I admit it…I make mistakes. Some are easy to get over, some aren’t. Today I made a big one and I probably won’t let myself off the hook for a while about it.
My son M has a problem with biting. It has gone one since he was really small. I think it is a combination of his sensory issues, his impulsiveness, and his limited social and communication skills. When he was 2-3 it was a big problem in his daycare…luckily, I had the support of the very great administrators and teachers of the daycare who loved him almost as much as I and truly understood the developmental issues he was dealing with at the time.
He improved…but it never went away. So, in the last month at his summer camp/daycare, he has bitten someone on 3 separate occasions. On two the times, the recipient was his best friend who had been teasing him about something and, because he can’t understand or can’t verbally retaliate…well, he responded the way he can! Now, a child biting at 2 years old is very different than one who bites at 7 and the daycare (not the same one) called asking for some help…God, I wish I knew what I could do! To their credit, they didn’t immediately ask me to remove him and I think they want to work with him because they, too, recognize how he is special – even when he is doing unacceptable things.
So, he and I had a long talk a week ago…his DS was taken away until he could show that he wouldn’t bite for > 1 week…I started him on a different med for his ADD to try and help his impulse control…and we talk on a daily basis using social stories to try and help him with his repsonses to (how shall I put it) less than ideal scenarios…
I know, you’re thinking…what does this have to do about a big mistake…
So, today, the 3 older kids went outside and they were sitting on the deck setting up an UNO game. I thought it was so cute that I actually took a picture of them since I haven’t seen them start such a cooperative game without adult prompting before (a milestone)…
Pretty soon, L got bored and I saw her walking around the deck playing with other things but about 3 minutes later, I heard her go to the two boys and a few seconds later, scream and come running into the house saying….”_____ BIT ME!!!!!”
Well, I was up, screaming, ranting…grabbed Matthew by the arm and chased him up to his room all the while looking like a complete maniac…”BITING IS NOT EVER ACCEPTABLE…YOU WILL NOT GET YOUR DS FOR ANOTHER WEEK…YOU WILL STAY IN YOUR ROOM…I AM GOING TO CANCEL YOUR BIRTHDAY PARTY…I CANNOT BELIEVE YOU DID THAT…”
Meanwhile, he is yelling that he didn’t do it (and I’m ignoring him because he says I didn’t do it about anything…even if I see him doing it)…and I start yelling “DON’T YOU LIE TO ME AND MAKE IT WORSE…I CAN SEE THE BITE MARKS ON HER ARM…I KNOW YOU DID IT…”
And he keeps yelling that he didn’t and something about it makes me STOP…I scream at Logan to tell me the truth about who bit her and she says “R_” and I ask R to tell me if he did it…and he says…”yes, mom” ((because I am sure he is anticipating the raving maniac to re-appear).
So…R went to his room without me even asking…and I grabbed my lovely, sweet, falsely accused boy and held him tight and begged for his forgiveness…which he gave way too easily…and I’m not sure I deserve it…
I can only hope that I can use this experience to become a much better mother…one who doesn’t jump to conclusions and who can believe (and believe in) my kids…even when they are not acting quite as society would want them to be. UGH. I have a lot of work to do!
Okay — you can let yourself off the hook for being human! You’re a great mom and that loving moment you had with him while you were apologizing taught him about forgiveness. The other positive thing about this as you can use it to teach him that if he behaves poorly often enough others will expect him to continue to behave that way and he may get blamed for things he doesn’t do (you know that will happen at school). So, look on the bright side — it was a lesson learned for everyone…maybe even L learned not to taunt her brothers! Big hugs to you. Debra