Wednesday, May 5, 2010

But How?

Think back with me about Quinn not doing said chore, remember now? sitting on his posterior with said task not fully completed? Right, so, since I told you my rants didn't work because condemnation is so very counterproductive, what do I do? I mean really, you see an unfinished task, rush over and pour on the praise. Not so much. He'd see through that anyway. You see, the thing with my boy, and the thing with a lot of kids is their lack of doing something thoroughly or whatever is not always disobedience or rebellion, it's just,

um....well, it's like this...

You spilled coffee on your shirt, crud. So you head to the closet to grab a different one, on the way there, the toddler walks up and says, “Mom, I poobey.” Poobey changed and conquered, you head for the bedroom once more, then your 10 year old comes in, “Mom, can you help with this math problem.” Sure, area...perimeter, blah blah. Then a call from the bathroom, “Mooooooooooom, CAN YOU WIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIPE ME?”-- “On my way.” You aren't even headed to the closet anymore, you stop by the kitchen to wipe crumbs off the counter to not give the critters a reason to visit. Then comes your daughter, “Mommy, your shirt is all dirty, how many times do I have to tell you to not use your shirt as a napkin? Why haven't you changed yet? What were you doing? Good grief, it's like talking to a wall. Now, go change your shirt.”

See what I mean? We all get distracted. Right? Right. Now, don't get me wrong, there's the need for explanation of thoroughness and it's importance, not being negligent, whatever. But you can encourage a child whose weak in a certain area or you can crush him and push him away. Quinn will readily admit that he is weak in the area of attentiveness or alertness, being aware of his surroundings and responding correctly. He just recently had an incident where he “cowboyed” a situation as I like to call it and later wished he'd showed more wisdom. His dad and I had to talk with him about it and we didn't berate him...we did survey the situation, talked it through and gave him direction on what to do to remedy it as well as encouraging him not to do it that way in the future. He responded great and showed real character.

There will always be time for correction, correcting wrong doings and attitudes, but when we condemn, inevitably our kids will pull away from us. Who wants to hear how cruddy they are all the time? Neither do your kids.