Thursday, June 04, 2009

Holy Guacamole

I did a dumb thing today.

The kids all do Learning Breakthrough each day. Well, one kid does it incorrectly every. single. day. I've let it slide for a very long time. Today, I finally said, "Ya' know, everyone else has to do it, so how 'bout you just sit and watch while they all take turns OR you can do it correctly the first time."

Can you hear that? It's the sound of a very large rocket careening for earth.

They took a dive. As things go, they did not act out right away. It showed up in bits and pieces and ended with them slamming the bathroom door in their father's face many hours later.

When I entered their room later, they were trying to hang things over my loving words spray painted on their walls. :)

I asked them to lie down on the bed, head on the pillow, so I could put one arm around them (so they didn't have to look at me or any of that jazz). Well, they did the squirmy game, and we were slowly migrating off the mattress. Their head was sinking deeper, and they were almost to my belly. "Honey, please keep your head on your pillow."

My smartie grabbed the far end of the pillow (just above where my head was stationed) and whipped that thing down in lightening speed ... so that what wasn't under their head was tucked neatly down along her stomach. Have I told you this kid is a genius?

Of course, it was so obvious and so very talented ... I couldn't NOT laugh. Deep, cackling belly laugh. They tried hard not to respond. They are great at hiding any hint of happiness with a whining voice. Well, the whining and the laughing and the pillow wrestling and the wiggling ... all turned into a giant tickle/wrestling type thing (I'm not sure where the red pom-pom came from, but at one point we were doing cheers in one another's faces to distract and then go in for a foot tickle and such). We were SO LOUD, and the whole family took turns coming to watch what they thought might be a giant rage ... only to find us cackling and flopping each other all over the room.

It was exhausting, but it was just what we both needed. My child did NOT want to talk about feelings. They DID want to rejoin the family stuff, but could NOT bring themselves to do it. They needed a segue. I gave it to them.

Tomorrow I will prescribe the behavior instead of taking it away. I will tell them very clearly they are are expected do Learning Breakthrough every single day, and I expect them to do it wrong every single day, and they can be sneaky about it or flaunt it, but it needs to be very, very wrong (this reverse psychology does not work on this particular kid right now - to change the behavior, and they will take great delight in actually following the reverse psychology instructions). In all honesty, anything they do with that program is helpful, and it is absolutely not worth them feeling so stripped of control. They have been doing so many positive things lately. Yet, I pushed. It was just too much.

Message received.


Laynie said...

You are such a great mom! I admire you ability to see the humor in these situations and react accordingly. My hero!

Lisa said...

I love the tickle fest. J will beg for the "tickle monster" and will hardly ever cry "uncle" because she loves it so much. BTW...I've used the mirror technique with J. It's hysterical. She cannot hold a straight face. Hee hee!

angie said...

What a great post! Christine, you are such a good mom! My husband and I are being considered to adopt a sibling group. I'm scared but hope so badly that they pick our family. I really feel like these kids are my children! anyway, your blog has taught me so much about attachment and adopting the "older child" and I just love your family! Pray for me, that we get to be the parents of these kids!!

Unknown said...

Oh it's so painful when we can see how our actions cause their reactions. Message taken indeed! However that activity looks cool. I'm going to have to file that one away for later (just in case...)

Anonymous said...

I love these peeks into your life. I worked at a special needs school and we had a number of students with RAD. Thanks so much for sharing real life experiences, ups and downs, of how to effectively love these children. People need to hear this!
- jen

Also, I am passing on a blog award to you! Details are here: