We are nearly nine weeks into our Positive Parenting journey and I am embarrassed to admit that my sweet husband and I have not taken any new classes lately. We do have plans to get back to the classes this week. We may not be learning anything new but we have continued to use the processes with mostly good results. I know this is a journey and not always an immediate solution - we are setting the tone for our family and we are seeing results. Here are two of our recent endeavors...
Two weeks ago my big five year old was starting to bounce around during our donut time before church. We were sitting in the cafe at the church and we were surrounded by other church members and it really was a time for sitting on our bottoms and using our manners. After a few reminders I explained to my oldest son that if he chose to not sit down and use his manners then we would not be able to enjoy a donut before church next week, something he really looks forward to each week. He repeated it back to me and understood the consequence. And then he continued to bounce. So we quietly packed up our show and headed off to Sunday school ten minutes early. And I resisted the urge to say "I told you so". Saying nothing about the behavior, not pointing out what he had lost due to his choices, was very very hard for me! But I did it.
The next Sunday we were on our way out the front door when my big five year old asked if we were having a donut. I explained that we were, in fact, not having a donut that morning and explained why. Pouting ensued and continued most of the way to church. Amazingly, by the time we parked and walked into the church, past the cafe and all the other people enjoying donuts, he was fine. No more pouting, no asking for donuts, nothing. And this past weekend we were back in the cafe before church, enjoying our donuts as a family. And he sat in his chair and used his manners. Now do I think I won't have to do this again? Of course not. But it works, people.
Here is another Positive Parenting success. My big five year old has been doing "chores" for a few years now, long before we started the Positive Parenting classes. We never called them chores- we never really called them anything. Positive Parenting suggests calling them "family contributions", which is a bit much for my young boys. So I now call them "helping the family". And I make sure my big five year old understands that when he puts the clean silverware away or delivers the rolls of toilet paper to each bathroom he is "helping the family". (By the way, having him deliver the toilet paper is a GREAT little job for him. he has to open the large package, count out the rolls, make sure each bathroom gets the same amount of rolls... he is counting, dividing...) This weekend my little man put the silverware away and then asked me for another job. Let that sink in, people. He said to me, "Mommy I want to do more to help the family." I could have cried. Again, I know this is not the end of the story. I know we will still have our moments of whining when asked to help. But we are so on the right track. It is so true. Our kids, they want to help. They want to feel included and important. And I am growing right along with my boys!