Monday, September 29, 2008

The art of disciple

As I believe I stated in a previous post, the honeymoon period of having Cai at home is completely over. And Ian's good behavior has gone with it. Now Ian is not a bad kid. In fact, he is still just as charming to the causal observer as ever. I know this is a sign of good mothering, but gosh the acting up at home is going to kill me and my husband if something doesn't change. The really odd thing is, I feel like a fish out of water when it comes to consistent disciple. I've never felt I really had to use it before now. Sure there were the occasional melt downs, the occasional time outs and even the minor blow ups on my part. But all in all, I felt that our house was pretty tame before (or at least in comparison to now). In many ways, Ian's acting out is only his way of getting attention. And unfortunately it's working. The more my husband and me get frustrated the more Ian continues to do what he is doing. All of this has thrown me into research mode. And I think I've found a winner. This week, while at the library, I found a book entitled "Love and Logic Magic" (I can't remember the authors and the book not here with me to look. I know, I'm lazy). Anyway, while many of the 'techniques' and ideas are not exactly new to me, there are so many great stories about how parents used these idea that I feel I too can put them to practice in an effective manner. There are four basic principles, I'll only post about the first two.

Principle Number 1: Boost self- concept. Principle Number 2: Share the Control. These are acheived by giving the child control over their life and showing them that they are capable of making good decision and able to do things themselves. Giving control is done by giving them lots of choices in ways that do not hurt anyone. The idea is that if you give them lots of choices through-out the day then when the big choice come along they will let you make the decision for them. So today I thought I would try it. I've been giving Ian the chance to choose things from what he wears, to what he eats, to how we went about going down for a nap. And so far I'm already seeing an improvement. At lunch Ian wanted a chip. So I gave him the choice of 1 or 2 bits of his banana before having a chip. He enthusiastically said 2 and went on to eat three bits before asking for the chip again. Had I told him to eat even just 1 bits before he got a chip he would have fought me. When I gave him the choice there was no fight! :) We'll see how things are tonight at bed time ;). I think if we can put this into practice this on a regular basis things will start looking up. I'll post more on the other three principles and techniques as I read more and we start putting them into practice.

Update on Cai. He's doing fine. Still very fussy, but I think mostly he knows what he wants and Mom and Dad haven't figured out how to read all his cries on the first try. Thus he gets frustrated and cries louder. All in all, we are doing okay.


Allison said...

Good luck, Kristin! I hope this technique works out. It sounds promising. I hope you're finding reassuring moments in these difficult days.

By the way, if you want a break from one or both boys sometime, even if it's just to take a nap or run errands alone or spend some one-on-one time with Ian, let me know--I'd be happy to babysit. I have blocks of free time several days a week and would be glad to help you out.

Cilla said...

Good work on smoothing fussy Ian !
From what I read in your stories, I can see a good mother perfecting herself for her children. At the same time, it also seems the mommy isn't having much time for herself to relax.

Don't work yourself too hard ! Give the trouble to Allison instead :P