Archives for February 2014

A Parenting Win

We’ve been in the midst of an extremely challenging parenting cycle with A. He goes through these phases, I assume it goes with the parenting territory. We happen to think some of our hard times are trickier than the average child dishes out. Maybe that’s true as A has experienced so much in his life already… or maybe we only have one example to pull from so we have no idea what we’re talking about. Either way, it has been a tough couple of weeks!

Yesterday, after my most recent “worst day ever,” I called my mom for the miracle answer to fix our angry, defiant, and destructive child. I thought maybe there would be the best consequence ever that would finally motivate him to behave and follow the rules. Unfortunately, I didn’t quite get the answer I was looking for. Instead she said to take away some of the rules that were creating the battles. At first thought it seems like taking away a rule we’ve been trying to teach would be a step in the wrong direction. On second thought, why not give it a try?

Case study:

We sat down to a lunch of leftover pork and peas. A tried all of his usual meal time misbehavior, but we were determined not to be bothered by them. It helped that Jesse and I were both starving and couldn’t think about much else other than eating our own food anyways.

After he finished repeating for ten minutes that he only wanted to eat pizza for lunch, he decided that the only way he was going to eat what he was given was dumping his plate of food and spreading it all over the table and slurping his food directly off the table. He was slurping extra loud to be sure we were hearing and seeing what he was up to. And we successfully ignored it!

Then he decided all of his food should be smashed before slurping it. He smashed each piece several times with each finger and both elbows. I asked him to smash food a little more gently so as to not spill our drinks. And other than that we successfully ignored it!

He created a huge mess at his end of the table, but Jesse and I finished our whole meal without trying to correct him to eat nicely, as we normally would. AND A was concentrating so hard on his food smashing project that we even got to sit and relax for a good ten minutes after we finished our lunch. After A finished slurping up all his smashed food off the table, I handed him a napkin and asked him to wipe up his mess and take his plate to the kitchen. He did… and I’m pretty sure that threw him for a loop!

Although not exactly how I would like our meals to go, it wasn’t all that bad. Now we’ll see if we can keep it up and keep him guessing. Baby steps…