Thursday, December 02, 2010

Natural Consequences

Every morning I get levi ready for school and then try and get the two little guys into appropriate attire for the ride along with us to drop him off. Every single day this is a battle. They are hard-wired to defy whatever I say. And no matter what they are not going to be proved wrong. No. Matter. What. Exclamation point!

This morning it was a whopping 38 degrees farenheit here. (I know, that's really quite toasty to some of you) I told the boys to go put on sweats, socks, shoes and grab their jackets. I told them again. I told Ahren NOT to put on the superman cape, he needed sweats, etc. I told Seth to get his jammies off and put the sweats on. I reminded them it was cold outside. I did my usual broken record routine and they did their usual 'ignore Mom' routine. Normally, I would grab them, stuff them into the clothes, etc. and then herd them out the door. Today, I decided it was time for natural consequences.

When it was time to head out, I rounded them up and headed for the back door. Ahren was wearing underwear and a superman jammie shirt/cape. Nothing else. Seth had on his short sleeved jammies and nothing else. There was a bit of hopping around on the cold cement but no murmurs of how cold it was. Strap them in and head to the school. I did NOT turn on the heat in the van. (Levi and I were both appropriately dressed and quite comfy) Five minutes later after dropping levi at school, I asked if anyone was cold. Nope, they were just peachy. I asked them if they thought that maybe mommy had been right that it was cold out and they should have dressed warmer. Nope, absolutely not. They were not wrong. Were. Not. Wrong. !!

So I upped the ante. I cracked the windows. I turned on the fan. I began to get very cold. They still refused to admit they were cold. Even after the 5 minute drive home. So I kept driving. Rolled the windows down a bit more. Drove a little faster. Ahren cracked and told me he was cold and wanted to go home. Seth dug his heels in and prepared for the battle. He is tiny but a great warrior when it comes to never being wrong.

I began to talk. I talked to myself about how really this wasn't about right and wrong. It was simply a matter of taking care of ones self. If it is cold out, dress warmly. It is a Mommy's job to point out if it is cold so that little kids can take care of themselves. She's not trying to be right, just show her little ones some love. I even threw in the fact that if a child is too little to understand when a Mommy is trying to take care of them then they also probably still need naps every day. (Oh the much hated NAPS)

Still he didn't crack. He had the funniest scrunched up face, red nose and arms crossed over his chest. I had to fight not to laugh at him. So we drove around for about another 2 minutes. Then I announced that I was cold and we were going home. If Seth didn't want to be warm he could stay on the patio. And he cracked. Noooo, he didn't want to stay on the patio, he was COLD! I turned up the heat, closed the windows and headed home. The whole while I continued to talk about how it wasn't a matter of right and wrong, it was really just a matter of taking care of each other. I asked him to explain it back to me and he did. We hurried into the house and I made hot chocolate and gave lots of hugs.

Oh those natural consequences. They work so much better than yelling, pleading, bribing, etc. I hated to let them get cold, but they were only in the car for about 12 minutes and the car was warm from the garage. They got just cold enough to make a point. Now let's see how tomorrow morning plays out. I will give them 3 reminders and we go. I hope it's cold again. LOL!


Diana said...

Ohhh, goodie. We had a morning like this, too. Indeed, you are right. The natural consequences are the ONLY ones that even remotely work. Isn't therapeutic parenting just so much fun?

Reba said...

I am really big on natural consequences. Love the way you explained it to them!