When we got Teague home, I learned rather quickly that Teague and Maclayne would be my biggest challenges as far as discipline and defiance goes. These two were the ones who bore the brunt of the mistreatment at the orphanage. (One day, I will be able to blog about that, but for now, I cannot bring myself to put into writing what my children went through as special needs orphans in an Eastern European babyhouse.) As a result of this mistreatment, both of my precious children were forced to create negative coping and, to put it bluntly, survival skills. Some of this negative behavior manifested itself into horrible self-injurious behavior - especially concerning Mackie. To say the least, both children had a hard time knowing who to trust and who actually did have their best interests at heart.
Through God's grace and love, Teague did realize that, for better or worse, David and I loved him and that he was our son; he would never be abandoned again. We remained steadfast and strict when it came to loving, but firm discipline. He understood that we would not tolerate any type of the negative behavior that he brought home from the orphanage. Through a stable family life and consistent routines, Teague learned to trust us. He was finally secure and he, in return, let go of the majority of his negative behaviors while he was with us.
However, as a result of his mistrust in adults, Teague remains the epitome of a child who will test the waters to see how many waves he will be able to make before he either creates a hurricane or he is forced to dock his behavior. The testing is an ongoing thing and is kicked into high gear when a new authoritative figure is introduced into Teague's life.
At the beginning of the school year, I worked closely with his new teachers and his aids. I taught them how to best respond to Teague's behavior. I reiterated that Teague needed to be shown zero tolerance for negative behavior and that he needed to see that everyone responsible for his care and learning were on the same page and was a united front. I officially named our united front "Team OTB (Operation Teague Behave)."
Our children are extremely blessed to be at the school they are. Teague, Maclayne, and Silas are all in the same class. Their teachers and aides are phenomenal and truly love them. They have worked extremely hard in dealing with Teague and his needs. For the most part, the school year has been somewhat smooth. There have, though, been a few Teague hurricanes, but they were taken care of pretty quickly.
However, Teague has been struggling a bit lately in school because of his behavior. He has been officially labeled a "runner" because he takes great joy in trying to run away from his teachers and his aides. Team OTB has been forced to kick it in high gear and be on high alert. Teague has noticed the stepping up of discipline, but he remains steadfast in testing the waters. He does take his punishment for his negative behavior, but he will turn right around and try the same thing over again.
Yesterday, after breakfast in the cafeteria, he decided to take off running and go under the tables when his new aid tried to take him upstairs to the classroom. He ended up falling down and scratching the side of his face and his back on one of the tables. They were minor scratches, so it did not slow him down. His aide and teachers promptly took him to the classroom and disciplined him appropriately.
Today, as I was having a nice leisurely lunch with a friend, I received a call from the school nurse. Teague had once again tried to run away from one of his teachers and his aides while they were coming in from recess. As a result of his trying to get away as fast as he could, he ended up face-planting onto the concrete. He sustained a large gash on his chin that was bleeding. It was serious enough that the nurse wanted me to come to school to get Teague because she thought he needed stitches. When I got to school, the bleeding had stopped and the nurse had applied several butterfly bandages to his chin. Once he was cleaned up, the gash did not require stitches. Derma-bond and butterfly bandages did the trick. (Although, if Teague starts picking at the cut, he may end up needing stitches. The next few days will tell…)In any case, Team OTB will remain steadfast in curtailing Teague’s behavior while showing him love, acceptance, and stability. We are a team united in making sure Teague strives and remains a happy well-adjusted little boy.
(Side note: I did not have time to proofread this post. If there are any typos and/or grammar errors, please forgive me. I will be proofreading this tomorrow and correcting any mistakes!)