the first thing i think i need to focus on is being more particular about the little things with billy and with myself. mostly with myself. i need to focus on being completely 100% consistent in how i am around billy and what i am looking for from him.
1) no pushing into my space anymore. instead, give him something to bump into when he does that. just demand a little more respect without getting mean or mad.
2) asking for things with a quiet phase one and then just waiting. lately i ask with a phase one and then go to phase 4 when he doesn’t listen. this has caused quite a bit of stress for him and he is become more withdrawn, feeling pushed and pressured instead of engaged.
3) stick to the patterns longer. i think i start a pattern, he gets worked up and emotional and i stop the pattern looking for calm and connected. but all i have succeeded in doing is causing billy to feel more and more emotional about the patterns. so stick to the patterns UNTIL he is calm and confident.
4) listen more. i will quiet my mind and offer a clearer picture in my head of what it is i am asking. if i have a lot of chatter and thoughts about things other than our sessions that is going to muddy the waters. so be clear in my mind about what it is i’m asking for.
5) do more allowing, set it up for billy and then allow him to find the success. i too often will set it up then FORCE him through to the success. pushing him with my stick and string, smacking the ground, the obstacle, him if he is in the way. this has all added up to a pressure cooker for him.
6) spend more undemanding time with him. i have stopped doing that since winter is here, but last year having access to the indoor arena meant that i did it more often, just sitting with him while he played with his huge orange ball or shadowing him around the arena allowing him to do what he wanted. i need to get back to that.
i want to take some time to implement these actions to see if we can get back what we had before this summer. i truly believe that if i give him some time and WAIT, he will come back around to his happy, bright self.