When Your Child Acts Out: Benefits of Play Therapy


Just when I was thinking that I had this parenting thing down, a week such as this occurs.  Our 4-year-old Stinkpot is a strong-willed little tyke and will quickly throw a fit to get his way.  Last year, he was thrown out of 2 daycares, and now, may be on his way to number 3.

Yesterday morning Stinkpot had a major meltdown at school. Growling, kicking, hitting, and spitting at the teacher. He was even biting himself! We’ve gone nearly a year without this type of incident.

The teachers are sympathetic, but shocked at his behavior. “He’s been corrected before and even had time-outs, and he’s never reacted like this before.

I took off work and stayed home with him.  He was grouchier than usual, and growling.  I allowed him to take a long nap, and last night, the family had dinner at Burger King to allow him to “play out his energy.”

Here is the interesting part — This is the story he acted out in play therapy this morning:

Bad guys were taking babies, and Daddy and Mommy couldn’t fight off the bad guys. Luckily, after lots of fighting, the policemen and Batman eventually got the babies back! The story ended with Mommy, Daddy, Batman and Spiderman driving away with the babies.

A removal story as told through a child’s play! And what a happy ending!

It appears that the investigation into our foster boy Lil Bit’s broken arm is causing some deep fears in our Stinkpot due to his trauma in early life.

As we were leaving, I told Stinkpot that Lil Bit would be staying with us forever.  His reply was:

What about me?

I told him that he will always be with us forever.  He began questioning me, “Even when I’m bad?

Even when you do bad things. We love you and you are with us forever.

Our job is to affirm our Stinkpot that he will be with us forever!

Fortunately, we meet with the adoption worker this weekend to begin the adoption process to become a forever family!

What ways do you affirm to your children that they will be with you forever?


The giveaway winner of the Dinosaur Train Spooky Scavenger Hunt book from PBS Kids is:

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Author: amy deeter Comment: permalinki follow you on twitter