Again an interesting interaction of his personality and the way he goes about implementing it. Finn is a kid that tries to figure out how to do things "all by myself" - since he was a little baby. He doesn't ask questions, but will engineer a way to do things as he makes sense of. As creative as it is, these are often unconventional ways that get him in trouble with adults around him.

Since he could move on his own, for instance, he would not ask for food, but will go into the fridge by himself and take what seems to be attractive to eat. When I ask him how did he do something - who showed it to you? …he proudly declares - "all by myself".

However, he is also always very curios and open to be shown new and different ways.

He got a nice new toy in a fairly big box. I found him a few days later "stabbing" the box mercilessly with one of the toy "guys" (Spiderman or something). So with this trait of his in the back of my mind, I stopped myself from a strong reaction to his attack on the box and asked a question first …. What is it that you are doing? ( …meaning …why are you destroying this beautiful big box in such a forceful way …. said in as subtle a way as I could hatch) The answer was simple … "I am going to make a puppet show - I want to make a stage!" (…meaning …. didn't you know that nana?) Creativity saved … but also a more constructive way to make a puppet stage was welcomed to explore!

With Finn it is easy, because he certainly lets you know loud and clear and direct! He has always been a child whose first reaction to something he doesn't want to do or to be exposed to is to protest vehemently by crying and insisting on his way. Even as a baby for instance, he would not want to have his apple cut in smaller bites and would persist screaming "no cut, no cut" - it would be a whole circus around what seem to be unimportant issues. He always knows exactly what he wants and how he wants it. As you can imagine it doesn't go that way and with other kids around him his lamentation gets him more trouble than sympathy. In "parenting" language this is called tantrums.

It came to me almost instinctively to reflect back to him his refusal to go home after he spent a day with me. In his uncompromising manner, he did not want to go home when his dad came to pick him up. He wanted to stay "forever" here.

I took him on my lap and just said back to him in a similar voice (minus screaming) "you really don't want to go home, you would really, really like to stay here with nana forever" and added, "but daddy wants to take you home now". And as sobs subsided, I repeated the same line once or twice more - and he hopped off my lap, went to the car and got interested in what comes next!!!

Every time he gets into one of these - tantrums - I do the same; acknowledge what he says, and add what he is asked to do - and it turns into a smooth transition. Notice that only his WISH was valued and acknowledged. He didn't GET what he wanted. It actually amazes me that it WORKS every time this happens - as if HE hears that his demand was heard, he can let go of it. He is in charge! As simple as that!