I’m running out of ideas of things to try with this boy to 1) get him to stop doing a blood curdling scream about everything 2) stop harassing his brothers, in particular Ben (his favourite subject of harassment)
The latest thing has been his “penalty box”. It has been explained to him that if he screams, hits, bites, etc. (anything unkind) he will have to sit in the box until he can be quiet and gentle to other people. The box is right in the middle of the action. He is not being banished somewhere alone. I can still talk to him about how he hurt someone, and encourage him to be nice. He really dislikes this box treatment! While, he’s not a perfect little angel yet, it does seem to be helping. The above are pictures of him during his first box time. He threw a very big fit.
It’s like he can’t control the urge to bother Ben, but I notice that when he’s about to do something not-so-nice he is starting to be able to switch that into a tackle-hug. At least he has a big grin and no teeth are involved, but I still think he knows Ben doesn’t love being bowled over by these hugs. However, I have to give Ben some credit. Although he is not the world’s most emotionally stable four year old, he is getting better at managing these hugs without totally losing it. In fact, a few times now, it’s even turned into a game.
The other boys – first Zach and Gabe, then Gabe and Ben – at the ages that Ben and Noah are at now…. they played so well together. Sure they had their spats, but generally they really were buddies. I’m hoping that will happen soon with Noah and Ben.
I’m open to suggestions on dealing with this situation. My latest plan is that whenever the harassment starts, I’m going to try to drop whatever I’m doing and get in there with them and try to start up some sort of game between the two of them, hopefully demonstration that they can have a lot of fun together. I’m also hoping that spring/summer will help. Noah needs a lot of stimulation and changing scenery. I think being outside more will help him forget his mission of antagonizing Ben – at least a little – and hopefully by fall he’ll have formed some new habits because of it.