September 16, 2010

Oh The Joy

Today's challenge:  Keeping my cool while my attachment challenged/traumatized child desperately fights to have control of all situations.

In the last few days, my darling child (do ya' hear the sarcasm?) has "forgotten" how to eat and drink.  He puts things in his mouth and then plays dumb to the fact that he needs to chew and swallow the food so he just lets it all run back out.  He just sits there with his mouth hanging open and this "what are you going to do about it" expression.

He's also "forgotten" how to walk and is now walking in this strange knee-locked walk that he designed to get attention.  He gets this glossed over look when he's walking like that so I know that he is doing it out necessity in response to some deep feelings.  He just doesn't have the communication skills to articulate it.

Whoever says that little children are not smart, has obviously never parented a child of trauma.  Dude- he is the smartest and most conniving little one I know!

I know the right thing to do here is ignore the behavior and be more intentional in helping Miles feel secure when he's doing those things.  Yada, yada, yada.  Later rinse repeat.  But my toolbox feels empty.   Can you RAD moms out there leave a comment and give me something more practical for a non-verbal kid in these situations?  I am trying to walk that fine line between setting clear boundaries for him while also being understanding and empathetic.  I'm stumped and depleted today and all the tiny manipulative behaviors are adding up and driving me batty.  Please and thank you.

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