Sunday evening I went into Jacob’s room and saw this:
This is a television cabinet that Jacob’s granddaddy built. It holds a small TV and is typically where a VCR is connected so Jacob can watch videos from this TV and have his large wall television for regular programming.
I was beyond upset with him. (It had not been two weeks since Mike had moved this cabinet from a corner angle to flush against the wall because Jacob had repeatedly pushed this set-up out the back where it would dangle until we discovered his mischief.)
I calmly walked away and told Mike that Jacob had once again tried to destroy something.
My mind began thinking through the constant frustration of him tearing up things. To add to that scenario, and make it all the more baffling, they are things that appear to be of value to him.
His MP3 player. He will listen to it all day long. But, in a 2-3-month period, he can manage to ‘kill’ one.
His keyboard. Music brings him so much pleasure but he will ‘hammer’ away until there is nothing left. The same goes for the stand. He wants it on a stand but he will also tear the stand into pieces. At the moment, he doesn’t have one in his room because of the damage he constantly inflicts.
I let myself stew because it seems nothing lasts long when Jacob is nearby. And there are a limited number of things that he truly enjoys. Why continue on that path of eliminating those?
Mike went to work repairing and restoring the current problem. I watched him go back and forth with different tools, tape, wire, etc. for several minutes. Upon completion, he told me that a video tape was stuck in the VCR player and he figured Jacob was frustrated. BINGO!
Frustration Destruction–the art of letting frustrations cause destructive behaviorJacob Pigford
All of a sudden, it made sense, he gets physical when he is frustrated. Sometimes he comes to get us but sometimes he takes matters into his own hands. His own strong hands, I might add. Obviously.
Have you ever been frustrated with something and maybe just given it a swift kick? Like the washing machine or a flat tire? Me either, but I’ve seen it in movies or heard about it in a song! I think that is what’s happening with Jacob. In his trying to make something perform how he wants; he makes it worse in the process.
True story: My grandmother, on my mom’s side of the family, once broke her toe by administering a swift kick to the dog. Yes. She. Did. He was crushing her flower bed of zinnias and she was intent on teaching him a lesson. Her zinnias were happy but her toe was worse than it was before!
Oh, how I needed a different perspective. The fact that Jacob has limited ways to express his frustration pretty much eliminated mine.
Destruction Frustration–the art of letting destruction cause a rise in blood pressure and extreme frustrationTerri Pigford
Will I get frustrated again? Absolutely, without a doubt. But hopefully, next time I’ll give him and myself some grace to make the best of the situation.
Take a deep breath. It’s going to be okay!