I have three little kids that act like little kids and sometimes (most of the time) it feels like hubby and I are on DEFCON AHHHHHHH! as we try to manage the myriad of behaviors, relationships, triggers, stressors, and issues that come with this life we’ve been
handed given blessed with. Each child IS a blessing, but at some point the blessings need to learn not to threaten others with sticks, that you don’t get combo points in life for simultaneously pouting, stomping, and whining, and that when mom/dad tells you to do something you don’t like T-Rex style ROARING in their face is not an acceptable response. (the names were withheld to protect the guilty)
So, yeah. We plan to have a very intentional summer with the kids, but it’s not just about behavior it’s about their hearts (and our blood pressure), and bringing some peace and unity back to our family. Hearts and behavior go together like peanut butter and jelly (just to keep this kid-friendly). You can have one without the other, but it just makes a mess. I mentioned before that my word these days is “mend”. We’re taking a multi-pronged approach because generally those are the only ones which work to produce lasting change.
The area that we’re tackling first is spending more 1:1 time with the kids. ALL of our kids need this, some more than others, but still it has to happen for each of them. For one of my kids, I suspect this is going to be his love-language. Some of the 1:1 time will just be purely for the sake of spending time together and in other places the 1:1 time is dual-purposed. It will be time alone together and it will also help us meet other goals that we have with that particular child as well. Here’s our plan to get one on one time with them.
Pickle & Boohoo: (same goal, but done individually) READ 460 BOOKS BETWEEN JUNE 1-AUG 31. It boils down to 5 books (each) every day. That allows that child to be the chief Page Turner, Lap Sitter, Comment Maker, Question Answerer, Attention Soaker-Inner and the goal is really to do this alone and not with the other kids hanging about so that means that books read en masse don’t really count because the whole point is to not make that kid compete for attention. Peanut can (and does) listen without butting in so we don’t worry too much about him listening in. It’s mostly about not having the babies clamoring/clambering over each other. I made them each a “Book Book” which is basically a sticker chart so we can keep track. Yes, we’re already behind. It’s a work-in-progress.
Peanut: Bike Riding Chart. Peanut needs the chance to do things that the babies aren’t doing and to burn off some of that 5 year old boy energy and use those muscles and large motor skills more than just in the backyard. This was one of his favorite things to do before we moved and unfortunately here we’re not set up for it the same way. He has to ride in the street, which is an extremely quiet and rarely traveled residential street, but obviously involves an adult right beside him. We didn’t set a specific goal because this is a little more complicated to work out since I can’t do this with him until Andrew comes home from work, but his chart goes up to 1560 minutes which would be a little under twenty minutes a day, if we hit 1000 minutes that’s about ten minutes a day, an hour a week would be 790 minutes approximately. The point here is that little boys like bike riding and they like the sound of all those big numbers. lol. His page has a little calendar at the bottom for him to use as a countdown as well. In the first week…we’ve only gotten him out there for twenty minutes. Yikes.
Boohoo’s Weekly Schedule. Maybe you’ve heard rumblings, but we have some attachment problems in this house. Boohoo needs extra time with Andrew and I so we can intentionally be working on nothing except being together and making it fun. Leaving this up to spontaneously happening every day isn’t good enough. It’s like how therapists tell overly scheduled married couples to schedule sex, personal trainers tell their clients to write in their exercise time and commit to it, burgeoning writers set dedicated writing time, military squadrons have mandatory morale building, and therapeutic parents have enforced bonding. We call it “Fifteen Focused Minutes with Boohoo”. To totally make this as excuse-proof as possible I set up what we should do each day, maybe I’ll change it in July, maybe I won’t. I tried to pick a variety of things for us to do inside, outside, “girly” things, things Andrew won’t rather stab himself in the eye when it’s his turn, etc.
Monday: Coloring, Tuesday: Playing Outside, Wednesday: Stickers, Thursday: Playing with toys in her room, Friday: Play a game, Saturday: Paint nails, Sunday: Go on a walk.
We haven’t hit every day and just to be totally nerdy-real to you, I need to make a spreadsheet so we can track ourselves, but we’re making an effort and we’ve done more days than we’ve missed. In a week do you know what I’ve noticed? She loves it. Oh my word, does this girl thrive as the center of attention! She does so well that I get bogged down in my own mental quicksand (that she would be a different (healthier) child if she was the youngest/only and hadn’t been artificially twinned and therefore we are the wrong family for her and are making her life worse). I think it means something to her as well because we get more attitude and pushing away the next day. It means something to us as well. She is so much easier to enjoy on her own and so it’s nice to have that time of interacting with her that is positive and less ruled by her insecurity and anxiety.
1. to make (something broken, worn, torn, or otherwise damaged) whole, sound, or usable by repairing
2. to remove or correct defects or errors in
3. to set right; make better; improve