Thursday, March 10, 2011

Saying "We're Done"

Yesterday during MK’s therapy session, her therapist and I talked about being DONE.  Not DONE with my kids… but DONE accepting their poor behaviors, attitudes, and overall defiance. 

Dr. P said that often times when you use that exact word followed by what you are DONE with, that you will see pretty immediate results.  She followed that up with, “And if you don’t see results, at least you only wasted 10 minutes of your life.”  

So last night as dinner was happening, the girls were finishing up,  I went downstairs to switch out the laundry, and my husband turned his back for just a moment, and the girls decided to blow bubbles in their drinks. 

Now, don’t think of us as these tough parents that never allow fun in our house.  We do.  However, both girls know not to blow bubbles in their drink, and instead of obeying that simple rule, they decided to SNEAK and do it anyway. 

Sneaking and lying are hot topics for my husband and I, we’re probably two of the most honest people I know.    That being said, we have both been extremely burned by other people that were liars, thieves, and sneaks.  So that is the #1 behavior we will not tolerate.  It is really one of the only behaviors we consequence EVERY SINGLE TIME.  In my eyes, if you’re not lying or sneaking, you’re probably making right choices and there is no need for any consequence.

So after being busted for sneaking, both girls were given a very stern talking to/with.  Husband and I both made it incredibly CLEAR we were DONE with the lying, sneaking, and defiance.  There is no reason for it, and from now on we will NOT tolerate an ounce of it (not that we were before). 

I know my kids had tough starts, I realize some things do not click into place,  I am very patient with them most days and I keep in mind that it doesn’t always get through their walls.
Last night we had tears and words of manipulation from MK and defiance and rudeness from Layla.    They both heard us though when we said we were DONE and OVER their poor behaviors. 

We played a little game of “What If You Were The Parent” with Layla.  Some of the questions were:

If you were the mom would you be happy or upset if your kid lied?  “Upset”
If you were the mom would you be proud or disappointed if your kid was being sneaky?  “Disappointed” 
If you were the mom would you be happy or sad if your kid had a good day at school? “Happy”

And so… now that we've reviewed what Layla would do if she was a mom… we said,  “So when mommy and daddy do the SAME THING you would do if you had a kid, what makes our choice wrong, or makes us mean?” 

Layla quickly retreated as that light bulb went off.  She then transformed back into a loving sweet kid!

The biggest thing that gets me, and I realize it is both age and trauma appropriate is that she is SO focused on if we are right she is wrong, and then pity party ensues because she “ain’t never not right.”  She is so determined to have that control, that she doesn't even understand or recognize all of the control we give her each day.  

Last night we explained that all of the times we aren’t telling her she did something wrong/made a bad choice that she IS RIGHT. 

We also highlighted all of the choices she gets to make in a day.  And that if she makes the wrong choice, we are her parents, and we have to let her know about that. 

So we will see what their moods are like tonight.  I think we all just needed a fresh reminder of the fact that some things just can not and will not be tolerated.  We’re 7 months into this, the rules haven’t changed, only the players personalities have.

1 comment:

Last Mom said...

Hopefully that will do the trick for a while! We've been there. It usually seems to stem from a feeling of "un-safeness" in our world. The "NO MORE" meeting (and usually some consequences) seem to work for us. It's like she needs that firm line drawn to know that we're in control and she's safe. Hoping it's what your girls needed, too!