In my last post (The Word of the Day is “Transition”), I shared our magical cure for the rough mornings. We added a few minutes to the transition time and it was enough to reduce the separation anxiety in the morning. It worked great on Monday through Thursday…and then there was Friday.
As I was writing that post, I was concerned that those very words might come back to bite me. Boy did they!
Friday morning went so poorly, that he was sent home right away for his behavior. I won’t go into the gory details because it was even too much for me to repeat. Let’s just say it was not his best day. Once home, there was lots of studying and very little fun. There was an apology note written, privileges taken away, and a lecture that was repeated probably more times than necessary. Even the “Friday Family Movie Night” selection had a theme of boy-making-bad-decisions-learns-to-make-good-ones.
Unfortunately, his actions were bad…but not completely a surprise.
The night before we had a reoccurrence of Operation Eyelashes! My TBP’s long eyelashes were clumped under his eyelid causing great discomfort and anxiety. Refusing to let anyone touch them or help him remove the lashes, this episode went on for HOURS! His eye was very irritated (actually we were ALL feeling pretty irritated) when he finally fell asleep at 10:oo pm. After he was asleep, we were able to flip the lashes out in a matter of seconds. Because his anxiety and emotions were on overdrive, he woke up in the middle of the night worried about his eye. When it was morning and time to get up for school, he was very tired and grumpy. The morning was rushed and chaotic which unfortunately set him up for a rough beginning. Now I’m not saying that this completely makes up for his actions, but it does help explain the change in attitude.
I have decided that I’m not going to gloat about new parenting strategies that are working. Just when I think that we can cross a stressful situation off the list, it reappears like a bad case of strep! What I can celebrate is talking about trends. At this point, we have more success with classroom and recess behavior than ever before! I can also say that when there is an outburst at home, it tends to be much shorter and easier to resolve. Again, this is a move in the right direction!
Because Mine Craft had been taken away as a punishment, there was lots of time to talk and do other activities. As we drew together, we talked about the consequences of our behaviors and the need for heartfelt apologies. Today, my son spent part of his tooth fairy money on a gourmet chocolate bar to go with the apology note. I would like to say that it was his idea and that he felt good about the purchase…but he did not. He didn’t want to spend his “hard-earned money that I was saving to buy something for me” but once he did, he was able to explain why it was necessary.
I won’t pretend that this is the last of the poor choices…I know that it isn’t. What I hope is that these “learning opportunities” come frequent enough when he is little, that he learns to be less impulsive and more responsible in situations that are not dangerous and/or life changing.
What am I learning? That he makes mistakes! We all make mistakes! The important part is what we do to fix our mistakes and to learn from them. How do you help your child learn from his/her mistakes?