July ended with Tom being spoken to by the early intervention team in relation to his angry outbursts. Listening to him talk frankly with the worker about anger and frustration got me thinking. I saw so many similarities between us. Did he get it from me? Am I the cause? Is it inherited?
Tom explained that his anger come from frustration and he feels like a stick of dynamite with a very short fuse. His anger results in things being broken. Phones, TVs, laptops, doors, walls. Things get punched; that’s his outlet. It was sad to listen to. Why does my child behave like this? Who is at fault here? Me, his Mam, anyone?
He talked about anger at school and stated that his outbursts do not occur in the classroom but in the schoolyard. Interestingly, his anger doesn’t manifest in my company. Tom said that this is because there is nothing which frustrates him when he is with me but I have a different theory. A theory of consequence and boundaries.
He knows that if he acts up with me he will be told off. There will be consequences for his behaviour. In a classroom of twenty-five children his behaviour is noticed more than in a schoolyard of five hundred children. He can get away with it in the schoolyard and he can, it seems, get away with it at home. He cannot escape notice in the classroom so he may get in trouble. He also gets into trouble if he plays up with me.
Which asks the question. Is this issue with him or with those who allow his behaviour. What boundaries are being set? Is he informed about what is and isn’t acceptable behaviour. As he works more with professionals to combat his anger issues perhaps these questions shall be answered.
Grumpy old man who'd rather be in the bloody pub.