It's been a while, but I have been trying a new technique with the kids, and I must say... I love it! It is the ENERGY DRAIN system, and it has been working like a charm. Here's the way it works: any time the child whines, screams, says no, doesn't follow instructions, etc. you say in a very happy voice (as you put your hand to your forehead) "uh oh, energy drain!" DD usually at this point screams "NO! I not ngy drain!" and I say, " When you do X, that really drains my energy, how do you suppose you could give me back the energy?" I have been doing this for a week, and so far, I have got a favorite dolly for the night, a car, a stuffed bear, the table cleared, dishes put away, and toys picked up. It has been great. See the key here is saying that they are to find something that would PUT energy back.
DS2 went to wash his face the other day, and instead of getting ONE washcloth out to wash, he chose to get 4 out! I said "oh buddy, ENERGY DRAIN." and he said "what, what? I not cryin"
I said "I know, but when you do that it cause sme to have to do MORE laundry, and if I'm doing more laundry, I'm using up energy that I could be using to do fun stuff like take to a friends to go swimming."
He said "oh yeah, I wanna go!" so then I said "Hmm.. how do you think you can put the energy back in, so I can do that?"
"I don't know- I won't do it ever ever again!" he said
"nope, sorry that's not going to work, would you like to here some suggestions?"
"Some kids would maybe tell their mom they won't do it again and hope that would work; some kids might do an extra chore like clean the sink..."
"Yeah, Yeah I'll do that!"
So he cleaned the bathroom sink, and even though it wasn't spotless, he did it, and he felt good about it!
The biggest key is that my DH is on board and we are doing it HAPPY! I can already see the kids changing in the whiny area, and it is becoming more peaceful!
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
I have started writing things down when I need to deliver a delayed consequence. I am so bad at remembering what it was they did, or why i needed to do it, and then it slips by. But I really feel it is important, so last week when DD got a bowl of cereal and didn't eat it AGAIN, my DH saved it and told her she could have something else when it was gone. Does anyone on this earth like soggy, nasty Frosted Mini-Wheats? She obviously wouldn't eat them, so I said "no problem." And I wrote on the calendar that she couldn't have cereal again, til today. The boys have had it a couple times in that time, and she had to eat fruit. Which all-in-all she didn't seem too bothered by really. She doesn't even really like cereal, she just asks for it because the boys like it. Anyway, I have been racking my brain trying to find a way that I will remember things that happen and consequences, so i can be consistent, and follow through on things. Hope this works!
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Well, today I learned a HUGE lesson in just how detrimental it is that I learn how to implement this love and logic for the sake of my sweet, sweet children. We were at the park with a group of friends, and DS2 was pushing and hitting a friend. I went to look to see what was happening, and as I approached I heard another friend egging him on saying "hit him again!" Mind you this is a 3 year old, so it is not like a life and death thing, and it is not a HUGE deal. Except that it kind of is. Why is my son so willing to do what someone else tells him to do?
Because, as I have talked about a few times in previous posts, he has been taught to listen to outside voices. He has been taught by me and my partner in parenting (dad) that he needs to do it "my way, or I'm gonna be mad!" Wow!!! I came home and was a little bit devastated that I have done this to him. I was also a bit relieved that I have discovered this now, so I can work on fixing it, and helping him listen to his own inner voice. I told DH "I don't care what we have to do, it is important for us to do this at all cost, or it will cost our kids."
The question now is, how do I keep that in the forefront of my brain, as I teach them proper behavior? Because I am human, and a product of how I was raised, I can't just say it, and change like that. I have to continually work at it and have reminders. I have to listen to the CD's I have, and PRAY, and be diligent in my efforts. I HAVE to get out of this funk I have been in and allow my kids to take the priority.
I know I can't change over night, in fact that would be too easy. I will take this time to change, and enjoy the fact that I can change. I ask whoever actually reads this to pray for me and my husband as we struggle to make this change for the better, that we will be patient with ourselves, and with each other.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
The other day we went to McDonalds to play in the playplace. There is a part that is for toddlers, and DS2 is really TOO big to be playing on it. We have been a couple of times, and I tell him all the time not to be on it as he climbs over the little kids and has knocked them down. Well, I told him not to go over there- there is a great big thing he can run around and play on! He listened at first, but went back. I called him over again talked to him about it, and he immediately went over and got on it- again. So... we left. I should have left after the first time, but I gave him a warning. I am learning quickly with DS2 that warnings don't work. Go figure, I should have learned that with DS1 but alas, I too take a while to pick up on SOME things! Anyway, we got in the van and the friends we were with then left too, but THEY got to drive together. DS was so sad, and cried all the way home. I sure hope he is learning something by all of this. But, I have to remind myself not to say things like "you need to learn to listen," or "what did you learn from this?" or even "I hope you learned your lesson." Because as Jim Fay says in Love and Logic, they then devote their entire life to proving that they in fact did NOT learn anything!
Saturday, March 5, 2011
Today in an attempt to cure the nap time battle with both the 3yr old and the 2yr old(who thinks she's BIG) I said "There's a new rule for quiet time. You have to be on your bed reading a book. You don't have to go to sleep, but you have to be quiet and laying down. We will call it 'Horizontal time'. Love you." This was another way to teach them a new word too. and understand what it means. Now I say "are you Horizontal?" So far so good, it's only been 30 minutes, but I am about to lay the baby down and have some good quality ME time!
Well... never-mind! I went in to feed the baby and put him down, and discovered that the 2yr old was up in the kitchen. I tried the "are you horizontal?" thing and she doesn't care. Her room now doesn't have a door on it, because it was not intended to be a room when the house was built. We just made it that way for lack of space. So, I can't shut the door. This makes it difficult to convince her to stay in her room. On top of that she has developed quit an attitude- um yeah TERRIBLE twos on this one! She is a princess in every way, and thinks that she should get what she wants always. She tells me "no" a lot lately, and my patience has been running thin. I love my sweet girl, but I am really struggling with this nap time thing!
On the plus side- it works for the 3 yr old. He just read himself to sleep!
Friday, March 4, 2011
Well I am happy to report that my 3 yr has not been helping himself to the fridge. In my last post he was not listening and getting into things when he was supposed to be napping. Later in the day, I got out some cracker trail mix for snack for the other two kids. When he asked for some I said " I'm sorry son, you had your snack earlier, when everyone else was sleeping" Oh he was MAD! But I did good and stuck to it, and stayed calm. I continued to say "I'm sorry." When they were done and left he left too and went about his day. But he hasn't got into the fridge without asking since. It's amazing to me that he doesn't have to be reminded. A big thing is giving them confidence in making their own decisions. Boundaries have to be set, that is a given, but it is so awesome to know that they can be set without getting angry, or damaging their precious little self esteem.
Now I would like to fix the mistakes I made with the oldest. That is going to take some time, but I know that it is possible, and I have really seen a change in him the past few weeks. We are beginning to bond once again, and he is even warming up to DH again. He is such a forgiving child, one of his many many great character traits.
As I write I have another little one getting into snacks... oh so sad, because I was going to make some chocolate covered peanuts for tonight. To bad my sweet girl wont be getting any! She just waled in and showed me the cracker that she climbed up to get. My response: "ooohhh, so sad looks like I'm going to have to do something about that. But not now- later. Try not to worry, but you'll have a consequence." Well, consequence is a word that she has tuned into and knows (kind of) what it means. So, "No mom!!!" was what I got as she scurried back to her room where she is supposed to be taking a nap. HAHAHAH!!!! I love when things work!! And the best part is I didn't have to get mad, raise my voice or even get up from the computer! I feel good knowing that SHE made the choice, and that I am learning to be the kind of loving, gentle, and effective mommy that I have always dreamed of!
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Remember the story about the boy who drove his car off the mountain? I find myself so often reverting on this simple concept. I say "go to bed because I said so." or "don't get in that drawer or it will piss me off" and I know this is not okay, so how do I teach my kids to follow instructions? How do I get them to understand that they can't just do whatever they want? Right now DS2 is supposed to be napping, but he is up in the kitchen and I am pretty sure he is helping himself to whatever he wants in the fridge. At least he isn't in his room waking the baby like he did yesterday. So know I am thinking I should let him think he's gotten away with something, as they say in Love and Logic. Later this evening when we are having a treat- whatever it may be- tell him that he already had his treat when everyone else was sleeping. Oh yes, a treat is definitely in store!
So, here I am supposed to be giving advise, but I am asking for it. How do I teach my kids to STAY OUT of the fridge, my junk drawer, etc. w/o saying " because It's mine," or "that makes me mad"? We have tried the locks and things but DS2 just breaks them off. So it is a matter of teaching him responsibility. Which is what this Love and Logic is all about. Feed back is great, so bring it on, and for now I am going to try several different things. I will report my findings at a later post!