Gavin’s Day

Gavin’s Day

Lizze drove Gavin to school this morning and decided to take Emmett John along for the ride. Once in the car Gavin begins to yell at Lizze because we “wake him up” in the morning for school. He got pretty angry when she said that we weren’t going to stop waking him up in the morning. He had himself a meltdown of sorts in the car. Mild in comparison to what he usually does but enough to make Emmett John cry.

I went to pick him up from school expecting him to have had a bad day. Turns out when he verbally abuses his mother in the morning it leads to a perfect day at school.

Needless to say Gavin and I had a “coming to Jesus” meeting on the way home from school about his unacceptable behavior towards his mother. He has no idea what she has been through for him and probably won’t for quite some time. If and when he can handle it we will have that talk.


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One would hope it was mere coincidence that the mornings episode resulted in a perfect day at school, but you just never know sometimes. Mornings use to be an all out disaster around here that practically left me in tears on a daily basis. Getting out of the house to get to work (and get jr in the car) literally involved the fireman carry, kicking, screaming, and cussing at the top of his lungs to the extent that it would anger my neighbors, and people walking their dogs would stop and stare. Since transitions are what they are, and not always successful (especially from sleep to awake), we continued with this process for over a year, but threw in a twist for my son. We took him to the park, and made him walk laps for at least half an hour. He could scream and cuss and kick rocks until he was blue in the face, but always, he de-escalated. We took this approach for it's multipurpose; if it was sensory he needed because he was overwhelmed with waking up, then he got lots of it. If he was just wanting to be obstinate, then he got the cause and effect part of his behavior. Over time he began to realize that he didn't like walking laps anymore, and chose on his own that he would not tantrum to that extent anymore in the morning. We still have rough mornings quite frequently, but never to that extent anymore because all I have to do is mention walking laps to calm down, and he usually redirects himself quite quickly now. We've also gone the route at times of your behavior equals (screaming and consuming time in the morning directly takes away from any reinforcement time you may have in the evening) or (behaving and following your routine earns you some form of reinforcement in the morning, prior to school). I know, each child is unique, and often times anything is far easier said then done. Exercise just happened to be the most effective route for us, when things were the most out of control!

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