The adventures in Positive Parenting have been going on for five days now. I am still working my way through the classes so I don't have too many techniques in my "tool box". But the ones I do have are working, for the most part. We have not had a single time out for either boy in five days. Spending ten minutes of "mommy and matthew time" in the morning before getting dressed for school has really helped our morning routine to go more smoothly, although this morning my big five year old was quite the crank monster and insisted I help him get dressed, all the way down to shoes. He complained about not getting to watch TV until he ate breakfast. I restated the rules once and just let him complain. And oh my god, it was hard. But I held my ground and set a bagel, cream cheese and a knife in front of him at the kitchen table. He stopped whining and looked at me like I was crazy, his eyes saying, "Are you crazy, you're giving me a knife?" The whining stopped and he thoroughly enjoyed being in charge of his breakfast. Gave him more attention, (mommy and matthew time), and gave him more responsibility, (spreading cream cheese on his bagel all by himself). Score!
I sometimes have a hard time remembering that my tiny toddler is going to be three years old soon. Probably because he is, well, tiny. And also because he is a little behind developmentally. But he perfectly capable of helping out around the house. So over the weekend I placed the place mats on the kitchen floor and asked the tiny toddler to set the table. Three out of four times he did it with no problems. The fourth time he shouted "no!" at me, climbed on his riding toy school bus and drove off. But it was a start.
So far I think the biggest challenge for both my husband and I has been just letting go. We needed to understand that there are going to be times when we just have to let whatever crazy behavior our boy are exhibiting pass. They are boys. They are active. They are going to climb an run and jump, and they don't care where they are when they do it. We just have to pick our battles. Run and jump at church? No. Dance down the empty grocery store aisle? OK. I was already doing this, but I was still letting way too much bother me. But I'm working on it.
Now that I have been practicing a few of the techniques for a few days I think I am ready to complete more of the classwork this week, so stay tuned, new challenges lay ahead!