Like Mother, Like Son
Sometimes we call them “freak outs”. Other times we call them outbursts. Still other times we call them rages. But, whatever we call them, they are not pleasant.
Over the past little while, our now five-year-old Lil D has had what I will today call some impulse control issues when he is frustrated. He will throw things (even small furniture), punch, kick, bite and especially yell and scream. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it is not pleasant, especially if you are in the path of his hurricane. This has happened at school, at home, and, to my great embarrassment, recently in a local coffee shop.
This week we noticed a clear correlation between fatigue and outbursts. Firstly, we realized it’s usually on the way out of school at the end of the day that something sets him off. We also noticed that a few days of less than 11 hours per night of sleep can really take its toll. While there is no excuse for his behaviour, at least we know when we can expect it and try to head it off before it occurs.
In discussing his behaviour with him, Lil D explained that he gets frustrated and sometimes he doesn’t even remember why he started behaving in that bad way. And yes, I have called his behaviour “bad”. In fact, I think I have told him his behaviour was terrible. He also said that he gets frustrated if someone doesn’t give him enough chances to change his behaviour. This last problem is Derek and my doing. We realized that we give him too many chances and thus, he expects this. So, since the last “freak out” on Monday, we are doling out consequences swiftly.
We have noticed a difference! Though, he has also been sleeping about 12 hours a night too, so he is much more rational.
Derek pointed out, in the nicest way of course, that my tendencies are similar. With less than 7.5 hours of sleep, I may, on occasion, if provoked of course, be prone to little, tiny, itsy bitsy outbursts. Perhaps mine are less physical, but if you’re standing in the wrong place at the wrong time, you might get your head bitten off.
I hope this phase, really is just a phase. Or I may be asking for anger management referrals…