Recently, Roman's been having some behavioral issues that have been quite difficult for us. We decided to tell everyone about this on the blog as we know there are other adoptive families that read this and it helps to know that there are others going through the same experience. About three weeks ago he began having trouble getting sleep; he wanted us to hold him, and woke up a lot during the night (when Rich was away one night, Helen had to bring him into bed with her to get him to go to sleep, he slept very well while Helen cuddled him). At the same time he started being particularly aggressive towards us whenever he didn't get his own way; pulling our hair, pinching, and scratching us. So on the one hand, he was being very affectionate and not wanting to let us out of his sight, and on the other, he was trying to control us. This aggression has been really difficult to handle, as he actually hurts Helen and has left scratches down her arm. Sometimes he hits the poor dog too, just to get a reaction from us.
He's still the same darling little boy who loves to give us hugs and kisses, but now he has this major controlling issue. Well, we decided to jump on it immediately and went to see a child psychologist who specializes in International Adoption. Many people might say it's just a phase and that many kids go through the same thing, but it's not the same for post-institutionalized children. We need to watch his behavior carefully so he can have a bright future and not be affected mentally by his past.
We knew before going to see the psychologist that he was letting out his frustration physically because he couldn't express it verbally (he may be doing well with language but he's not at that level yet). However, the psychologist was able to elaborate on what she felt might be causing those frustrations and gave us tips on how best to handle it. We will keep you posted.