Friday, May 1, 2015

thoughts on discipline

Life has been a wild rumpus lately. 
Lots of tears. 
Lots of anger.
Just lots.
The only thing that's been a constant is the in CONSTANTLY.
And D has come home to a frazzled wife more than I'd like to admit.

I remember my dad saying to me that kids are always changing. As in the second you think you've got the rhythm figured out...they change. 
And sometimes I see those changes and meet the needs with little to no problem. 
Those other times though. 
Sometimes I don't want to change. 
I mean really.

And then (if you're me) your husband steps in and says, "Get with the program, Sarah." in a completely sweet and firm way that only he can.
And so...I get with the program. 
I study the changes I'm seeing.
I formulate and strategize. 
It almost feels like I'm preparing for battle. 
Because in a way I am. 
Sometimes, it feels like I'm battered and beaten at the end of a long day.
Did I mention the emotions?

(And no, I'm never EVER dramatic and I have no earthly idea where my children may have received their gifts of dramatic flair.)

I told D the other day that I feel like I'm.always, saying. no. 
And then I'm met with really intense anger. 
So the first strategy was to find a way around the no.
Because when you're ALWAYS saying loses it's meaning really fast. 
And every little thing becomes an intense power struggle. 
I'm pretty sure my kids were feeling like they were never getting a yes. 
We were at the point of immediate meltdowns over the TINIEST things. 

So, in an effort to get with the program we've added some new items to the day.

1. An invention box. 

Because if I had to say no, you may not get into the ______ one more time I was going to lose my mind. 
And I'm pretty sure it wasn't fun for the other parties involved either. 
Now all the items needed for daily experiments are in one location. 
There's no need to ask, because it's all there.
And the great thing about this is that I've found that I've been adding to it all day with random found items (aka trash). 

Truth: Saying "no" all the time isn't healthy or helpful. 
Sometimes you have to be able to say "yes" to have your "no" taken seriously or in stride.

2. Reward charts
Both kids have one right now. 
They are attached to a prize of candy. 
I used to ALWAYS judge this, but I'm eating my own words right now. 
Each day we are writing out our reward charts. 
Each kid only has one goal. 
This isn't a caught being good chart. 
Or an atta boy/girl thing. 
Although we're increasing praise ten fold around here. 
But really it's one goal. 

Here's what they sound like:
When mom says no, I will take a deep breath, calm down, and say ok mama.
When mom says come here, I will stop and come right away.
I've made them on junky paper that I've been carrying around with me. 
Because if the x doesn't happen right away it's not meaningful and it may not even be remembered later. 

3. Family Rules
I used to always say we only had one rule:
Treat other people the way you want to be treated.
But the truth is...we needed more. 
I needed things that were more concrete than that. 
So, I made this rule list with the kids and we're carrying that around too. 

4. Daily Schedule. 
Again with the junky schedule. 
But here's the's working. 
I'm holding a family meeting in the morning where we go over the rules, the charts, and draw out the daily schedule together.
I'm never going to win any pinterest awards with this, but I don't care because the kids are getting it.

I heart this.

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