Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Hanuka, and Seasons Greetings!
This year was a pleasant surprise from previous holiday seasons. My son, who is ADHD/ODD was surprisingly mellow over the beginning of Christmas break. I was told by his school counselor that he was a bit distracted (what child isn't,) and somewhat "grumpy", but that all of the children were excited and restless. My son managed to keep his behavior in check for the most part, and there were no melt-down's or escalating issues with other students. He even managed to finish all his work and is now caught up with the rest of his class, so that when or if report cards are issued, he will receive full marks for this term.
I was also pleased to note that his behavior at home was more controlled than previous years. Yes, he was still excited, and yes the ODD still made its appearance from time to time, but overall his behavior and attitude was well within acceptable limits. We had family visiting with us this year, and some would say that was the reason for his good behavior. I, however, know that guests do not affect positive behavior. It would make no difference if the President was visiting!
My son had only one minor meltdown (so far,) over the holidays, and that was when the dog ate a few of his chocolate coins that he had neglected to pick up off the floor, (after being reminded a few times to do so.) He was most aggrieved and his words were particularly venomous, however the outburst was short lived, and both he and the dog made friends again, his chocolates were replaced and all was well with the world.
To be perfectly honest, his outburst was short lived because we very firmly stopped the tirade, explaining that he had left the chocolates, the dog was doing what dogs do, (I mean, what do you expect from a dog?), and within a few minutes, instigated a reunion between the two. My son was told to apologize and make friends, and the issue was closed with a "group hug" to end the day on a positive note. Generally speaking, this is not the type of parenting that most people would expect, or one that would have any effect on a behavioral issue. However, the outcome was positive - the behavior disappeared, and peace was restored within minutes.
I have used this principal before, but this particular time it worked in minutes...something to think about for the coming year...I will keep you posted!
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