Who would have thought?
Gavin absolutely loves cleaning. That’s right, he loves to clean. For the longest time I didn’t really pay attention to this. However, I have found that Gavin just has this thing for cleaning.
Now prepare to have your mind blown because this is going to seem really weird.
Last night, Gavin had this huge, huge tantrum. We needed to find a consequence that would hopefully send a message.
The thought actually occurred to me that I could withhold taking out the trash but isn’t that the most bizarre thing ever. Who would have thought that taking away chores away could be disciplinary tool. It just seems counterintuitive, doesn’t it?
Now considering Gavin’s personality, one of two things would likely happen.
First, it could work. He could actually learn something from this. I know…not very likely.
Second, we could be playing right into his game. The thought occurred to me that Gavin may not actually like doing chores in the first place. This may sound far fetched but I’m sure Carl from WhyNotFathers can back me up on this.
Gavin has a history of pretending to like something, for example oatmeal, in order to manipulate us into not using it anymore.
Does that make sense?
When dealing with a child that has reactive attachment disorder, these kinds of things are very, very possible.
It’s like one long drawn out head game.
This was posted via WordPress for Android, courtesy of Samsungs Galaxy S III. Please forgive any typos. I do know how to spell but auto-correct hate me.
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My son likes to clean also. And mow the grass. He would mow the grass every day if he could. He used to take the trash out for half the block, then take the cans back to the back for everyone. He vacuums and insists on doing the corners with the attachments. He is very good at this stuff and has done it quite some time. However, if you ask him he will say he does not like to do these things. I think they just fill a need for repetition, sameness, activity, noise, vibrations…something like this. He sees the grass needs cut and until it is cut it bugs him so he cuts it happily…. It is amazing to me that this is so calming for him. Rewarding a kid with the lawn mower seems absurd… as absurd as not letting him take the trash out I guess. One of the teachers rewarded her students who followed the rules with chocolate milk, my son hates chocolate milk. She did not know that in effect she was punishing good behavior and rewarding bad… she doesn't know my son… people who don't know Gavin won't get it, but you know Gavin Go with it.
You are lucky! He likes to clean? OMG! You have the thing you can praise him for! You can make him the "grand cleaner-upper of the household", the "hero of the day", the "captain cleanly". You can award ribbons for pro-social behavior, trophies, even. You have a lever that can be used to bolster his self-esteem AND get the house clean. That is awesome.
Because, frankly, It sounds as if punishment (removing privileges, etc) is not effectual with Gavin, which makes total sense. A kid who can't accept responsibility will only look at punishment as a kind of bullying. You two are the big powerful people and you impose oatmeal on him because you have the power to do so. That can only deteriorate your relationship with him and teach him to behave the same toward others. (Important note: I am not saying you are bullying him; I am saying he may well interpret it that way)
So thinking outside the box for you may mean using praise only — and you have the perfect way he can get praise any time he wants. That is completely great.