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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Expert Advice

This past week was a rough one. Adam was in Ottawa for work so I was alone with the girls. Things were okay until Thursday morning when Big A and I had a huge blow out. It was triggered by me asking her to put her socks on, something she is supposed to do before the television goes on in the morning. But she didn't bring them downstairs when she came down so I let it slide. I went up and got them from her room later on and told her she had to put them on or the t.v. was going off. She fought me on it so I turned off the t.v. So she turned it back on. So I picked her up and brought her to her bedroom for a time out. She hit me and pinched me and would not stay in her room. She came downstairs and turned the t.v. on again. I called Adam in Ottawa at this point desperate for help. He advised me to disconnect the satellite. Big A then screamed and yelled from that point until I got her to school. It was a nightmare.

Perfect timing for the parenting consultants to come over that evening. And boy, am I glad they did. Their advice was certainly not earth-shattering, but it was advice I needed and it IS WORKING!!!! Basically, they said Big A misbehaves with me (A) Because she wants attention and she doesn't care if it's positive or negative, and (B) I am not consistent enough so she is always testing to see when I will bend the rules. So essentially, I (we - Adam too) have to: (1) Be 100% consistent, NO RULE BENDING, (2) Completely ignore bad behaviour and make a HUGE deal of any positive behaviour (like over the top, cheering, etc.), and (3)Give immediate punishments/rewards (no more prizes for 1 week of good behaviour, etc., reward or punish behaviour immediately). Since I've been doing all this (3 days now), it has made all the difference. She is not challenging me all the time, she is treating me with more respect and we are enjoying our time together so much more. I am so thrilled and relieved. The consultants are also coming back Wednesday evening with some ideas for ways in which Big A and I can spend some quality time together. Halleluyah!

A mom of 2 sets of twins, who I know, who takes me Sunday spinning class, asked me how I could not have known to do these things. I did sort of, but I think things got so bad that I didn't think that doing these things would make a big difference or be effective. I don't know...I guess it's like people who "know" what they should be eating and know that they should be exercising to lose weight, but they still need to see a dietitian and/or personal trainer to get them going. Or maybe I'm just an idiot. At least I figured this all out now and not 10 years from now...