Wednesday, January 13

Raising Jack!

I'm not a big proponent of "Time Out" as I feel an arbitrary amount of time with a child sitting in a corner doesn't do much to help the child figure out what's wrong or work out why he needs to change his behavior. However, we DO have a corner where Jack goes to sit when he's insane!! He usually gets to sit there until he feels he has calmed down and is ready to be part of the household again and I had never put a time on it. Today I started adding the element of time. I still don't think it's a great plan, but I think it worked non the less!! I have said, countless times, that raising Jack is very hard work. Jessie was ( and is ) a cakewalk compared to Jackster and Jack is getting BIGGER and STRONGER and ANGRIER. I have been calm, I have spoken quietly with him, I've expressed my disappointment, sent him to his room to calm down, I've yelled, begged, cried, screamed..... nothin'. That boy is stubborn and determined and I have not yet found that switch to help him behave himself in a reasonable manner.... although...I do feel like we turned a corner today. I feel like we turn so MANY corners that we are going around in circles, nevertheless we have to keep trying, what are the choices otherwise!!! ;D

We've been studying Time lately so if he had to go in the corner for beating up his sister then I told him he had to sit there for 5 minutes. It's right by the kitchen and he can have a book to read if he wants... anyway, he took off and tried to steal some brownies from the I said I would add an extra 5 minutes to his time if he didn't hustle back to his spot... he started yelling at me, so I threatened 10 minutes.... he figured out that would be bad and went back to his spot. See? He's learning time management!! :}

Jessie and I came up with some rhymes to help Jack remember how to behave... it's all very well me telling him he needs to "be good" if I don't actually tell him what "good" is. Our rhymes remind him of what not to do at this point but I'll try and work on some that reinforce a positive message!! From the book "Kids are worth it" I think, comes "If you hit, you sit." If Jack beats on anyone he gets to sit in the corner, in the bathroom, on the couch... wherever.. but he needs to sit and stay there until he is ready to calm down and apologise for hitting. We have "If you yell, you spell!!" sounds crazy, but if he yells at me or Jessie, and BOY does he yell sometimes, then he has to go with me and we work on some spelling words with him until he has relaxed and calmed down ( hah! Sneaking in some school work!! ) actually he really enjoys "building words" so it does help him cool out. There is "If you are mean, you clean" ! Mean children get to help me with chores. Again this isn't really meant to be a "punishment", I simply find work for him to do ( which, as I've said before, he really rather enjoys! ) and it calms him down and refocuses him. Maybe he'll sort laundry, dust the house or help me with the dishwasher... The last one so far is "You thrown, you get low" ... he throws anything he has to lay on the floor for a while until the urge has passed!! We'll see if any of these things work for any length of time, so far the novelty alone has got us through the day! Hopefully just having these things in his mind may make him eventually think twice before being a crazy person. I've always tried to treat him as I would like to be treated and to be reasonable and understanding etc, but man, this kid cries out for structure and consequences. It goes against my grain but we're working on it.... every day's an adventure!!!!

Now.... where's that chocolate bar..??


Risa said...

We use simple rhymes here too (e.g., "Sit square in your chair") so I am going to borrow some of yours. "If you're mean, you clean" is awesome! The boys have regular chores and help out and such, but there are some extra jobs that always need doing and I think putting a child to work on something constructive ("Wow! We did a great job washing the floor--look how shiny it is now!") is a great idea. With Daegan in particular I am finding he is now old enough that he is a happier chap when he feels useful, even if he grumbles while doing the task.

I hope you've found some Downs connections and mentors that can give you some ideas and strategies to try as Jack gets older--and as you say, BIGGER and STRONGER and ANGRIER.

Something Daegan came up with on his 'list of things to calm down' was drawing his feelings, He'll draw faces or dinos that are sad/mad etc., and then tell me a story about why they are feeling that way, and then we change the story to how they cheered up again. The more absurd/funny the better.

Samantha said...

I think I'm going to borrow the "If you hit, you sit" rhyme for Jos.
Great ideas!! :D