We gave had a pretty bad weekend with the wunderkind. I have forcibly removed some of the incidents from my memory. If I kept all those nasty things in my head for long I don't think I could function very well.
I really am able to forget some of the bad stuff. I don't know how that came about., but it was not all that long ago that I acquired that skill set. I do remember still the boy figuring out on Friday night, how to get into the locked kitchen and bamboozalling us for about an hour until we figured it out. He managed to get in three times without us seeing him, and came out each time with a ton of pop tarts, and soda cans, and the last time a big plastic glass filled with ice cream. Each time Dad was able to get the stuff back with minimal scuffling.
We have a "window" between the kitchen and the living room which we have filled with upright porch type posts to keep kids from crawling into the kitchen. Turns out that our son was able to get his arm through the space and twist it around until he could tun the doorknob and open the door.
Now, Ross has been able to do that for a long long time. The difference is that once told he isn't allowed to do that, he stopped. It took J several months to figure it out, making Ross boast, hey, I'm smarter than him. I figured it out a long time ago. Which was a funny statement here in this family where everyone is MR. Nobody EVER talks about the intelligence of any of their brothers or sisters. They just accept that everyone was born different.
So, to keep order, I found a piece of sturdy plywood and dad screwed it into the posts so the kid couldn't get his arm in there.
So I went back to using the computer and Dad went off to change Jay and then I hear this loud banging. Wunderkind has picked up a metal high back dining chair and was pounding the top of it into the plywood. It held...but it really ticked him off.
The main difference in our parenting styles is that I'm able to drop the whole bad incident in a couple minutes. I really try hard to stay in a good mood, and I refuse to let anyone knock me out of that perspective. My husband lets it stew in his brain for hours. That used to be my operating style, too. But not anymore.
I just remember that there is a little (well 15 year old) boy with Down Syndrome in there who really does love us and whom we really do love. And I don't want to feed the universe negativity about him that would just make him worse. You get what your mind is focused on. If I focus on his bad behavior, I'm sure to get more of it.
It's very hard to discipline this kid. ANY discipline (and none of it is physical, by the way) will set him off again and worse this time. So I find it simpler to overlook a lot of the little stuff and to state how that was wrong, but not consequence him. Like today, Dad was bringing groceries home, and let the kid go out and bring in grocery bags. One the way in he apparently stopped and took out the whipped cream can that was for tonight's snack-strawberry sundaes. and ate practically the whole can. I found it in one of the bags when I was putting it away.
Now we could have told him that now he doesn't get a sundae. But that would have meant another couple hours of banging holes in walls, tearing doors apart, tearing down curtains and blinds, breaking his box spring, breaking into his siblings rooms and breaking their prized possessions...So we didn't do anything else. His Dad told him that it was a bad thing to do, but that was as far as he could get without giving US the consequences.
Dad is still stewing about it. Not me.
We had our friend Ms. Cindy who is a behavior specialist psychologist out on Friday before the kitchen incident. She didn't tell us to set up a token reward system or any of that behavior mod stuff that never seems to work. She says we really need a large man to shadow the kid around for his entire waking hours just to prevent him from doing these things. That if he siply isn't ab le to do them for a long enough period, that perhaps it will lessen. Working on getting the funding for that. Cynthia says she has two good men in mind for the job...