Friday

Only 30 Minutes after the first class!

I sent my 10 year old son to bed after I returned home from class. I peeked in to check on him and he was playing his gameboy with the lights off. (How is that possible?) I calmly went in, stood by his bed and held my hand out (a motion for him to hand over the gameboy). Here is how the conversation went…
HIM: “Noooooo! I haven’t saved it yet!”
ME: “Oh. That’s too bad.” (My hand still out.)
HIM: “Mom! Just let me save it first!”
ME: “Okay. 3-2-1.” (I take the gameboy.)
HIM: “NONONO! (screaming now) I need to save that!!!”
ME: “Probably.”
HIM: “You’re NEVER gonna give that back to me and I bought it with my own money!”
ME: “I’ll give it back when you can obey the bedtime rules.” (I think that was lecturing. I probably should have left that out. YES?)


He sulked, pulled the covers over his head and I walked out of the room. A minute later I went in to find a book off of his shelf to read aloud to my class tomorrow. He was still sulking and the conversation continued:


HIM: “Now I have to start that game ALL over you know. And I was ALMOST through!”
ME: “Bummer. Do you know where the book Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle is? (not looking at him, just searching the shelf)
HIM: “Yes, but I’m not telling you until you give me my gameboy back. "
ME: “That’s ok. I can find it.”


I kept looking for a minute, left and decided to go get ready for bed while he went to sleep and go back and look later. When I came out of my bathroom after getting all ready for bed, the book I was looking for was laying on my desk. (And NO, it wasn’t there before!) My husband was in the room and said my son had walked in, set it on the desk and walked out. WOW! The simple fact that there was no yelling and screaming about that issue gave me SUCH peace…and he found the book for me to BOOT!


What Mom did here that worked for her was.................she saw him doing something he shouldn't have been doing. Probably a chronic problem. Instead of lectures, yelling, nagging, she let empathy and then the subsequent consequence of not having his game anymore do all of the teaching.


What happened for the son is that he couldn't focus on his mom's anger anymore. He had only to look at himself. Not all kids will be so willing to get the book and give it to you, but WOW that this 10 year old did. You can bet he is going to test Mom again to see if she can keep her cool.


We want kids making lots of mistakes when the price is low. A 10 year old sneaking his gameboy when he should be sleeping is a low cost experience but what a step in the right direction for Mom. My advice is: After a few days without the gameboy ( DO NOT discuss when he will get it back) it will just appear on his bed. You want him to practice again, making a good decision. If he doesn't, you react in the exact same way as you did above.

I don't have eyes in the back of my head. My kids are going to get away with loads of stuff. But when I do see poor choices, I'm going to be really sad for them. When my children have lied to me or are sneaky...........instead of my old reaction of anger and lecturing......now I just get the most genuine sad look on my face and say something like, "I hope you'll figure this out some day. I'm always happier when I know that people can trust ME." You deal with the situation calmly and there will usually be some kind of consequence that can come from this experience.


We want the feeling of making a good choice to come from INSIDE the child, not from the OUTSIDE, us lecturing them. The only way they get to figure this out, is if we give them plenty of opportunities to make good choices.

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