Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Joseph Another Step Forward

   There has always been one aspect of Joseph's behavior that hasn't made sense. He often seemed to "want" consequences. We thought perhaps it was low self esteem but that didn't feel quite right. There seemed to be something more to it but what? He would get into trouble repeatedly and when questioned say he did it because he wanted consequences but at the same time he felt we were being unfair to him. We went round and round on the issue with out reaching a conclusion. I know you shouldn't ask a child, why he did _________ but we were at a loss to know how to figure out what made him do the things he did.
   Yesterday we had to deal with another school issue and after an hour of talking, explaining and coaching we learned he deliberately gets into trouble so he will get a consequence. He then gets angry about the consequence. He uses that anger to cover up the pain he feels regarding his birth mom. He uses his consequences to fuel his anger.  It made perfect sense when we finally figured it out. Joseph couldn't tell us that but when we broke it down into small steps explaining each action and the reason behind it, his face cleared and he seemed relieved to know why he does the things he does. A burden appeared to roll off his shoulders and he was singing away as he got ready for bed, such a change from the angry, raging boy of a few minutes ago. I cannot imagine how hard it must be to have "big feelings" and not have the words or understanding to work through them.

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