Thursday, August 14, 2008

God was with me today, but I need some advice

Today, I had one of the most severe challenges I have had to face as a mom. As many of you know, my son has some sensory sensitivities. He especially struggles when he has to get a haircut. He has never liked it since he got the very first one around 2 years old. But I have never had him react like he did today. He was swinging his arms at me (not actually hitting), pulled the clipper plug out from the wall and screaming at the top of his lungs. Now mind you we live in an apartment building. I'm sure people heard him screaming "you're hurting me" at the top of his lungs and probably thought I was beating him. I managed to get about 3 random strips of hair cut, down to 1/4". Before he went into his violent rage. That is when God intervened in my heart. I gave up. I walked away. I ended up taking him to have the job finished by professionals, where he sat and chatted with the lady like a little gentleman. He told her all about China, because that's what we've been studying this week. I was so proud of the way he acted in there, and told him so. But I don't know how to deal with his earlier reaction. That is not ok. We talked after about how it made me feel and he understood that it made me very sad. The bigger problem is, he is becoming very defiant in general. Every time we tell him to do something he doesn't like, his reply is "you can't make me". The thing is, he is a very good boy. He is always very empathetic to how others are feeling, and very concerned when people are sick. He is very well behaved when we go out and when he is around others. At home is a totally different story. Is it just the age he's at? Is he trying to test my limits and see what he can get away with? I hate having to share this for the world, but I need some wise counsel and quickly.

4 comments:

StephieK said...

I understand how you are feeling. Years ago, I would struggle with this same situation with Jonathan. I, like you, gave up and walked away. I didn't even take him to have it professionally done. I just let it get long and mangled. :o) Finally, he settled down a bit with his issues, but it took until the age of 11 for us to do it. We spoke about the expectations and purpose of getting the haircut. Yes, it is crazy that we had to turn it into a business meeting, but I found that if we laid it out on the table at least we were clear from the beginning. We still struggle with clipping nails, which sometimes I think will be the death of me. I have found that if we pray together before we cut the hair, clip the nails, try a new food, etc. that it definitely helps both him and me. I also remind him of Philippians 4:13 everytime that he thinks he will struggle. We will say it out loud together. It is probably a good reminder for me too. I will be praying for you guys.

Tiffany said...

I am so with you on the haircutting! My son has sensory issues as well and haircutting has the potential to be horrible. My husband does the haircutting and has made all sorts of deals over the years. We've also tried all sorts of positions. The one that works best? Hanging his head off the table so that NOT ONE SINGLE PIECE of hair touches him. Then take a shower ASAP to get off any stragglers that show up when he sits up.
As far as the behavior out and at home...my son is also similar to yours. Everyone is always commenting on how well behaved he is but at home it's iffy. He has some days that are absolutely great and others...I would recommend some kind of reward/punishment system. That works best for my son. He loves video games and he gets those taken away or earns extra time. Also--make as big a deal when he does good as when he does bad. Some kids live for the excited responses and they get more of the action they crave over bad behavior. Even if we praise the good we usually do it with a lot less intensity. Hope this helps!

Randi Sue said...

You know I am praying with you and will be rejoicing with you when you see a change. I know that God will equip you and Chris to make Lucas the man God wants him to be.

Merit Kirkpatrick said...

I am Praying for you - I hope you and your little guy are doing better. One thing that works for us is to discuss the behavior alone together and then pray together about it. I have been there - prayer works. God Bless, MeritK