Friday, February 29, 2008

Jedi Mind Tricks for Dealing with E-bull

I decided to try something new yesterday, since E-bull is even E-bull when he's still not feeling well and since every other discipline technique on Earth has failed so far (and hell yeah I spanked his little butt when he destroyed my computer that first time, call 911, call CPS, bring in the National Guard...after 2 hours they'd be returning him to me with full apologies and their condolences...and I could use the 2 hour break.)

So yesterday I turned every possible waking moment into a "Big boy! High five!" moment and actively recruited Big Kid (The Idol) to do the same.

"Can you help mommy get the knife back in the sink? I need your help Big Boy!" froze him in his tracks as he was fishing around for trouble. "That's right, help mama, like your bubba would."

He'd drop it back into the sink, a skeptical look on his face, and look at me expectantly.

"GOOD BOY! BIG BOY! Mama's helper, what a big boy! Give me high five!"

"GOOD BOY! Look how kind he's being to animals, bubba! He's petting kitty like a big boy! Give me five! Help me get kitty to have quiet time, let's leave her alone." as he was raising his hand to pound the cat.

"Are you moving the chair like a Big Boy? Will you help mama and move it back? Give me five!" as he was headed to test out the deadbolt.

"What a good boy not to pick up the croquet mallet and slam it into the sliding glass door! That's so big of you! Give me five! Help me put it back." as he was dragging the croquet set around the lanai.

Now today, he is TESTING this one. Everything requires a big response. Every questionable activity is being tested. Every chore needs a helper.

We had to unload the dishes together. Let me tell you how much longer it takes to do dishes when you have to make an ordeal of each item and high five after it finds it's home.

There was some fighting about being done with the sink when we were done with the dishes, but then it was 1-2-3 Magic time and he relented by 2.

I'm not declaring victory just yet and it is ANNOYING AS ALL GET OUT to cheer someone for not stabbing the dog in the eye with a spoon, but ground is being gained.

I'm not sure if I'm ready to concede on the 1 nap a day thing. Even if he gets a 3 hour nap out of it...I am really sick of him by 11am and 4pm, so that doesn't really help me any. I'd rather 2 1 hour naps. Or 1 hour nap and some yelling we'll call quiet time.

Anyway, it's Photography & Family time Friday...what are you doing with your family tonight?

I'm doing work related stuff but learning about Adobe Lightroom at the same time (because it is supposed to be a "furthering myself" kind of thing and not a "getting work that should've been done 2 weeks ago thing") and there was some talk of having a fire tonight because it's a tiny bit chilly out (sunny and gorgeous and brisk) and because we love marshmallows!


Melissa said...

Your idea of chilly is probably my idea of super warm! It's 16 degrees here today....

jenn said...

Rock on, Ashley! As annoying as the positive reinforcement thing can be, it sounds like he's responding really well to it. I totally hear you on the 2 nap thing. When my youngest went down to 1 nap, I went into mourning. For, like, a month.

I'm giving my children the gift of a motherless evening for "Family" Friday. Going out with my girlfriends and letting Mr. Jenn have a Wii & pizza night with the spawn! Believe me, in the long run they get a much happier mom out of this arrangement.

Ashley said...

Wow. Your patience must have already reached its peak with all the praise for the expected. That's a tough one to be consistent with. I've read that book. Tried it for a week. Went back to spanking. 1-2-3 Magic is sitting on my bookshelf where it belongs next to 4 Weeks to a Better Behaved Child and at least 3 Dr. Sears guilt trips.

Maggie said...

Yay--something's working. If nothing else, these strategies will keep YOU distracted so you don't kill him before he has time to grow out of this behavior. So when can LK go to preschool (God help the Jews)?

Slacker Mama said...

Congrats on the new strategy working. Though I don't think I'd have the stomach for the overexuberance and my high-five limit is about 10 a day.

Tonight's family activity is bathtime...which in our house involves lots of splashing and screeching as well as prolonged periods of the girls running around naked.

I do want to say thanks on the photography tips...I took a ton of pictures of the girls earlier in the week during bathtime and some of them came out really cute!

Anonymous said...

Ahh, The Force is stong with this Padawan, don't let it wear you down, keep it up and turn him away from The Dark Side! :)

He does seem to crave attention (he must get that from Mr. Ashley), even if it's negative, so I definitely think you're on the right track with this. Good luck!

KatieGirlBlue said...

I totally get it; I have to do the same thing with my brother-in-law.

"Cool, thanks! High-five for not drinking all the vodka in the house!" It kills me to praise someone for exhibiting the lowest common denominator of social grace. However, in the case of Little Kid, there's time. He's but a lad and will grow up to be the most well-mannered creature on Earth. There's little hope for my B-I-L.

Anonymous said...

Wow if this cheerlearder method is working with little kid I will have to try it with my spawn...although he never tore apart my keyboard he did traumtize me in the dr.s office yesterday... Didn't take long for the dr. to give me some happy pills :0 ...So when they kick in I will get my pom poms out. I will try anything.


so tired said...

Nice plan with LK. Now you are going to need the proper medication to keep it up.

Good luck with that.

Unknown said...

LMAO Katie and Cake!

Maggie, I say next year but Mr. Ashley laughs when I say that. He's going by the time he's 3, even if I have to sell myself into prostitution to afford it.

Jenn, that totally counts. You have delegated, and friends can count as family on special occasions. Like escaping.

Multislacking Mama said...

High Five to Baby EBull!!!! Keep up the hard work. I always look forward to reading the Life and Times of Ashley. It's my favorite.