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If he is dealing with a frustrating situation, alway be sure to empathize verbally, "You worked so hard on that building and it keeps falling over," validates his feelings. Verbalizing the problem can also help pull for possible solutions. After empathizing about the building, saying something like "How can you make it stronger so that it will stay up?" gives your child a cue about solving the problem.
Start to brainstorm other opportunities to require gratification delay and consideration of alternatives. For example, you can purposefully set up situations in which you want to say 'no' to this boy about something; for instance, say 'no' to one request, say, for a toy or object, and then, provide an alternative for your child when he can't have a desired object. When your child asks for candy in the grocery store, suggest another, more acceptable alternative. For other children, however, the alternative choice may be reasonable. If your child is engaged in an activity that is causing frustration, suggest that he walk away for a few minutes or try to engage him in a different activity for a period of time.
All in all, this boys sounds somewhat developmentally or 'learning' delayed in both his emotion regulation skills and some socialization skills. This typically means that parents haven't really spent enough time with the child doing the sorts of things I mention above. Some kids need more of the kinds of training activities I mention above than others. The above activities can be built into play sessions with friends i.e., invite another child over and play with the two of them and monitor, coach and direct their sharing behavior; verbally praise and reward episodes of reciprocating and sharing. This is the part of the one-on-one stuff I mentioned at the beginning of this post.
I'm going to pause here and solicit your reaction. My point is that it doesn't matter what this kid's history is, whether he has biological deficits or problems, or learned misbehavior. The only way to remedy any of these is through more intensive parent or adult child training and exposure to repetitive situations that can help build emotion regulation, frustration tolerance, and delay of gratification, as well as sharing skills. Now his biological father needs to be doing some of this stuff with him as well; most men though, don't have a clue about exactly what to do to be helpful to their child so some coaching is necessary e.g., from a child behavior therapist or someone known as an applied behavior analyst----they understand the sorts of things I'm mentioning above and can coach parents. What do you think?
They don't spend a large amount of time and she isn't happy about it.
She is going through clinicals and working 30 hrs, some at 2nd shift. She teaches him, makes him laugh, and they interact very, very well. He seems to be more articulate after a few hours with her.
When they play with blocks and they break apart, he'll say "Looks like we have to build a stronger tower". But if a child comes and takes a block, he either cries a lot or becomes very angry. But if a child is standing there, looking at him, he will say "You can have all these blocks here and we can be neighbors".
Around us and at the school, he actually has a lot of patience. He tells the other children how to play games and the order of turns. He passed the "one cookie now or 3 cookies later" test and reminded them when they forgot to give him the three.
However, this patience isn't all the time, especially at transition. If its cleanup time at school, he's upset.
We're pretty routine in the mornings and night. He says the routing when he gets into the door.
When we're doing a task and he asks to play, we will say wait until we're done with this. He then repeats "Ok, after you put up the clothes, then we can play with the legos." He's never gotten upset over this unless we ask him to pause what he's doing something he likes.
I sat on a day care session in the morning and noticed the following:
I may be beating a "dead horse" but here are some other facts:
She has recently suggested removing him from daycare. Her time with him will not increase much because of job+clinicals but it will increase a day.
I've added additional info to help with the hypothesis. I hope I provided good feedback based on your reply. Could this be a "power" issue?