route. We will still be doing the anxiety management programme with him (as soon as I finish reading everything I need to put it all together for him!). 

Life wasn’t meant to be easy right? Well, it’s not, but it’s still good. 

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