You’ll usually find Vicki over at The Boy’s Behaviour where she writes about her son Mini, but today she’s asking for your advice here…
We have a lucky dip bag that Mini gets to go in when he’s been doing something really really well, so he gets rewards but without a formal reward chart or system. We verbally praise too, but sometimes he deserves a bit more than that. So today, he got to have a dip, but didn’t want what he pulled out.
“Sorry Mini”, I said “I thought you’d like that. You can put it back if you want, but you don’t get a second dip.” “Oh yes I will, I will have another go”, he demanded. “No, I’m sorry darling, the rules are always the same – just one dip.” “Well, I’m going to hit you then”, he shouted, raising his hands. (I ducked, he missed, Daddy stepped in and moved Mini away from me and luckily distracted him with his dinner).
This isn’t just over the lucky dip bag though…this is everything. If Mini is told he can’t have something, the standard responses are ‘Oh yes I can’, ‘YES I WILL’ and ‘I will if I want’. And if we don’t change our minds and give in, he’ll threaten to hit us.
This sounds fairly minor when I write it down, but this is one of those ‘behaviours’ that is on the increase, and although I’m sure it’ll die down as quickly as some of the others have, I just don’t know what to say to Mini when he’s threatening to hit me. It’s always said with such venom. On the occasions I’ve called his bluff, I’ve been thumped. I’ve empathised with how he’s feeling, but that doesn’t change how he’s feeling, so again, I get thumped. I often want to just walk away, but I worry he’ll feel rejected, and needs me close to help him figure things out. Distraction isn’t always an option, and anyway at 6, I feel we should be doing much more than distracting him anyway, else it’s just going to carry on.
How do we change this? We’ll carry on not giving in, but I don’t want to be hit each time.