Friday, March 9, 2012

Minecraft Meltdown

Last night was a rough night for Bubby, and the rest of us by proxy.  The details of what happened were a little unclear. I'll try to relay it as best as I can. I don't play video games and I never have.  So my family's new obsession with Minecraft is something I am left out of.  We only have one account, thus far so Bubby, CJ and Dad are all sharing.  The sharing part is where Bubby gets confused.

A few weeks ago Bubby asked CJ if he could play with her character.  She said no.  He did it anyway, and used up all her resources, thus almost killing her character.  He never has the patience to build his world up correctly (however you do that in MC) so he doesn't get to do some of the fun things that you can do if you did.  We had a talk about using other people's stuff without their permission. He defiantly and grumpily said he understood.  He doesn't take any kind of criticism , or correction very well, at all.

Fast forward to last night, I come down stairs to hear from Dad that Bubby deleted his character off of MC after requesting to use it, and told no.  Bubby said he didn't, but the character is gone and he was the last to use the computer.  It's surmised that perhaps it wasn't purposeful, but it wasn't carefully avoided, either. I know that at this point, he needs to have a repercussion for this sort of behavior.  He rarely ever does anything that lands him in trouble and when he does he does not take it well.  Those of you with autistic kids like him know what I'm talking about.  Any consequences handed out at this time is likely to result in a meltdown, still... I feel I need to do it.  So, I take a breath and inform him that the computer is off limits for the next 24 hrs. To my surprise this is met with just a sigh.  Then a few minutes go by... He starts giving me 'the look'.  It's the look he gives when he's really mad and wants you to know it.  It's a very, very exaggerated mad face.  This is pre-meltdown behavior.  I tell him he can follow me around and give me looks all he wants, he's still not getting the computer. At this point I make an effort to not call it grounded, or in trouble.  I try to be as neutral as I can in describing the whole scenario, so as he doesn't get so emotional.  Several minutes go by and I look for him to tuck him in bed.  He's already in there hiding under the blanket.  We are now in phase Two of meltdown mode, the hiding under the blanket phase.  He is sobbing.  I try to remind him that it's only a day.  He doesn't care.  He says I've 'ruined his life.' I try to tell him he can play his games Wii or DS.  "It's not the same!" he yells.

We are now into angry meltdown mode.  He is now threatening.  "I will cry at school tomorrow and then you will have to come get me!" I tell him his teacher will not call me just because he is crying and that they'll just deal with it there.  Then he yells "well there's that!"  This is the part of the meltdown process where it starts getting a little bit amusing, because of the ridiculous things he says.  I know that some of you don't agree with that sentiment, but I say some pretty hilarious things when I'm having a meltdown, too and have no issues with someone finding it comical, especially afterwards.  I can be pretty ridiculous when I'm ranting and raving.  I know that and can laugh at myself after the meltdown is over.  I just try not to laugh in front of Bubby when he is going on and on.  Then he accuses me of 'not loving' him and his 'life is so over now'.  I reassure him that I most definitely do love him. That's why I am teaching him to have good manners and to respect other people's things.

He sobbed loudly on and off for about 2 hrs.  I made about 6 trips back into his room to console him.  Lots of hugs and consistency was needed.  He finally asked me just let him have his way, and he'd stop his fit.  I told him that wouldn't be very responsible of a parent if I gave in to his every fit. He insisted that it would make me a 'great parent!' if I did.

We made it through last night.  It's about time for him to be home from school, so I am a little anxious to see how he will do this afternoon without the computer.  I'm guessing better than last night.  It's the initial upset over losing a privilege that tend to make him upset.  In his mind, I think it's the fact that he's in trouble that is more upsetting then the actual punishment.  Sometimes, as parents, we have to stick it out and be the bad guy and just hope we're doing the right things!