Try This Tuesday #55: Working as a Team

Try This Tuesday

I am so proud of myself and my husband today.

Often, when Michael has a meltdown or is throwing one behavior after another at us to either get what he wants or avoid something he doesn’t, one or both of us lose our cool – either with him or with each other – in the process.

But not today. Today we were calm and supportive and truly worked as a team.

Here’s the short version of the story:

Michael did not want to go to playgroup at the psychologist’s office this evening. They had two weeks off while the therapist was on vacation, and he claims that I told him he didn’t ever have to go back if he didn’t want to. (Not true, but I think he really convinced himself it was.)

There was also some ranting about how he “never” gets to watch his favorite PBS Kids show, how I hate him, how he hates me, etc, etc.

After several minutes, I had coaxed Michael downstairs and into his socks and shoes, been kicked twice, gotten him out to the car but not in it, and was blocking him from running away from the car. At this point, Michael had switched to crying about how he was too tired to go anywhere and needed to go to bed.

I was calmly repeating my mantra, “Get in the car,” between outbursts from my son, when Bob pulled up and saw what was going on. He came over and asked Michael what was the matter, listened to what he had to say, and after trying a couple of different directions, hit the jackpot by suggesting to Michael that he go with me to the therapist and let her sort out who was right.

I can’t promise that we will be able to do this every time, but I think we are on the right track. It really comes down to putting Michael’s behavior in perspective to his developmental level and not feeling that one or both of us has failed because he is acting out. Once we let those feelings in, we’ve lost the opportunity to turn the situation around and bring some good out of it.

So, what happened later?

Well, Michael did not actually go to group. When I got to the office, I asked to speak to the psychologist ahead of time and together we decided to switch to individual sessions to get Michael stabilized before school starts.

Part of the issue is that he knows these social situations are stressful and doesn’t want to whine and argue, but doesn’t know how to stop himself. So he does whatever he can to avoid the situation. I guess I would probably do the same thing in his shoes.

As the host of Try This Tuesday, Trish shares some of the solutions she has found to make life easier. She blogs at Another Piece of the Puzzle.

4 Responses to Try This Tuesday #55: Working as a Team