“Get me nice parents now! I’ve had enough of you two! Play a game with me or leave the house! Go die in a hole! I don’t want you to live here anymore!”
My crime that unleashed this tirade from my 13-year-old? Checking his social studies teacher’s website, finding out he had a large amount of work due last Friday and insisting he do it over the weekend.
What sealed my fate as a terrible mom was refusing to play a particular game with him after he spent half an hour working on the assignment. There was more he said, but I can’t include it all without the risk of having this post censored.
Rage attacks are beyond the “go away” response typical of kids going through puberty. Dylan screamed at me for I don’t know how long, threatened to “beat me up,” and tore my magazine out of my hands and threw it to the floor. My response was to remain as calm as possible, refrain from raising my own voice, not give in to his demands, and wait for the storm to subside.
I have to wonder: Are these screaming fits really Dylan, a result of TS-plus combined with puberty? Or is it a side effect of the medication? When will they subside? My husband and I never give him what he’s demanding when he yells and insults us, so he can’t have learned that’s how to get his way. We in fact remind Dylan that screaming does not get the results he wants, but when he’s in a rage his ability to think logically disappears entirely.
That Sunday he eventually calmed down, and by the end of the afternoon completed the social studies assignment. He even apologized for yelling at me. I never did play the game he was demanding, although I did play another game with him after dinner.
Does your son or daughter experience rage? What provokes it? Is there any response from you that calms your child? Or does it just need to run its course? In Dylan’s case, I think the rages have at least gotten less frequent, but last Sunday’s was especially intense.