Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Behavior Flare Up

It's been a rough week. First off, let me put out there that Gavin, by and large, is a great kid. He is (mostly) sweet, loving, funny, patient, hard working, and sensitive.

But sometimes there is an alternate personality that rears it's ugly head. It's not all the times, and I don't know if it's in regular intervals, so I am documenting it here, perhaps if I do this every time I can trace a pattern.

When these "behavior flare ups", for lack of a better word, happen - his patience is short, he flies off the handle quickly when aggravated (mostly by his brother), he backtalks something awful, and he gets aggressive. Not physical, but he has pushed Sam away a little rougher than appropriate, and he will make menacing gestures.

If you've seen Gav on a good day, well, this is a complete 180.

This is only at home. He behaves very well, always, at school.

Some situational factors going on right now: the teen suicides in our community created quite a stressful week in our district, with the news flying through the schools, having to have tough conversations with kids not really able to process such information, on top of that, they had been all prepped and ready for district assessment tests, and they were postponed until this week.

Not as many sports going on right now - not as much physical outlet.

District tests - he doesn't seem too worried about them, but it's a change in routine, and he's not great with change in routine.

Other things I think may contribute are lack of consistency in taking his vitamins and being hungry. He's not doing a great job eating all his lunch (they only get 20 minutes and he is both meticulous and chatty), and they don't get an afternoon snack (however this is changing next week with the new "class law" that the students legislated on during their government unit).

It's tough. When his behavior is like this, I get stressed, uptight, grumpy. The house is yelling and chaos. Sam likes to get him even more riled up. I worry that Sam is picking up on bad habits when he sees Gav act this way. Mostly I feel like a failure as a parent, because it sucks to see your kid out of control.

Things we are going to be trying:
Praise good choices/behaviors often (last night he asked us why we were thanking him all the time!)
Change vitamin routine to dinner time to try to get these in daily (I failed last night - already)
Do a better job of keeping our cool and not yelling to model appropriate behavior ourselves
Respond immediately when Sam is picking on him so he doesn't feel like we are letting him be attacked or bullied
Give him more 1:1 attention

Any ideas out there? I'll take them!

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