It's no surprise by now that we are still trying to figure out the precise combination of things that make the kidlet go from our funny, sweet boy into an explosive device ready to destroy anything in its path. It's a cause of great concern for DH and myself, as we struggle to understand not only the feelings being displayed, but how to help the kidlet to manage them in a way that is socially acceptable and not destructive.
So this week was a great test. The kidlet pointed out to me once again, at the beginning of the week, how noise affects him. He said that loud, surprising, and shrieking noises makes him angry. Ok - so we did an experiment. I told the lead counselor what to do, and it seems the message got through - we had zero calls home or even comments at pick-up time. The kidlet told me he started to get angry one day, but controlled it. I cannot tell you how ecstatic that makes me and DH.
The same morning that kidlet made this revelation to me, I read an article on self-control - and how it is an exhaustible resource. Makes perfect sense to me - I can tell that in my own life. but I want to share this article anyway, because not only is their methodology for the study tantalizing, but the results were so very lopsided.
Here is the link: Why Change Is So Hard: Self-Control Is Exhaustible
Okay, so no wonder the poor kidlet was falling apart after lunch! Lunch is when all the kids at summer camp are together - not JUST the 30 children in his own age group, but the nearing 200 children at the camp! NOISE! By the time he is back in his "small" group, he has already exhausted every bit of patience and self-control he's got! Giving him opportunities to escape the noise proved to be not only relieving for him, but it made the week at camp a successful experience. Success breeds upon itself - he knows he's done it once and now he knows he can do it again.
So we are planning this vacation and I decided to try some of the suggestions that I got after my last post. One, in particular - earplugs. I've been trying them out at home to see which ones work best, and which ones allow a little sound vs. none at all. I've got both - four different types, in fact. Kidlet hasn't seen them yet, but we are taking an overnight flight so we will try them during the flight and hope he gets sufficient sleep so when he runs into grandma and grandpa (just about his favorite people in the world), his cousins and aunt and uncle, he will have some patience to manage the chaos having 9 people all together for four days can create. I also bought him an MP3 player with some fun songs on it (he is so psyched about "Ghostbusters," "Pinch Me," and his very favorite song, "Video Killed the Radio Star") so he can "tune out" when he needs to.
Oh, the earplugs will help me sleep, too! :)
Putting things together like this seems like it should be an easy process.