Monday, August 25, 2008

That's fine. There's no rush.

I have a child who is working through healing and attachment. Part of their survival mechanism is to move at a snail's pace. Change is scary, and moving slowly can slow down the change ... the event ... the day ... the family. It's quite brilliant.

On one particular day last week (for whatever reason - many to choose from, including "the sky was blue" and "we were all breathing oxygen") one child refused to do their schoolwork in a timely fashion. Now, the moms parenting trauma are not batting an eye. Some others, perhaps, are wondering if I'm being too harsh or expecting too much. So, here's a comparison. It would be as if they chose to take seven hours to pee and wipe. Something they've done a million times before. Just ... not doing it. Hoping for some control - some sense of safety. They're not mean or lazy. They're just surviving, and it was a day of very big feelings.

So, you acknowledge the fear. Yet, you must also go about your day, and not allow said child to dictate the outcome for everyone else.

On this most recent occasion, I whipped something out of the old Love & Logic folder in my brain, and was quite delighted with myself. I needed to go to the store. I knew that this child would want to go to the store, and enjoy a break from staring blankly at their little project (this child had already spent our library time at a table ... staring blankly). Instead, I called a neighbor girl. "Hello? I am looking for someone to do some babysitting for about the next half hour. I will pay you $5, since this is so last minute. All you have to do is sit on the couch. My child will be doing schoolwork and is not allowed to talk to you or interact with you in any way. If that were to happen, of course, you would receive some extra payment. Oh, and my child will be paying you out of their allowance when we all return from the store."

You've never seen a child move so fast.

Of course, even if that had not been the result, I could have made my trip to the store, and not been responsible for payment to the babysitter. Ba-bing-bang-boom.

17 comments:

darbishar said...

Genius!

topsytechie said...

Oh, I come up with that crafty, quirky, smart-as-a-whip stuff too, ya know! Only problem is that it comes to me two weeks after I need it. Some of us have brains that take two weeks to pee and wipe, I suppose. Sigh.

Cammie said...

I LOVE THIS! It is totally something I would do!

Parkerchica said...

Love and Logic has helped me not to lose my temper on so many occasions. The current catch phrase at our house is "I'll be intersted to see how you work that out." So freeing.

Lisa said...

Gotta love that Love & Logic stuff. Sometimes I have brain blip too and remember it after the fact but when I do remember it works like a charm!
Thanks for the reminder Christine!

Brenda said...

I happened to mention Love & Logic on my blog today too. Great minds... I love that you thought of that and used it so cleverlyful.

Melissa said...

Loved this! "RADish" - that is too funny!

lana said...

Oh Love & Logic... you are my friend. I pulled out the book three nights ago as it seems my 4 year old has completely reverted to something I don't even recognize. We are starting all over it seems at Basic German Shephard!

Oh give me strength... and love... and logic!

Tracie said...

I laughed out loud! That is so brilliant! Thanks for sharing.

Leah said...

Never thanked you for the book reco a few months back but it has totally transformed my parenting style into something both effective and life skill building! I love it

Sara said...

good good stuff.

Meridith said...

lovin it!!!!

Leaders In Learning said...

Got to love it! I live in this same world. I've carried my 80lb and more kids to the car when we had to leave somewhere and the threat of wearing pj's in public at noon no longer worked. We brought shoes, clothes, hairbrush(which won't get used anyway without a war) and even cereal in a cup with milk and a plastic spoon.

I've also smiled and waved casually at people who wondered why I was in the back seat of our mini-van between the kids in a therapeutic hold while my husband drove us to our destination.

LilySea said...

ooooh! You're good!

Devin said...

Brilliant!

Unspeakable Joy said...

ah, i have two snails here, drives me insane. course i end up with more of a love and nothing, since logic eludes them. they'd prefer to pay for babysitter and be mad at me for making them. ah but for my "normal" kid, he'd be finished in a flash!

Tudu said...

I came looking for porn and got a giggle instead.