So I had this long conversation with Positive Parenting expert Amy McCready on Friday morning. She had a lot of wonderful ideas that I hope to start implementing this week. I suspect though that it would be much easier to start during a week that did not have any events scheduled. As it is I do have things scheduled and will just have to remind myself to go with the flow and stay calm at all times! Cross your fingers everyone!
Some of her suggestions included:
Scheduling body, mind and soul time. This is 10 minutes 1 on 1 with each child 2x per day. It is a bonding time where you do what the child wants to do and you let yourself be a child in that moment. Available to them physically, mentally and spacially. So no answering the phone, no TV on, no cellphone, etc. She suggested I schedule this time into our day because everytime I tell Benny that I have 15 minutes and ask him what he wants to do, he says he doesnt want to spent time with me, some days I even get the statement “dont like mommy!”…the little shit!
Implementing a WHEN/THEN schedule. This means that I needed to find things that would motivate my children, not rewards, things they regularly get that they want to continue getting. My problem was that my son doesn’t really care about anything. The minute you try to use something he cares about to get control of the situation, suddenly he is willing to throw that item away forever! Amy suggested food! This is brilliant…but I hope it works because I would feel horrible restricting food when I sometimes feel they dont really get enough as it is…but maybe they are using food to control me…so a turn of the tides is definately warranted. So starting this week our days look like this…WHEN you have washed and brushed, gotten dressed and made your bed, THEN you may come sit down for breakfast. WHEN you have tidied up your bedroom, gone to the bathroom and washed your hands, THEN you may come join me at the table for lunch. WHEN you have tidied up the downstairs toys, gone potty and washed you hands, THEN you may come sit down for supper. WHEN you have finished your bath, brushed your hair and teeth, put on your pjs and found your blankie, THEn we can read storeis and snuggle.
Eliminating snacks. This does not mean all snacks. I told her about how I have to fight with my kids to eat their meals so she suggested removing the mid morning snack, if they seem hungry to have lunch a little early. To serve the mid afternoon snack no later than 3:30pm. Also removing the bedtime snack and cup of milk as it might be the cause of my kids getting up so much through the night.
Being consistant with napping/quiet time. Amy suggested that I go through a mini version of their bedtime routine. Put them into their beds, give them music or stories and tell them it is quiet time. That they dont have to sleep, but that they do have to rest their bodies. She suggested that I also wake them, no matter what, by 3:30pm everyday.
So while I am excited to start, I am nervous about a few things. First, will it work. Second, will I be able to keep it up. Third, with it all go to the wayside the moment Daddy walks in the door. Fourth, this weekend is a holiday weekend with lots of social events, will the hurly, burly of the weekend cancel any progress I make in the next 4 days…???
We shall see! Wish me luck!