Korey’s hockey team won today, 4 zip. They were so excited and my Mom was in the audience, which made it that much sweeter. The last couple of weeks we’ve seen some big changes in their team. It’s so gratifying as a parent, and payer of the money, to watch them slow down until the puck goes over the blueline and actually shoot the puck against the boards on purpose to clear the zone. Korey played defence today and he made a few key plays, almost got a goal from his end. It was a proud moment.
I feel like we are winning here too. After my first session with “the sanity angel” I was syked to begin taking charge. It didn’t go so well. Korey had a meltdown because I wouldn’t let him eat dinner in the living room, which resulted in his teeth marks on my leg. So out of character for him. I ended up yelling at him and he ate dinner at the table. No one won.
But, I began again. This time with rewards for doing little things, like getting dressed on time in the morning without having to be asked repeatedly. It works! They love the rewards (coupons for small things, like 10 extra minutes on the computer).
I’m also starting to ignore their bad behaviour and noticing their good behaviour. What a difference. I know, this seems like parenting 101, but so often we get caught up in what they are not doing, we forget to tell them they are awesome when they are. I guess since there are more than a dozen books on the subject, I’m not the only parent who needs to learn. Kind of would put the publisher out of business, you know.
This weekend they accompanied me to my hair appointment. I’m sure my hairdresser cringes when she sees us coming. When I arrive solo, she always seems so happy. But, they didn’t make a sound the whole time I was there. Korey played Nintendo and Justin sat in the chair next to me and silently watched my hair fall to the floor.
After that we went grocery shopping and the rules were:
no further than beyond my reach;
no running around;
no climbing in and out of the cart;
no whining for anything.
Every rule was followed. Rewards included a small, inexpensive toy. They were thrilled.
Now, these rewards are achieved in levels, I’m not stupid. Once they master doing something well, then they move on to another activity, just like a video game. They came upstairs for bed the minute I called them last night and once settled Justin said they should get a reward for coming so quickly. I gave him a big hug and kiss and told him sometimes rewards are hugs and kisses. He beemed and said they were good rewards too.
My reward, a great weekend with the kids and on our way home this morning from hockey practice they said they wanted to come to my house instead of Dad’s. They went to Dad’s any way, but the mere fact that they wanted to come here made me beam.
January 26th, 2009 at 1:01 pm
Glad to hear.
January 28th, 2009 at 11:31 am
Wow, you have had your hands full — but it sounds like the sanity-reward system is working. It’s so hard to be rational when kids are pushing our buttons, but you really seem to be doing great. Way to go!
(And, yeah, I’ve been known to pour over a few of those parenting books, too. The Ex and I even took a Positive Parenting class, which seemed so elementary…yet we adults all needed it!)
February 9th, 2009 at 12:33 am
I am a big fan of the reward system. It works – when R was in Grade 7 he was having a lot of trouble with English. We told him if he got an 80 average we wouls buy him the latest game system (whatever that was in 1997!). Anyway, not only did he get the 80, it changed his study habits forever!