One of the things I have noticed when watching L play is his tendency to direct action rather than be a part of it.
For example, when playing with H, most of the time L is instructing H on what to say next, what to do next, what will happen next, and then expecting H to follow exactly. If H were to try and do something differently, then L will react either with anger, or by simply storming off and not playing any more, saying how H is being unfair.
I find this incredibly interesting and often wonder if this is consistent with how he plays with friends at school, and perhaps is a cause of his issues in the school environment from time to time? Young boys are quite rough and tumble, determined and change their minds all the time. For L, this seems to me to be a nightmare of huge proportions – children not doing what he expects they should do, or not doing what they say they will do. There have been occasions when L has lost his temper because someone has lied to him. Upon further investigation it becomes apparent that actually, the child just changed their mind and decided to do something different instead of playing the way they set out initially. To L, this abrupt change of plan is entirely unacceptable and a source of immense chagrin.
In his playroom, with his little brother, L is the king. H adores playing with L and often plays along exactly as instructed. I love the way they play together and how they share and interact, but it is apparent that this is invariably on L’s terms.
I wonder then how this may look in the future, perhaps when L is 16 years old? Will he be able to share and play along with other people in a negotiated fashion, where everyone’s input is considered and the best for all people is the final way forward, or will he become a dominant force and always ensure he gets his way in things? Either is fine, frankly, but what if he becomes disillusioned, doesn’t have the force of will to make people do things his way and everything is frustrating? How will he behave and interact with others?
What can I do to change this, what do I need to do to try and give him the tools to manage these situations?
In some ways, I have already touched on this subject, the lack of compromise or negotiation, but in this example my concern is more about how to interact with others, how to bounce off people, develop your ideas by listening to others?