Wednesday, November 01, 2006

text book: bounderies

(something is wrong with blogger, so I'll spell check this later)

The setting: Jaime was home Friday evening, which is unusual since she normally works evenings. I asked David what he wanted for dinner and we settled on scrambled eggs--a new favorite because he can scramble them himself. He helps me make his dinner and we all sit down at the table to talk and eat.

David was picking at his food but not eating. We have a rule that if we prepare a reasonable meal and he doesn't eat a reasable amount, he doesn't get anything else to eat the rest of the evening. We have gotten pretty good about not being emotional and nagging about it--eat if you want, don't eat if you don't want, but no snacks. So we simply reminded him of this rule and resumed our conversation. At one point he started playing with this plate--scooching it towards the edge of the table and tipping it. We let him know that, if he dumped it, he would have to leave the table and, since we are having an unusually late meal, it is bed time, so he'll go straight to bed. He paused, affected wry grin and turned his plate upside down.

We totally kept our cool. As if nothing unusual happened, I asked him to get his broom and dustpan out of the closet and help me clean up the mess. Then I told him to give his mother a hug and kiss goodnight. Reality must have set in at this point and the wailing began. I redirected (! (I'm lousy at that) by reviewing everything we'd be doing--potty, brush teeth, pjs, prayer, read books. Distracted, he headed for the Dora toothbrush in the bathroom. All was good until he struck up a conversation about the subject while getting stapped into the pjs. I don't remember how he brought it up, but we began reviewing the events of the past 15 minutes. He need to clarify the "no more food" part, "can I have a bisquit?"



So I walked out letting him know that when he was calm, he could let me know and I'd return. The rest of bed time went normally.

I was just so proud of Jaime and I for keeping our cool that I had to share. I notice that when I lose my cool with David it is partially because I was lazy at some earlier point and didn't establish clear and reasonable boundaries, leaving me nothing to work with when it hits the fan.


No comments: