sitting on a curb,
down the street from my home,
locked out of my house.
This is how we started our “fun” friday.
Friday afternoon we tried a new plan to stop my son’s cycle of intimidating behavior. For no reason other than, “school was stressful”, my son decided he wanted to intimidate us. I immediately started with Plan A and called my husband to come home. I was hoping that my son would stop his behavior now that Dad was on his way, but it only escalated the situation because now he was threatening to throw something at my head if I didn’t tell Dad not to come home. So with that, I enacted Plan B: Evacuation. I turned to my middle son (the youngest son was at a play date) and calmly told him, “We’re leaving!”
So quietly we gathered our shoes and headed out the front door. I had no specific plan other than to disengage with my oldest son with hopes of breaking his cycle of behavior. We casually walked to the next street and found an empty house to hang out in front of.
We waited for about 10 minutes before we saw my oldest son running up to us with a plastic pirate sword, announcing, “This is fun!!! I stole your keys and locked you out of the house, now I’m going to create a barricade! With a huge smile on his face he said, it’s like I’m fighting a war!!!”
We sat, maintaining a poker face of, “I don’t care”.
Then my oldest was off again, I suppose to create a barricade.
Next, I hear my car alarm going off. But I held to our psychiatrist’s plan to evacuate and don’t engage.
Since my husband had a 40 minute drive home, I knew we still had a while before he was here so I decided to take my middle son for a walk around the neighborhood. I could tell he was starting to feel anxiety and was running through the list of all his possessions to make sure I would replace his stuff if his older brother was busy destroying it. I promised I would, even if it was his prized DS.
As we walked, I contacted our psychiatrist, thank goodness he carries a pager! He instructed me to send my oldest to his room once Dad was home and to give him a consequence for disrupting the family.
I unfortunately grew tired of walking since I grabbed my high heel boots on my way out, which is a horrible move for an evacuation plan (taking notes for next time). So once we could see our home from down the street, we planted our butts on a curb and waited until Dad got home.
Thankfully the whole event ended smoothly. When we returned home we realized that our oldest was still out running around the neighborhood after catching a glimpse of him smiling over his shoulder as he sprinted away. So we went inside and waited for his return.
About 15 minutes later he grew tired and calmly walked through the front door. My husband told him to go to his room and that he lost the computer for tomorrow. To our surprise he said, “ok” and headed up to his room.
Was this a success?
Well considering that he never went into a rage or hurt anyone, it’s a huge success.
But whether this will break his cycle of behavior or encourage it in the long run because, “This is fun!”—Only time will tell.