Thursday, October 2, 2008

All About Mornings - Waking Up 101-2

On the last post I listed some waking up ideas. You shop for the shiny new alarm clock and they choose one they love. They decide when to set it for and where to place it in their room. Next I suggested that you "pray they make a mistake!" Why would I do that? Mistakes are valuable learning experiences. They cement learning as long as parents avoid threats, lectures, explanations, and "I told you so's."

No Matter what: do not lecture, use anger, threats, explain, warn or or scold:
Let the mistake and its natural consequences be the teacher.

Whatever the mistake is: lead with empathy!
What if they only give themselves 15 minutes to get ready and there is no time for a shower or breakfast? Lead with empathy: "I am so sorry. Don't worry, there is a good lunch at school today." or "That is so frustrating. Just don't sit too close to anyone and they won't notice." Empathy allows them to focus on their actions not your anger.

Think through possible scenarios in advance and have a plan. Some options include:
  • They don't have time to get dressed: Have a bag of clothes readyand let them dress in the car.
  • No time to eat: They can wait until lunch at school or you can keep their least favorite ceral bar in the car. (Do not reward them with a gfast food breakfast on the way.
  • You have to leave and they are not ready: Establish in advance what time the car leaves every morning. Then leave at that time no matter what. They can pay a neighbor to take them. (Or pay you to come back and make a second trip if you have time) If they don't have money, arrange with the neighbor in advance to let the child pay in chores, toys, or other belongings worth the gas involved. Don't tell them what you discussed. Let them figure out how to pay.
  • They throw a temper tantrum or complain loudly: Go brain dead. Do not be sucked into replies or allow yourself to be manipulated. If they become disrespectful, say, "Oh no, being disrespectful was not a good decision on your part. I'll have to do something about that. I'll think about it and get back to you. Try not to worry." You have all day to come up with a delayed consequence

There is more coming on mornings! Take care! Jill :)

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