"I have never said 'Do not pee in the trash cans,' so I can't get mad that someone peed in all the trash cans."Those words actually came out of my mouth. After the lengthy clean up that followed the lying, the manipulation and the tears, I wound up with my 69 lb six year old in my arms, rocking. In my heart of hearts, I know that he can't cognitively understand empathy or consequences to his actions. I equate it to an 18 month old that thinks it is funny when they hit you in the face. You don't punish the infant or toddler because you know that they don't understand that they just hurt you; that their little brain can't comprehend their action yet. So you patiently correct them and move along. I feel bold sharing this because I know that many, many people would find this idea insane. But until you live with a child that has been deeply wounded, you probably can't get it. And that's okay. I was there and I still find myself wanting to lash out when I am peeling up wet trash....it's hard.
So that is where we are at. We are trying to condition our brains to give up (for now, and don't judge) consequences, lectures or really much reaction for things like urinating in the trash can. This means that my boy is doing everything with me or I am doing it for him. And guess what? He isn't fighting it.
As we were attempting to rock, this is what I said:
"No matter what you do in this life, I am strong enough to handle it. There isn't anything you can do that I am not strong enough for. I can do this because God chose me for you and because my strength is really His strength. I will freak out. I will cry. But I will still be here with you. "And then I stumbled and fumbled my way to cradle him in my arms all the way to bed. That's how we're rolling (for now).