Yesterday I got a hair brained idea that a treasure box and chart might help my kids be more… well, manageable. A lot of you fabulous readers suggested something like this so I know it had to be tried!
Intelligent me took all three girls, right after a busy day at school, to the dollar store to look for goodies. After a good 30 minutes of, “Mommy, I want…” and “Mommy, can I have that for my birthday?”, I was all done. I took my loot to check out and wrestled with the kids who were eagerly unloading the basket all over the counter.
Apologizing to the check out lady, I departed, frustrated and wanting to put my kids in the box rather than reward them from it!
When I got home I realized I was stumped.
I did not know how to proceed.
How do I make a box? What would I put on the chart? How do I reward them?
I called my neighbor, who, in my very important opinion, should have been a teacher or nanny or something to do with kids, but isn’t, and asked if she had any ideas.
She said that she would think on it and let me know.
My neighbor has gone out to her garage, sprayed a box green, added eyes to “watch” the girls, a hook, a sign and brought it over.
No, you can not have her!
She brought it in and we got to talking about the chart. She immediately got to work drawing pictures of the rules… ’cause my kids can not read, you see. I would not have thought of that!
Both girls screamed – loudly – in protest.
My neighbor, April, says, “You could just give them each a toy and that would calm them too!”
Hmm – brilliant. Why didn’t I think of that?
I gave the girls toys and it got quiet.
Soon we got back to the chart and Katie started one of her ugly sassy episodes because she wanted Sarah’s book and not the one I had given her.
I started to threaten and April stepped in – which I highly encourage of all people around my children, whether I am there or not! No shame in my mommy pride!
She told Katie that tempers were meant to be held and that when she got angry, she liked to take deep breaths and think of rainbows.
So simple… yet so far from my brain!
Seems I should know how to do that.
April went home eventually and I resumed my yelling and time out throwing and deep sighs of frustration. I kept reminding the kids that there was going to be a goodie chart and they needed to earn their heart stickers. But since April was drawing it at her house, they had no concept.
She has talent!
And this morning the girls have been on their p’s and q’s trying to earn those coveted heart stickers!
It has occurred to me, however, that maybe I am just not a kid person. I would have never come up with the box or the drawing of the rules or any of the other brilliant parenting moves that April exhibited while here for just a few minutes.
I just don’t think that way, I guess. Instead of being creative and calm, I am analytical and spastic. Possibly expecting too much from little kids.
It seems so easy when I watched my neighbor. So effortless. So natural.
What I do seems so forced, frustrating, and ineffective.
Maybe I am just not a kid person. Seems I should be. But I think I am just not!
Maybe if I watch my neighbor long enough, I’ll learn how to be one. Until then, my poor kids will just have to suffer through!