Sunday, 28 March 2010

Some things are just so difficult..

Caleb is having some trouble at school and I am finding it extremely distressing.

When Caleb first started at his new school, he immediately made friends with a boy called Damitri. Caleb and Damitri were as thick as thieves and bonded like super-glue. About a month after school started, Damitri began attending after-care in the afternoons (Caleb does not attend after-care and I fetch him promptly at 13h00 every day). During this time, Damitri made friends with a boy called Angelo. They spent so much time together in after-care that the two of them became very close. Caleb began to feel like he was losing his best friend and was naturally upset about it.

Anyway....

To cut a long story short, Damitri and Angelo have begun teasing and side-lining Caleb... My son does not take well to losing face, and in the last week of school he lashed out twice at them.. physically. In the last incident, Caleb gave Damitri a black-eye. It is a real mean looking thing.. Caleb must have really whacked him! The good news is I know Caleb is able to take care of himself, the bad news is it cannot carry on. He must learn to win his battles without resorting to violence, and without having to use his fists.

As Adam and I are already aware of Caleb's temper and his lashing out at others, we have decided to send Caleb to some "play therapy" - I know some of you may think this is dramatic and OTT, but Adam and I are both firm believers in addressing an issue before it gets out of hand. We are concerned that it may be an underlying issue of jealousy with Daniel. And so, based on this, we are sending Caleb to see a very sweet young lady who specialises in catching behavioural issues in small children, before they even become serious issues in adolescence.

We have struggled with whether or not to send him, but we are now both in agreement that we have to find the source of my sons distress. For all we know it could be something as completely harmless as normal boy stuff....in which case we will be thrilled to learn that all is well (emotionally) with Caleb. On the other hand, if there is something troubling him, then this is the ideal way to address it. Adam and I have tried every tactic and route we can think of, and nothing is helping Caleb's anger issues. So perhaps this lady will be able to tell us where we are going wrong... Does Caleb need something we are not providing? Is he distressed or insecure about something? Or are we just over-protective parents and he just needs space to sort his own issues out..

Either way, all we care about is helping Caleb now, while he is still young enough to shed baggage... watch this space...

3 comments:

Ninnles said...

Hang in there, he'll be fine. Made of strong stuff.

Peers said...

K-babe

just a quick note that everyone goes through every stage in life and would need to have done certain things to have learnt these lessons.

Beating someone up is not a good sign at all, but boys are boys. The therapy is probably a good idea, but dont get yourself too down thinking you have a violent child on your hands.

The other kid wont be too quick to side line and laugh now will he, so he perhaps has learnt a lesson too.

I think the school also needs to know the whole story so they can see what you have done to the solve the situation and the other brat must get it too from a higher power.

what was he doing so close anyway to get a black eye? or did Caleb pounce?

momcat said...

My sons are 19 and 14 and both able to stand up for themselves. In Bradley's case, it has mainly been hit and run away but as he gets taller, I think he will handle himself better. I think you need to handle this as calmly as possible and turn it into a learning tool about relationships and how to handle fights. I have got Dael to a stage where he is the one to stop fights because his mates know he can handle himself but he walks away from fights. I tell my boys that if they hit someone too hard they can damage the other child's eye or it is easy to hit out but it takes a man to walk away from conflict. This is just the beginning. Boys have got this stuff called testosterone which makes them competitive, aggressive and a lot of lovely things like that and each situation just has to be dealt with in a not too emotional way by parents and discussed fully. Always keep the communication lines open.