Have you said this before in an attempt to gert your children to eat or pack away?
- "Do you know how many children there are in the world who do not have food?"
- "How would you like it if I gave all your toys away to the children who don't have any toys? maybe that would teach you to look after them."
Length: 1 minute
This interview is part of longer one on SAFM radio. The longer one can be heard here
Do SOMETHING DIFFERENT . That's resonated with my soul, and there have been lots of little chances to implement it.
Adrian, now 7, doesn't listen. Ever. This morning I called him for breakfast, and he ignored me. I called again. He ignored again. Usually I would call another 3 times before my husband would come and shout at Adrian for not listening and I would shout at my husband for shouting at Adrian – I know this is silly, but it is how it has been for us.
Do something different I thought.
So I walked over to where Adrian was, and looked him in the eye and said in a firm voice " I have called you twice and you haven't come. I need you to come and eat your breakfast now, and to come when I first call in the future."
He didn't fuss or scream like he usually does, but came and ate his breakfast, and my husband didn't need to get cross, and its a much better dynamic. I know as I do it more and more Adrian will come earlier and earlier. There’s light at the end of my tunnel.
Yesterday, we were on about Day 7 of both girls being sick. We were all feeling quite irritable and cabin feverish. As something interesting to do that would get us out of the house and not involve them going out in the cold or coughing and spluttering on anyone else, we decided to go for a drive ‘to see the sea’.
Of course going for drives often means that both girls fall asleep which provides some much needed peace, quiet and space for mom! To make it just little more fun and interesting I decided we could stop at the drive –thru for some chippies for the girls and a coffee for me.
I have a bit of a thing about hearing people chew. It annoys me immensely, even more so when my levels of irritation are already raised. So I said to the girls, ‘Girls, remember that we chew with our mouths closed’ and a bit later: ‘I don’t want to hear you chewing those chips.’
They responded to this with various protests about how they were chewing with their mouths closed and that you couldn’t chew without making a noise etc etc.
The conversation changed and we carried on with our drive with the older one chatting away and the younger one in a mood telling us both to be quiet! In the meantime I still had coffee to drink. As I picked up my coffee my three year old daughter pipes up from the back: ‘Mom, I don’t want to hear you drinking that coffee!!’. And with that promptly fell asleep.
That little comment instantly snapped me out of my mood and I couldn’t stop laughing. It changed my day. Isn’t it amazing how kids have the ability to hold up a mirror and let us laugh at ourselves!
After week one of the course, Lana was eating breakfast and started complaining that her breakfast was not sweet enough, not enough sugar in, this is a constant argument between us. One I normally respond to her with denial that it is sweet enough and I have put more than enough in and the battle persists for awhile.
This particular time she started complaining, I went to sit with her and said is it really not sweet enough? No dad, it’s just that all the sugar is on the bottom, I asked her if I could stir it for her, her reply was, yes please. Which I did and to my amazement was now fine and sweet enough.
After the week 2 of the course -We had gone away for the night, I had sorted macaroni cheese for Lana’s supper. After a activity filled day we settled down for supper. I dished up for her and all was cosy…..Dad can I please have some tomato sauce?
Oops. She always has tomato sauce with macaroni cheese. I checked to see if there was any in the cupboards…no luck. I took a moment, and would have handled it completely differently before our last workshop. I told here there was nothing in the cupboards.
I sat with her and said in graphic detail, I wish I could take 100 of the largest tomatoes and cook them in a massive pot and make all this tomato sauce. I would make this awesome tomato sauce and package it into little bags and take some where ever we went and we would never run out.
She contributed to the story a bit and then surprisingly said its fine, and started eating with no more complaints. I was pleasantly surprised. The next morning we woke up early and got ready for a walk.
Lana was walking in the middle between myself and Cathy. She wanted us to swing her, we had just started the walk and I knew it wouldn’t just be 2 swings. So I thought let me give this fantasy skill another try, even though the situation didn’t really call for it.
I said, I wish I could swing back and forwards to get real power and swing her in one big swing all the way to the moon ,which was visible in front of us. And she would land on the moon, she could wave at us from the moon and tell us all about the moon ,and I would wave back.
She added to the story telling us what she would do on the moon. And that was that, she didn’t ask again.