Thursday, September 22, 2016

Question on Aggression

The Question:  When and how did Tyler's aggression start?

We first noticed that Tyler could be aggressive at a fairly young age.  I would say he was perhaps 2.  

There is a lot of truth that hindsight is indeed 20/20.  It is easy to look back now that 20 years has passed and make judgments based on what we know now.  However, we made mistakes where his behavior was concerned.

Ty showed some self-injurious behaviors when we was a toddler.  When becoming upset or frustrated he would find a hard surface and smack his head against it.  If the surface wasn't hard enough he wouldn't be satisfied and find something harder to hit.  We think he liked to feel the reverberation the hard surface gave him.  This makes sense because nearly all of his aggression is not about hurting anything but rather feeling the rebound effects.

When the aggression first started it was an openhanded slap usually to my wife's thigh.  he liked the sound it made, the sting, and the sound of my wife saying "ow".  He would even mimic her saying it.  The intent always seemed to be for him to hear and feel a reaction and not to hurt her per se.  I think if we would have come up with a good plan right away we could have contained future behaviors better than we did.  My wife, who is passive by nature, remained so.  My mistake was constantly trying to play buffer between the two.  Our actions inadvertently made him believe I was the strong person to be obeyed and she was the "weaker" person that was to be protected.  Once that was established his behavior was deeply rooted in these beliefs.  That said, we were just doing the best we knew how to do twenty years ago.

So if I had the benefit of hindsight, we would have established more of a 1A and 1B strength to Tyler rather than allowing him to rely on one or the other for certain things.  

Be well and God bless.   Tom

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