As I mentioned in a recent post “So This Is Love” we had to start a new behavioral plan for Griffin. His cursing, along with disrespect, had gotten out of hand. The plan is to have him go 21 days without these target behaviors. He is on a video game hiatus until he hits the 21 day mark.
Griffin made it seven days without having any target behaviors, including cursing, but then the “shtick” hit the fan.
While in class this week another student accidentally said the word “shtick” instead of stick. Griffin and the rest of the kids laughed. Unfortunately, it sounded so close to “shit” that Griffin immediately started using it like a curse. I did mention that we call him Loophole McGee, right?
Normally using a replacement word would be great, but this word sounded so close to the actual curse word. It didn’t help that he kept saying it repeatedly, even after he was warned to stop. By then he just thought it was so funny and started saying things like, “That’s bull-shtick!” I was trying so hard to help him out, but in the end we had to count it as a falling off the wagon moment and so he would have to start the 21 days over.
I was freaking out about having to tell him that he would need to go back to square one. I was preparing for a meltdown and trying to plan the right time to tell him so that we could avoid any potential unkind reactions our neighbors might have.
As soon as we got home he asked me if he would need to start over. I knew he knew the answer, so I took a deep breath and said the inevitable: “Yes.” He looked at me, got up, and then went to his room. I thought, Ok, here comes the banging and screaming. But instead I heard a muffled scream into a pillow. He walked back out and calmly began talking to me. He acknowledged that he had to begin again and expressed that he really hated that he had to start over.
At this point, I’m in shock and in need of a very large glass of wine. Going from preparing for a major meltdown to his amazing response did a number on me. I couldn’t help but cry tears of relief and joy. I told Griffin how proud of him I was, and that I knew this was hard for him. I let him know that he could do it, and to take pride in the fact that he did it for a whole week.
We’ve had a few re-starts this week but tomorrow is another day. We’ll just keep taking it, not one day at a time, but, one glorious and unpredictable moment at a time.