With bullying at the forefront of the news, and so many children being either the aggressor or the bullied, it’s hard not to worry that your child will not be one or the other. As Bbear became more mobile last winter, I noticed something that was troublesome to me. Cbear became pushier with him. Most of me held out hope that, with only a year an a half between them, he just saw a child much like himself and thought he could play with Bbear the same way he would play with someone his own age.
As I’ve mentioned in prior posts, Cbear was a late-ish talker. He really only started putting two words together at 2 1/2 year of age which was just about the time that Bbear was cruising the furniture. As we were being discharged from speech therapy, I mentioned my concerns regarding how Cbear was starting to treat Bbear. We were then referred to a Behavioral Therapist via the County Intermediate Unit. I often wonder if his actions toward Bbear started out simply because he had no other way to communicate other than through a physical manner.
Typically, the Intermediate Unit sends a therapist to the school to observe a child; however, since Cbear’s behavior is directed specifically toward Bbear the therapist visits us at our home. We have a number of behavioral aids to help Cbear listen to me, to curb his tendencies to take from and push his brother. Some of them have been working, such as earning 5 stars and then he gets to put a CARS sticker in his sticker book. We also help him with his sensory stimulation with such activities as rolling play doh. Sure, we still do time outs, but I’ve learned what works as a precursor to them and what doesn’t. Sometimes, it helps me help him redirect his impulses.
I know that Cbear is a normal kid, whatever that means, but I certainly can use whatever help is offered. He acts amazingly well with other children his age, even those that he has just met. He does have tendencies to “elope” which is a fancy term for running away – and these days that is what worries me most. I know at some point, Bbear will stand up for himself and I won’t have to (as much). The eloping is troublesome because he’ll do it outside, and that’s just not safe. So, listening is a HUGE behavior we are working on.
We’ve had such great experiences with our Early Intervention services and I’m so happy I made that first call for Cbear’s speech and ultimately brought up my general behavioral concerns.