Friday, February 6, 2009

Dragged Kicking and Screaming

Back. Back to the land of active parenting. It's only been two weeks since I had major surgery, lol, and I thought I was going to have a bit of a break...but that was not to be.

Dear Youngest Daughter (DYD henceforth). DYD is 25 years old, and is developmentally delayed. She recently (well, six months ago) got her first job. It's a great, great job! We want everything to go well! Apparently, over the last month or so, things have begun to go south, as it were. She's developed quite a little attitude when she doesn't want to do something. When working in the cafe of her workplace (which is part of the time), she's decided she can eat anything she darn well pleases. She is/was very close to being fired. She sassed her job coach. She was little miss 'you can't make me do a thing I don't want to'. I'm sure this had been going on for a while, but yesterday it all came to a head, and calls were made to Mom/me.

Dum te dum dum. Dum te dum dum, DUM!!!! (if you remember Dragnet, you know the tune). When she walked in the door I was ready for her. After her extravagantly happy hello (she was so hoping I hadn't heard), I told her to go sit on the couch, and wait for me there. Face falls, she knows the jig is up. Half an hour later (had to let her stew for a while), I began full on behavior modification.

First thing to go: the power cords for anything entertaining. TV? Gone. VCR? Gone. DVD player...gone. CD player...cords gone, all gone. Second: the rest of the day I had her sitting on that couch, and every ten minutes or so I said "I am so disappointed in your behavior" or "Do you want to get fired from your job?" or any number of related statements. DYD: I'm sorry Mom. Me: Sorry just will not cut it. When you are behaving appropriately at work, then I will know you are sorry". DYD hangs head. When sorry does not cut it (and it has to be in those words), she knows she is truly in deep doodoo.

By this morning, she was admitting to her behavior (owning her own behavior). Big step forward. She was able to tell me exactly what she'd done and exactly how she was going to behave henceforth. Big step forward. She has another day (after she gets home this afternoon) of sitting on the couch and thinking about it...And....

Back. She's home, on couch and likely thinking evil thoughts about mean mom. It's like this: To stick, the lesson needs to be big. So, another day of behavior mod, to ram the lesson home. She had a vastly better day at work, and I'm really glad, but she's not done internalizing the message, not quite yet. I'll ease up by tomorrow, except for the power cords. Those are gone for a good long time. The last time we had an episode of this behavior was 8-9 years ago, when she was still in high school. The lesson stuck for a long time, so I know this works. In fact...

I just went into the kitchen, where she is now sitting at the table. She is staring into her cup of hot cider, which I usually make for her when she comes home from work. I asked her, "are you waiting for the cider to cool off?" and she replied "I'm just thinking about my behavior". Ah yes. We're getting there.

Am healing well from surgery, too.


It sounds like YOU were acting very appropriately to DYD's inappropriate behavior. It sounds like it will be a lesson that will last another ten years. Now get yourself some rest and get better.G2

Day 2 of behavior mod complete, she is asleep in bed. Tomorrow after work she goes to Dad's, and he's prepared to disappear all the wire connections at his place, too. He was appalled when he heard the whole story. Then on Sunday, it's time for Special Olympics basketball, which I'm just not recovered enough to do. Wanna come over and play some games on Saturday night? I've got the night off, woo hoo. S2

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2Grandmas2 said...
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