While we didn’t launch any rockets today, it was none the less, a success. Why?
Well, David got upset because one of the sibs didn’t want to play with him. We have a rule, that when a sib calls David’s name a certain way, then David has to stop what he is doing and come out to the living room for a few minutes.
Well, a sib called his name a number of times, and David didn’t think that he had to listen to and obey the rules. So he ended up on time out.
Now the time out rule is that the quicker you settle down, the quicker you can return to have fun. Normal time-out length is one minute for each year of life, but we don’t start the time out until after his is calmed down. He ended up not being able to play for most of an hour because he wanted to do things his way.
So in the end, he had to cover his head with a blanket to eliminate external sensory input. Plus, he had to sit quietly for 10 minutes. In actuality, as soon as he calmed down for a couple of minutes I ended the time out. I also explained that he could have been done a long time ago, if he had obeyed the rules.
During the time he was being punished, he told me repeatedly how much he doesn’t like me and doesn’t want to live here anymore. Wanted to know why we adopted him. Over time, I have learned to ignore this verbal attack. After he was released from punishment, he wrote me a note apologising for his behaviour. This is where the success lies.
He acknowledged how his behaviour affected others, and apologised for it. That my friends is a successful day. Now, I am not going to delude myself into believing that my child with a frontal lobe brain injury is going to suddenly start recognising his behaviour consistently, or apologising for it, that would make me certifiable. But progress is made in small steps.