The shift is subtle, and sometimes I think I'm nuts, but it is definitely there.
The 'crazy' lying has become more consistent.
The dark, angry face is given to me each morning.
The just-under-the-radar disobeying/sneakiness is becoming a bit more blatant.
The "school honeymoon" is over. The teachers are no longer oozing affection over him, and Miles is upset.
Miles consistently challenges and disobeys all his female teachers. He feels angry with them and he doesn't want to listen. "I want to do what I want to do," he'll tell me. He wants his teacher to be his parent, and he's angry that the teacher doesn't want him to be his child.
Points for honesty. But what to do?
For months now, we've been going over 'Safety Dialogues' to help reinforce the notion that he is Safe here and does not need to be in Control. He can be a Kid (Kids Learn, Play, Obey and Have Fun) without having to be a boss. Mom is the Safe Boss.
I have been telling him that Mom would NEVER, NOT EVER send him to a place each day where he is not safe.
That's been a problem. Because, so much of school makes Miles feel afraid and in danger.
Recess at public elementary school is like scene out of Lord of the Flies.
Life in the orphanage is like real-life Lord of the Flies.
See the unhealthy connection?
Recess sparks a deep, dark fear in Miles. A fear to be In Control. A fear that if he is not In Control, he is In Danger.
At home, we'll talk about feelings, and he shares with me that it makes him "really angry" when his classmates won't listen to him, so he yells to make himself heard.
No one listened to him in Haiti. He was the quiet, sneaky child with an infamous pout.
He has a rep as a playground bully. He is constantly yelling at kids. Miles is a big little boy with an angry face and a BIG voice, so this does not go over well with the recess monitors. He yells at the kids to Shut Up. He yells at them that he Won't Be Their Friend. He yells at them You Baby! He yells at the recess monitors to Give Another Chance! He is constantly put in time-outs or in full-fledged lost recess.
He feels angry and rejected.
We talk a lot about the fact that kids don't like being yelled at. Miles himself doesn't feel good when someone yells at him. So if he wants to play with the other kids, and make friends, he has to be nice. The Golden Rule.
Well, the Golden Rule pisses this kid off. The Natural Consequence of not following the Golden Rule makes him feel like Nobody.
And feeling like Nobody makes him feel scared.
Which turns his Control switch to "On."
Which manifests itself at home in a litany of behaviors. Which interrupt healthy bonding.
I really am not sure what to do here. If anyone has any advice or feedback, book suggestions, etc. I'd greatly appreciate it. Because I'm in a trench here, and I'm looking for a way back to solid footing.