Moving on! ;D
Our weather has suddenly grown magnificent and I find myself spending as much time out in it as I can. I also find myself encouraging the children to be out in it whilst I remain indoors, in the cool and the peace and quiet. Yes. It's like that.
Jackster is proving to be problematic. Oh I know, we aren't really surprised by this are we? After all, he is a boy, he is nearly 7 and he is hampered in his lack of communication and social skills due to his Down's. I've finally come to the conclusion that I can not parent him the way I parented Jessica. It just won't work that way. That has been my problem I think. I have tried to parent both children in the same way and they are as different as chalk and cheese. Jessie longs to please and always has. She wants to hold my hand, be polite, be helpful and kind. Jack ... not so much. Jack seems to feel no compunction what so ever to make me happy and seems sometimes to be TRYING to make people crazy! Awkward doesn't seem to cover it sometimes!! Awkward and stubborn!! As I said, I have reached a difficult conclusion and that is I have been too soft on him. I've been parenting him incorrectly. With Jessie I could reason with her. I could make suggestions, encourage, discuss.... with Jack he doesn't care for reasoning, ignores suggestions, yells at me and talks over me when I try to encourage and is as likely to threaten "'Mack you?!" if I want to discuss something with him. Ergo my thought that he needs to be parented a tad more firmly. What we have tried, and what seems to be working for Jack, is a zero tolerance approach. OK, not Zero, perhaps one ! A One Tolerance approach!!! We have found that "suggesting" something to Jack doesn't work. We now TELL something to Jack. He gets choices when it's reasonable, but only when it's reasonable. For instance, at the dentist recently. I'd sent the kids in with the dental tech and waited in the waiting room for them. I had to speak to someone about my insurance so was near the door to the surgery. I peeked in through the window..... Jessie was in the chair getting her teeth done and Jack was on the floor playing whilst a dental assistant stood by looking frustrated. I popped my head in and asked if they WANTED him to be playing or were they wanting him to do something else. They said they wanted him to have his X rays, but he was busy playing! They had asked him "Jack, do you want to go and get your teeth X rayed now?!!!" I told them to say "Jack, it's time for your X rays now." They did. He got up and went with them to the X ray room! ;D Like magic!! If I tell Jack he needs to do something or to stop something he gets one chance to do it. If he doesn't do it I will remind him again, if still nothing, then he will have to go and sit in the corner until he is ready to do what he was asked. I do all this as calmly and gently as possible, but also, firmly. No messing. I have also found if he asks me, say, for more ice cream, and I say no, and he continues to whine and beg for more I tell him as reasonably as possible that he has had some ice cream, he is not going to have any more just now and I will no longer be discussing it as it is non negotiable. He may continue to beg or whine on, but I refuse to even acknowledge his whining and he soon tires of it. I have already noticed that the whining is lessened. A huge part of our problem stems from my tendency to baby him and side with him due to his Down's. He has been able to get away with a lot more poor behaviour than his sister ever did mostly because she was so easy to parent. With Jack I would do everything I did with Jessie and it wouldn't work. I'd get so worn out trying to get him to do as he was told that I would eventually just give up and let him do what ever the hell he wanted just so I could get some peace.
Wrong wrong wrong.
Yeah, I know that now. Anyway, happily I think there is still hope for us here. I'm going to try treading this tougher, unused path and see what gives. It feels hard as I don't like being tough on him, BUT I don't like him being so mean and rude.
Wish me luck folks, it's a new and steep learning curve for me! I'm going to need some new climbing boots!! ;D