This weekend G has been very agitated and angry because he realized he had not been keeping up on the new Clone Wars episodes. Star Wars is a big deal for him, but Air shows are bigger and Dad had taken him to some shows the last few weekends.
G searched the Internet and realized he was three episodes behind. He thought he could watch them online. However, one episode was not available at Cartoon Network.
I tried to explain to G and that it’s OK to watch certain shows out of order. However, he replied "That's not the way I do things. I like to watch things in order it’s the way I do it." An hour of Internet searching revealed that he could only watch a "grainy" version of the missing episode.
This led to anger, frustration, then blaming his sister. G started saying it was all her fault. "She should have let me on the computer when I wanted to." When he gets like this I have to address it quickly. He can become very mean; shaking fists feeling like he wants to hit her...
I explained that this was not his sister's fault. G had lots of time after school to get on the computer. He could have talked to me and I would have scheduled time for him. We talked about his sister for about five minutes, and then it became Dad's fault. (God give me strength here...)
Again I had to talk to him and explain that it was not Dad's fault. Still feeling angry, G decided to focus his energy on how horrible our house is. Being angry at inanimate objects is better than nothing so I let it go. We were dealing with this for a good 45 minutes and I needed a break!
Frustrated, I lamented my situation on Twitter. I noticed @myautisticson (love him) happened to be tweeting about meltdowns. He ran out of apple juice at his house which started some commotion. We tweeted and he shared his strategy, which boils down to this: alleviate the anxiety by helping your child understand how the problem will be resolved.
He shared the example of his son getting upset because there was no more apple juice. He showed his son the empty bottle of juice then explained that he would take a shower, get dressed, go to the store, buy juice and bring it home. This took away the unknown of when the juice would arrive and his son was fine.
Well I tried this approach.
I went into G's room, he was still upset. I took in some paper and a pencil because sometimes it helps to write when he gets like this. I said son, let's talk about your Clone Wars problem. Immediately he got angry and said, "I can't watch them out of order." I said, "Here let’s write down the steps to fix this." His reply, "that's stupid I don't want to do that." (Thanks a lot puberty!) At this point I thought out loud, "maybe our neighbor's have the episodes on TiVo since their son is a fan." Well guess what, the neighbors ARE GONE this weekend. The son has been going outside to look for their truck on the hour every hour since I said this. Its 10:00pm Saturday night, his PJs are on and I told him no more going out side.
Lord have mercy, pray for me!