So for what seems like the hundredth time, I had the talk with David, our 10 year old about how his behaviour will follow him for the rest of his life. Do I think I got through to him this time? Sadly, no, I don’t.
This is the child who just got out of a residential facility, where he was placed in part because of his behaviour. I explained that there are worse places for him to be, and gave him specific examples. I talked about how when I was a kid, I was in trouble with the law and was taken from my home in handcuffs. Yes, even at the age that he is, they might not use handcuffs, but they could decide that this isn’t the proper environment for him.
So the question is, how do we protect him from himself? When it is just him, and myself, there are no major issues, but bring the other kids home from school… and he has to act up and do all kinds of things to get attention. I have taken away computer privileges, I have taken away toys, I have taken away special treats like oatmeal creme pies, which are his favourite. To no avail. He continues to do what he wants when he wants it.
Friday is amnesty day. He gets amnesty if he gives back everything that he stole throughout the week. Today I gave him amnesty and he didn’t give me anything. So when I was making one of many intervention trips into his room to keep his brother from killing him, I went through his things and found…
- One hole punch.
- One cat food can, partially empty.
- Two cat food can lids.
- A half dozen AA batteries.
- 4 pens. (not allowed because he writes on everything, whether it is his or not.)
- Candy wrappers. (we control his candy intake because of the severity of his ADHD, he isn’t allowed any except under very controlled circumstances.)
Earlier this week, he had managed to break into our bedroom and steal a netbook from his mother….
So how do we protect him from himself? How do we protect him from his brother’s and sister’s? How do we protect his brother’s and sister’s from him?
Today, I went so far as to explain what his behaviour does to my health. I have a number of illnesses that respond negatively to stress. I am not going to delude myself into thinking that it will change his behaviour. I told him, as much for his information as it was for me to admit it to myself.
Tomorrow, mentor time. Which means for 5 hours he won’t be in the house. 5 hours of relative quiet. Am I wrong to look forward to that break?