I JUST read in one of your blogs a couple of days ago. Don't take it personally. Don't take it personally. Don't take it personally. I thought so important and so true. Some days it is easy to do. Some days it is very hard. Yesterday Bear asked if he could have the comics from the paper when dad was done. It went like this.
ME: Sure what will you do for me?
BEAR: Not fight.
Now anytime I ask him to think of something nice to do he says either Not Fight or Not Argue. Then he doesn't change a thing. It is really not doing something FOR someone. It is stopping a negative behavior.
ME: I didn't say would you NOT do. What will you DO?
BEAR: Stop arguing.
ME: Pick something from your list of 20 Ways To Show Mom I Love Her.
Lest you become green with envy that my son made a list like that, he couldn't think of 20 things so I had to make the list myself but he won't do the things on the list.
BEAR: I don't know where the list is.
ME: One of the things was to write down something you like about me. Do that.
So.....after sitting for about 20 minutes in his room. He gave up and went and did something else. I was hurt. I could probably come up with one thing I like about just about anyone.
Then later Fish found a book of matches under Bears bed. He finally admitted he took them from my box. He had no answer for what he planned to do with them. I go back to locking the box.
It is important when we see these behaviors to remember the frightened little boy inside. Remember the neglect or abuse they endured as little ones and that their brain is frozen in time into the fright or flight mode. They need comforted, attunement and gentleness. It is hard when it goes on for years. They can be healed. They can change. We cannot just start assuming they could behave if they wanted too. There are times they can't. But the bizarre, strange behaviors we see are driven by fear. What a way for them to live.