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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Bad Choices

It sure would be nice to be able to drop my kids off places without having to worry about what they might do wrong.

We have one child in particular, who, when out of our sight for more than a couple minutes chooses to make poor decisions. I've wondered before if us being strict at home makes him feel like when he gets away, he can breathe. Maybe he feels like he does his best at home and then when he doesn't see us around, he can act how he truly feels.

Today I went to Bible study. Because our two oldest aren't yet signed up for class there, Nana was kind enough to watch them. I figured that since it was just the two of them, it would be pretty easy for her.

When I picked them up, I asked how they did. Nana was nice and said that they did "fine!" But Mr. C made sure to announce (repeatedly) that J-Man wasn't "good." Nana kept saying that no, J-Man did just "fine." She mentioned that she told the boys she would pay them a dollar to rake up some leaves outside. Now, J-Man is not a self-motivated child. At least when it comes to any kind of work. The second he feels like something is a "chore," he wiggles and complains and mopes about it. So I guess Nana had to be on him a bit to keep on task. She specifically asked them not to rake the leaves into the pool, but of course that was like a challenge to him. So he took a leaf, held it over the pool, and said, "Oooh, look what I'm gonna do!" and proceeded to drop the leaf in the pool.

It's mostly just things like that. It's not like he's doing awful morally-wrong things. He's just being immature. And obnoxious. And not a joy to be around. Sigh. I know some of you mothers can sympathize with me; especially you fost-adopt moms.

I'm thankful that I'm homeschooling now so I can maybe get a better idea of what sets J-Man off this way. And maybe be able to discover ways to help him channel those negative choices into something better.

So for those of you with child(ren) like this, what advice to you have? What works? I feel like we've tried many things, but often feel like this child is just dying to make bad choices! He has no forethought of consequences. He knows as soon as he does something wrong that he's gonna be in trouble, but doesn't think about that beforehand. So I wonder--is it immaturity? Or something else?


:)De said...

Ooo Ooo...I had 1 of those. ~Smile~ Have you ever read some of the stuff by Elizabeth Krueger? I have not read all of her writings, but I did really find the parts on "tomato staking" to make alot of sense for my son. His school behavior (along with Sunday school, prayer meeting, children's church, Nana's house, etc....) was the reason I began homeschooling. I really believe that having J Man home will help you to start identifying triggers for his behaviors.


Essie the Accidental Mommy said...

Let me know when you figure it out.

De, can I tomato stake after 2 1/2 years?

There are a few things I am at a total loss with. When I don't know what the heck else to do, I do a few things lol. The little offender clearly needs more rest, or he/she would not have misunderstood the directions. Rest can be assigned for just about anything. No books, no toys, nothing but the kid resting on the bed until he/she see's the light.

The other thing is to make their world smaller and smaller until they can handle it. At one point I had Genea sitting on one side of the couch in the corner and that was all the room she could have. She couldn't even squirm, but it worked and she held herself together in her little 6 inch area.

Last, jumping jacks or push ups because your brain is clearly stuck if you are raking leaves into the pool. Your brain is stuck on the bad choice so let's get it un-stuck. I start with 10 and add 5's as needed.

Those annoying, tedious, incessant, obnoxious behaviors are what exhaust me at the end of the day. A side note, I love that pic on your sidebar of him. He is such a cutie in his fancy clothes!

Melanie said...

Yeah...I have those moments with my crew at times...I finally learned to go to the store ALONE and that it was ok. Imagine me at Walmart gro shopping with 6 kids. Not fun for me or the other people in the store! I read Connected Child by Karyn Purvis and that helped us with some issues that we had. There are some really good info and practical advice. SO when my kids have thrown all the pillows off the couch I now say in a calm deeper than normal voice "I see pillows on the floor...where do the pillows belong?" and Jailynn smiles and says on the couch. Then she picks them up and puts them on the couch. Also...when the sweet angels start to demand me to do something for them in a not so sweet tone of voice...I ask them to "Is that how you ask with respect?" and tell them to ask again. When they say Please and ask in a better way...then I say "good job asking with I will get you a drink" When I first read the book and started doing this I felt out of character and well, unnatural because sometimes I would rather naturally raise my voice..but now...this is really working for them. Also they are starting to use it on each other which is really funny. Jailynn will tell JonMarc to ask me with respect. So I think that the techniques work and teaches the children how to get along and respect each other. I hope this helps.

sarahbailor said...

I have a guy like that. his inital bad decision usually sets off a slew of bad choices in himself and my other guys, like your little man they're not morally wrong things but more issues of the heart that have outward implications. my MIL calls him "strong-willed" and she reassures me that if we can get him moving towards God he will use that strong will to do fantastic things.......we aren't there yet. most days are a battle and (don't tell him) somedays I'm sure he has won ;) There are a couple books that continue to shape me as a momma: Creative Correction: Extraordinary Ideas for Everyday Discipline and Don't Make me Count to Three (the library has this one. Any tea stains on it are probably mine, I've borrowed this one so often. The author does an excellent job of addressing heart issues). I purchased the doorpost charts and some of their other products and they have been such a blessing to me as I try to discipline and disciple my guys (
I'm stokked that someone mentioned the "tomato-staking" lady I've had her book in my amazon cart for a while and I'm glad to hear that it's worth reading!

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