Sunday, February 14, 2010

Crisis managed

This is a typical event at our house and happens many times a day. Switch out the item in question, the players and the level of hitting/screaming and lather, rinse, repeat.

Boy 1: Has ball.
Boy 2: Wants ball. Decides that best way to get ball is to scream in Boy #1's ear.
Boy #1 smacks offending Boy #2.
Boy #2 responds by wildly flailing, smacking and screaming at Boy #1.

Mom steps in. Arguing I let them try and solve themselves, physical contact and I step in.

1st, I separate them and quiet them down. I talk quietly and if they interrupt I hold up one finger, tilt my head and remind them I am talking. This usually works.

I ask Boy #2 if he tried asking nicely for the ball. He starts to say, 'But I..' and I cut him off. This is a yes or no answer, did you ask nicely. He starts, 'Well, I..' and I cut him off. I keep reminding him that I am asking a simple yes or no question and just need an answer, not an argument. He eventually mumbles No and pouts.

In the meantime, Boy #1 is trying to interrupt over and over again and I stop him too. I explain that I am talking to Boy #2 and that he will have a turn next. I finally ask him if he thought he handled the situation well, and he admits he didn't. I ask him how he could have done better and he tells me.

I then tell Boy #2 if he still wants the ball to please ask nicely. He pouts for a little while longer, then asks Boy #1, 'Can I have the ball, please?' and Boy #1 hands it to him with a smile. They all play happily for a little while.

Mommy pours herself more coffee, wishes she had some Kahlua to add to it, and attempts to read more than one sentence in the paper.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Oh, and we instituted a new star chart yesterday. To earn a star a child needs to do something nice, unexpectedly and without being asked, for another brother. Sharing does not count, it is expected. Conversely, hurting a brother without being provoked causes the offending child to lose a star. So far they are struggling to understand what will earn a star. There has been lots of trying to give each other things, etc and that doesn't count. (They can't yell, 'Look Mommy, I gave him the ball' and get a star) We'll see how this goes....

1 comment:

Recovering Noah said...

Wow! I feel like we're living in the same house. That is exactly what happens over here all. the. time.

Hoping I can have just a fraction of your amount of patience. I've been known to take the ball, open the door, march to the trash can, and put it inside.

Your method is so much better (and healthier). :)