Last week I tried something new to get my youngest and middle child to sleep. My 9 year old went to bed right away. My youngest, literally seconds after agreeing to the new incentive, started screaming about it. I did what I needed to do. I gave the “good” mark to the older child, and wrote “No” next to my younger child’s name. The next morning, I received a call at work from my husband… My youngest had checked the chart and saw “no” next to his name. I explained that this was the “First Time Club” and in order to win, you needed to go to bed the first time asked, no exception. (This is what he agreed to seconds before flipping out when I let them know it was bedtime) He was not happy, but the really good thing is he DID NOT FLIP OUT.
Over the weekend, when they would have received the “reward”, there was friction.
“But I was good last night”.
Oh! It’s so hard when they throw the truth at you. Deep breath. “Yes, you were good last night, but you need to go to bed five nights in a row to earn the reward of slumber parties on the weekend.”
Again, the negotiator in me wanted to give in, because he was good… but I stuck to my guns… and neither of us was happy. Hopefully though, what I just taught him is that I will NOT negotiate and give in if he’s only good one day. He needs to be good all the time… Let’s see how it goes.
Follow-up; We received a note from school last night that Littlest Dude has the “opportunity” for remedial reading instruction after school a few days a week. I’m okay with it. I’m just sad because I thought he was getting better. How can a kid that gets 100% on his spelling tests need remedial reading? I guess I need to find time at night to read to him more. ERGH. So hard to find enough time to do everything you need to do.
Follow-up#2: Littlest Dude has to sit at the detention table for the rest of the week at lunch because they asked him to sit down three times. Ugh. How can you coach your kid when you are not there to use the program with him? (And his teacher is not at lunch either) His Dad did the eight step with him when he got home. I hope Little Dude understands.
Lesson 7: How to stop it before it starts: Yes PLEASE! I need some wisdom here!
This gives a set of steps and actions to help your child to NOT have a problem. The scary thing is, this is something I can teach him, and then he has to do it on his own. I am not always going to be there when a friend is mean to him. I am not always going to be there when he wants to run in the cafeteria. This part is HIS.
He was excited to sit down and do this, but by the second question he was over it, and started to act out a bit. I decided to make it more fun by acting out his most recent “problem” the way it happened first, and then we worked on how he could have managed it better. We ended up giggling about it, and practicing the “right way” again. Hopefully, it will work.
It’s up to you now, Littlest Dude.