Today was not a great day in terms of peaceful parenting…..
First day of term; I took the kids to the airport the last night to see off my brother who was visiting from Europe for a couple of weeks and kind of hijacked the school holdiays; the day before yesterday was my cousin’s wedding and we all had a late night and stayed at accommodation close to the wedding; to add to the general stress and confusion, my sister is quite sick and was admitted into hospital yesterday and is still there now, and my grandfather (who has cancer) was not feeling very well at the wedding either, and also had to go into hospital today. I was frazzled and we were all tired.
It took a fair bit of rushing and pushing to get us all out the door in the morning….
In the afternoon I yelled at my son to use a ‘gentle voice’ with his sister. Way to set a good example. Sigh.
I refrained from yelling while trying to pull him away from a puzzle when it was time to shower.
However, I lost the plot later in the evening at about 8:4o. I had fed my daughter to sleep, while reading some books with my son. And now it was well and truly time for me to give him a cuddle and say good night. But my son (who still needs a nappy at bedtime) had yet to put his nappy on. I have in the past kissed him good night, told him to put his nappy on, and left him to do it in his own time…. but that resulted in a lot of smelly wet sheets/blankets for me to wash. So I wanted to stay and make sure he put it on. He was glued to a book…. I gently prompted him a few times ‘put the book away now it’s time to put on your nappy and go to bed.’ He didn’t respond. I heard Lori Petro from teachthroughlove.com ‘s voice in my head, and I said ‘It looks like you’re having trouble pulling yourself away from your book and focusing on what you need to do. Shall I help you by taking the book away, or would you like to put it away yourself?’ No response. I gently count to three, and I think he understands that when I get to three, I’m going to take the book away. I get to 3, and I go to take the book away, ‘no! wait! he shouts, I’m just getting a book mark.’ I say ‘ok.’ He looks over to his desk, picks up a ruler and thinks about using it for a book mark. Then he tells me that he is going to take the ruler to school tomorrow. Then he puts down the book, picks up his ukelele and starts strumming it with his ruler. And at that point I explode.
Sooooooo………. this is the part where I brain storm strategies and ideas about how I could have handled the situation better (and hopefully I’ll know better next time)
Am I being too soft? Letting him get away with too much? I feel the “High Demand; High Support Mantra” going on in my head. Lately I’ve been working on the High Support part, but perhaps I have let the High Demand pat go a bit. …..
I’m falling asleep here as I type this. But I have not yet come up with any ideas or revelations (though getting a good nights sleep is probably a good place to start). So, just quickly, off the top of my head, if I could go back to that moment now, what would I have done differently: I guess a simple: ‘You’re getting distracted, Do you need me to take away the ukelele too?’ might have got the message across……..
I am seriously falling asleep here. I need to go to bed. Maybe I will add to/comment on this later.