Monday, February 2, 2015

A good weekend

I love weekends - but let's face it, most people do. They're the time I get to be away from my desk and with my family, and they're the time I get to use my creative brain to try new things out (like recipes, crafts, new techniques for getting my kids to listen to me?)... While I didn't do any significant crafting projects this weekend, I did try some new things out with the kiddos - notably practicing not repeating myself over and over again. I didn't have a ton of success, but I did have a lot less frustrations than on a "regular" weekend which means I am likely to try this experiment out a little longer to see if it's an anomaly or if it's truly working.
Let me back up a few frames though and talk about the day leading up to the weekend and why this is such a big step for me. If you know my family, you know that we've been working through some behavior issues with my oldest son. This child is incredibly smart, observant, crafty, and strong spirited. This combination will likely be a huge blessing for him when he gets older but for now is an incredibly difficult combination to parent. If you clearly establish the authority pattern with him from the onset and remain consistent with absolutely no chinks in the armor, he does much better. Unfortunately, I did not realize this as he was growing up and was much more of a laid back parent. I was not consistent in the application of the rules and was incredibly lenient in the application of corrective actions as well (a mistake I promise I am no longer making). The reasons behind my parenting folly are the subject of a future post, but for now we'll focus on the present.
Anyway - so we had some testing done with the school system because his preschool teacher had expressed some concerns also several months ago and we got all of the results back this past Thursday. I went to that appointment with a great deal of trepidation because I was quite certain the feedback was going to be all gloom and doom - especially given that the last few weeks have been quite challenging, behavior-wise. But we got in and as the psychology intern was going through all of the results, it quickly became apparent that we were likely not dealing with a major issue but rather one that with the consistent application of positive parenting techniques would likely disappear as our child grew and matured - that while his executive function was not fully matured as of now, that it likely would mature over the next few years and that he would gain more and more ability to exercise control over his temper and reactions to various stimuli. It was like a huge weight was being lifted from my shoulders!
I left that meeting on cloud nine. Seriously.
So I went to the grocery store to get the few items I still needed to finish up making lunches for the kids lunch boxes that day and went home and made a bazillion little heart shaped PB&J sandwiches. Yes. I was so excited I made PB&Js!

I went nuts, I know. Then I was on cloud nine for the rest of the weekend because all of the suddent, it appeared that if we made some minor course corrections to our own parenting techniques we'd be looking at a much different picture. So I wrote down a few things I'd gotten from our meeting and implemented them. What do you know, they worked!

So the weekend was actually much smoother than many I've had in the past. I give you photo evidence below:

We spend a good amount of the day at the Florida Museum of Natural History on Saturday for Children's Day. Thats' where we met Olaf and got our face painted. We did a little archaeology, got to lay down in a dug out canoe, got chased by an American Mastodon, and even got to learn how to hulahoop!

All in all, it was a fun weekend... we'll definitely try this a little longer to see if we continue to get awesome behavior!

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