Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Screaming at My 7th Grader

One Mom we know had just begun learning love and logic. She had learned about it being non-anger based and wondered how to change her ways. Every morning had become a screaming match with her 7th grader. He was disorganized and couldn't seem to move fast in the morning no matter how much sleep he had. She was tired of struggling to get herself to work and the other kids to school on time... every morning deteriorated to her screaming at him to hurry up while everyone sat in the car and waited.

Some careful consultation with L&L friends led to this plan. She gifted him with an alarm clock to enable him to get up at whatever time he needed to be ready on time and simply said, "Breakfast is at 7:00 and the car pulls out of the driveway at 7:30. " Internally, she committed to a no lecture, no reminder, no screaming morning. At 7:30 she pulled out of the driveway without her son. By the time she got to work he was calling.

"You left without me, how am I supposed to get to school?"

She answered, "Rats! That is a problem. Would you like to know what other kids have tried?"

"What?!" he asked belligerently.

"Some kids walk or ride their bikes to school.

"I am not riding my bike!" he said.

"Good. I'd worry about you on busy roads. Some kids ask a neighbor to take them and offer to pay for gas and some kids call a taxi."

"I can't believe you're such a mean Mom! Maybe I'll just stay home!"

"That's an option. Let me know what you decide. " (and then she hung up.)

He got a ride from a neighbor and even offered to pay her for gas which she declined. The next morning he was on his way out the door by 7:30. The morning screaming dissappeared from this home.

1 comment:

  1. I new this trick and decided to use it today. Katrina (2nd grader) usually slow in am, so I constantly had to remind her to hurry up every few minutes. I felt stressed and she didn't like it too. I warned her day before that I wont do this anymore. Today I reminded her twice it was time to get up, then I just went on with my own routine. Katrina enjoyed herself on the couch for half an hour, visited with butterflys on the window. Long story short, it was only 10 minutes left before we had to leave house. I calmly said: "I don't know what your plans for today are, but honey I need to be at work by 8:30". She was panicking, but there wasn't any anger directed toward me, since I was nice. Katrina got ready in 10 min, except breakfast (I guess sometimes it takes some suffering). On the way to school she painted all kind of horor stories of being called to Mr.Spieler's (our principal) office. Unfortunately, she got late only by 2 min. Then we saw another Katrina's classmate who also was late. Katrina grabed her hand and entered classroom with look on her face: it's not too scary to die with friend by my side :) Tonight she told me not to worry about it anymore, she knows what to do in the morning. Will see. I love this idea to let your child fail to see results of his/her (not yours) choices. It can teach them a lot. This blog is great idea.


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