Goals of Misbehavior Vignettes

Goals of Misbehavior Vignettes

1. Five-year-old Jason Moore lives with his parents Sarah and Kevin Moore, and six-month-old brother Jake Moore. Since Jason’s role of only child changed, his parents noticed that he has been acting “differently.” Jason had demonstrated capability in feeding himself and loved sleeping in his own big boy bed throughout the night. However, since Jake joined the family, Jason has shown signs of regression. He cries constantly, refuses to eat unless he is fed, refuses to sleep in his own bed, and wants to be held, especially when the baby is being attended to. In their annoyance and frustration, Jason’s parents have tried forcing him to sleep in his bed and have him sit at the table with his meals, much to no avail, as he screams and whines constantly. They eventually decided that they would get him in Play therapy to help with his regressive behaviors.

a.       What is the goal of Jason’s misbehavior?
b.      How could his parents have handled the new adjustments for Jason differently?
c.      How do you think Child Centered Play therapy will benefit Jason?

2. Jason starts Play Therapy. For the first few weeks, he displays separation anxiety when it was time to go back with the therapist. Third week into therapy, Jason reluctantly went back with his therapist Ms. April. He played in the sand tray for a short while, played with the kitchen toys, and then walked over to the costumes and put on the superman cape. He then announced to Ms. April, “I am the boss of this playroom, and I am the boss of the dumb baby brother.”  He then walked back to the sand tray and proceeded to scoop the sand on to the floor. He also dumped a couple tubs of playdough in the sand tray. As Ms. April tried to set limits for him, he stated defiantly, with hands on his hips, “I can do what I want. I am the boss of this playroom and the dumb baby brother.”

a.       What is the goal of Jason’s misbehavior?
b.      If you were the play therapist, describe how you would set limits for Jason.
c.       As his therapist, how would you update the parents on Jason’s progress in Play Therapy?

3. Once a vibrant, outspoken, and sociable boy in his kindergarten classroom, Jason has resorted to sitting at his desk and sucking his thumb. This is a habit he developed since he became a big brother. He refuses to participate in any of his class activities; even his favorites which are finger painting, making things with playdough, and talking to his best friend Marvin. His teacher, Ms. Angel notices the change, and tries to encourage and support him, but he just cries and tell her he can’t, or he doesn’t know how to paint or draw. He sometimes tries to sit on her lap or lean on her shoulder when she is sitting at her desk. Ms. Angel sent a note home to have a conference with the parents concerning the changes she has noticed in Jason.

a.      What is the goal of Jason’s misbehavior?
b.      What can Ms. Angel do in the classroom to help Jason find his confidence back?
c.      How can the parents work with Ms. Angel to help Jason get back on track? 

4. Sarah went to the kitchen to make baby Jake a bottle, as she anticipated him waking up soon from his afternoon nap. Before she could complete this task, she heard the baby let out a blood curdling scream. She ran to his nursery, only to find Jason in the baby’s crib, crouched over him, hitting him in the face with a toy mallet.  As he hit the baby, he was also vocalizing, “dumb baby I want my mommy and daddy back. Mommy only loves you, you dumb baby…” Sarah quickly took Jason out of the crib and gave him a five minute time-out. She then proceeded to pick up baby Jake and comfort him. Once the baby was settled, Sarah held Jason in her lap and hugged him close. She had no idea that he would ever try to hurt the baby, Tears streamed down her face, as it finally dawned on her that they had to do a better job of making Jason feel included in the family.
a.       What is the goal of Jason’s misbehavior?
b.      Do you think Sarah handled Jason’s misbehavior appropriately? Explain.
c.       What tips would you give Jason’s parents to help include him more in the life of his baby brother?

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