“Rat Attack” is the term my children have coined to refer to the time when my youngest son Yonatan (now age 7) will attack his brother and sister.  It usually involves sharps nails and intense biting- sometimes leaving some serious bruising- they actually really nailed the term.

This happens every once in a while if someone hurt him (by accident or on purpose), offended him somehow or took his stuff without asking.

In the last couple of months it has been happening more often and it became clear that this wasn’t something he was going to grow out of ( or even possibly be a  part of an impulsive behavior associated with ADD that we are in the process of investigating).

Just last weekend we understood more deeply that his behavior is telling us something- that there is a reason WHY he is acting out this way and we need to address this reason at the core.

In the past we have used cranial sacral with my now 9 year old son to address his emotional issues and it has been proven to be a powerful tool for change in him, so we decided to try with Yonatan as well.

At our first appointment the therapist confirmed that he had many blockages and tightness in his cranial system which could totally account for his ‘rat attacks’ as well as his constant need to chew (his shirt, plastic bracelets, whatever).

Well, the most incredible thing happened after that first treatment (pictured above). 

We came home a couple of hours later  and his older brother playfully, well kinda :), threw a ball of modeling clay at him which got stuck in his hair and it really hurt him to take it out.

Yonatan ran over to his brother, kicked him in the side and then as directed, went outside to cool off.  I saw the fire in his eyes- the potential for a ‘rat attack’- and at the same time thought to myself;

“Hmmm. That’s interesting, Yonatan didn’t bite him”.

After a couple of minutes I went to check on Yonatan to see if he was ready to come back in and he looked at me with a calm face and said;

“Hey Imma (that’s ‘Mom’ in Hebrew) I think that ‘clanial slakllal’ ( as he calls it) helped me. I didn’t bite this time”.

I marveled at his self awareness and said “Yeah you know, I noticed that same thing”.

Instead of gong from 0-10 in a second, he went from 0-7.

After his second treatment we continued to see his response become less intense and his recovery time speed up.

We still have more sessions to do but the knowledge that we got to an underlying issue, the reason WHY he was having frequent ‘rat attacks’ and know how to help him is the most blessed feeling in the world (and the results are being enjoyed by everyone in the family!).

I know it is not always this straight forward, the reason WHY can be more complex and harder to discover, but the important lesson for me is getting to the WHY.

Understanding that his behavior is telling us something and listening carefully to what that message might be, instead of simply managing the symptoms, is the key to deep and lasting change.

Have you seen this to be true for your child?  I would love to hear from you- please join the conversation below!