In the past, I spent too much time trying to resolve the current stressor, whether it was working out a disagreement with his brothers or talking him out of doing something mean. What I’m learning is that there’s a lot of situations that can best be dealt with by ignoring the issue and moving forward with something new. This seems to be the key of deescalating the situation. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come natural for me.
The other strategy I’m trying is the “path of least resistance”. Yesterday, he really got angry because his brothers didn’t want to play anymore. In an instant, he charged his brother in full attack mode, it came out of nowhere. As I held him on the couch, I could tell he was gearing up for a rage, so I let go and asked if he would just sit on the couch. He barked back, “Can I watch TV”. I said, “ Yes, take this time to calm yourself down.”
Then I had everyone go upstairs so we could leave him alone to cool off for about 45 minutes. It was much easier than trying to get him into his own room. I could tell that if I pushed him into a timeout I would’ve triggered a rage, so I simply took the path of least resistance. And I’m happy to say, he was able to calm himself down.
Overall we’re getting by with great times followed by challenges. He’s surprisingly has handled some stressful situations pretty well, on the other hand, spending so many hours together can be draining on us both. I know this isn’t his fault, life is just harder on him, but I need to work on my patience and keep my chin up.
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So how’s your vacation going?