Sunday, March 18, 2012

For No Good Reason At All

He completely lost his head and became violent and destructive and screamed horrid words aimed at me.

We had had a good morning.

First we worked on Psalm 34. He did super well and learned verse 10 and 11 lickity split.
Then he recited another verse for Acts chapter one. He was excited about it.

His chart was sporting three new stickers and so I paid him accordingly and he willingly paid me for a tantrum from the other day.

We worked on his addition facts. We made it fun. Can't say we made any progress, but trying is what counts.

Next he wanted to learn another handful of names for the books of the Bible. He is doing well with it, so I added it to the chart as a very doable goal to reach.

I read him a book on rivers. It explored the various creatures who depend on the river and what time of day you might see them there. Lovely book. We both enjoyed it.

Then out of the blue he suggested that maybe he was finally ready to play nicely with his remote control helicopter that he got for Christmas. He has had few opportunities to play with it because of his impatience with waiting for batteries to charge. What a disaster that gift has been!! I talked to him and told him that I thought he could handle it if he wanted to bad enough, but that I was limiting it to one charge of batteries and his reaction and action when the battery died would suggest how long it would be before he would ever get another chance at it. I went and plugged it in to charge up. Instantly I sensed the infatuation of the helicopter take over.

I gently guided him away and told him it was dead and needed to charge. He hadn't read his book to me yet, so we got started. he has been really enjoying this part of our day but after a few pages he shut the book and told me he was done. I had noticed that he chose the easiest book in the pile. A Dick and Jame book.

"Oh, not yet! You've only just begun."

And then the tears started.

I was surprised. We were having such a great cooperation between the two of us. Things have been so good. I asked him to stop crying. I reminded him to ask for help from above and then I told him to get up and walk around, grab a breath of fresh air and then we would read more.

He went outside and completely came unglued.


He slammed doors, kicked the car, threw large stones at the house, threw his watering can down the road, tore up my flower hanger (no flowers in it) and screamed hurtful words at me.

But an interesting thing, he never touched "his" flowers. The pot was by his feet. He never hurt them - he was in control of his out of control-ness, if you understand. He screamed and writhed out of control, but he CHOSE what he would hurt and what he would not hurt. He chose to try and hurt me directly and indirectly. He said things like, "I don't want to work with you, you stupid, idiot mom."

It went on for quite awhile. There is not much I can do to stop a tirade once it gets started, I only have  my last resort. This was so totally out of the blue. I wasn't ready for it.  When he stopped I went out and talked to him. I asked him to acknowledge the things he had done. Then I asked him to repeat the things he had called me - and when he did I just told him I loved him. And I cried. I pointed out that no one had done anything to hurt him. Nothing unhappy had happened to offend him. He had good things coming his way with patience. We had had a good time together and there was NO REASON for the outburst. He simply had chosen to go crazy and become mentally unstable. He wanted what he wanted and when he didn't get it the instant he wanted it he chose to go nuts. I did not go into specific details. Instead I fed him lunch and then we talked some more.... rather I drilled him on what he thought the specific thing was that gave him reason to lose his self-respect. He did not want to tell me. I asked 500 times {give or take a few :-). He gave 499 nonsense answers. I refuse to allow him to not acknowledge that the weight of his actions rested squarely on his own shoulders. Finally he admitted he wanted that helicopter, and he wanted it now!

I reminded him of the consequence of his actions. A meeting with dad, an afternoon of pothole filling, he would pay me a dollar, and I let him know the helicopter was put away.  He's mad about filling potholes. He's wet his pants and hid behind the barn and twiddled with handfuls of gravel. Whatever. Tomorrow is another day as good as today for potholes.

Someone will surely say, "the poor child couldn't handle the good relationship and the peaceful time. He had to push you away because he's afraid of getting too close." Or, someone else will say, "His past makes him want to destroy his future. He can't handle success." Or "He is so used to the chaos of his past that he needs to create the environment he is most comfortable in", or whatever else.

BUT listen, it is none of those things. His will was crossed and he didn't get his way instantly therefore he took that as an excuse to be angry and hurtful and disrespectful and to destroy. It's less about RAD than it is about selfishness and impatience and anger - to put it bluntly, it's about his carnal nature.


Shonni said...

So true...carnal nature...I am careful to not give “excuses” for behavior.
LORD God, give us wisdom as we parent these children that you have given us.

schnitzelbank said...

It sounds a lot like when a two year old has a tantrum, except in a much bigger/more destructive body. He hasn't been able to mature emotionally because his more basic needs were neglected at a young age (google Maslow's hierarchy of needs). It's not an excuse for the behavior, just offering a possible explanation. I'm sorry he had such a bad day, hoping it's a better day for all of you tomorrow. I admire the patience you have.

Mama in Uganda said...

Your last statement is dead on--excuse the pun but without Christ we are all dead in our sins, led captive by the lusts of our flesh! It's part of our job to make the deeds of the flesh as miserable as possible. Praying for you as one who understands.


Sophie said...

This sounds exactly like Jackson, in his actions and the trigger. I won't give James or Jackson any excuses. You are exactly right with your last paragraph. I feel the same way about Jackson and Delaney. I completely understand. You are doing a great job!!

Mama D’s Dozen said...

Absolutely . . . "he didn't get his way instantly and took that as an excuse ..." That is right where my daughter is at. She so wants to control EVERYTHING, that she CHOOSES to be "out of control" ... yet is absolutely in control about how she is acting while she rages. She, too, would never destroy something that is "hers".

Hang in there ... no words of insight, but lots of words of understanding.

Laurel :)