Monday, January 5, 2009

Past the Tears

I have always tried to think of creative ways to change some habits of my children through their personality traits. Some are sneaky, but they do work, and it's in their best interest, so it's all good. When Amber was still in a pull-up over night at 4 years old, something had to be done. I first tried to just quit cold turkey, and no drinks after dinner. I still found myself up every single night changing sheets and furious with myself. So a good friend of mine had this device that connected to her underwear, and then clipped on to her shirt by her shoulder. As soon as the device got wet, it would buzz up by her ear, and wake her up. In less than 2 weeks, we were pull-up free!

When she was still a thumb sucker at age five and was getting ready for kindergarten, I was concerned. Nothing I said was working. Even if I took her thumb out of her mouth after she fell asleep, it still found its way back in there. I never put yucky tasting stuff on it. Couldn't bring myself to do that. SO, just as I was losing hope, I went through her personality traits, and what would strike her cords enough to make her stop. Fear. Amber has fear in her. Fear of rides, strangers, the dark...she's far from fearless. I sat her down in front of the computer, and showed her photos of severely damaged teeth due to thumb sucking. These pictures were really bad, and her teeth were no where near this stage. But it worked. after that day, she never ever sucked her thumb again.

Past the Tears. Alex has gone to school 4 days with no tears since Christmas. WOO-HOO!!! I mean not even a sad face. He went from gut wrenching screaming and ripping my skin off, to "Bye Mommy! See you later!" This time, I took the "Big Boy" approach. Alex wants to "Big" so bad. Everything is...."When I get Bigger?" So when Santa brought him a 'Big Boy' Spider Man bicycle, after all of the hoopla of Christmas died down, I sat down with Alex, and told him how "Santa MUST think he's a big boy to bring him such a great new bicycle...a Big Boy bicycle. And you know what Alex? Big boys definitely don't cry at school-right my big boy?"

That was it. I think it's over. I am so thankful too. He was breaking my heart. When you want to persuade your children, think about what makes their wheels spin....what makes their eyes light up, and use it to the best of your ability. Trust me. It works.


Marie Marsicano said...

You know we do the same thing with our kids - Joseph is our rule follower so we just write it down and it becomes a rule - like no buying breakfast everyday at school when you have already eaten at home.

Danielle - we use God - "Danielle, the Lord would not want you to...." DO NOT misunderstand this is only in things that God would really come into play - not "God wouldn't want you arguing about a bed time...."

Lisa said...

I love it. It reminds me of the verse in Proverbs (22:6) Train a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not turn from it. The phrase "the way he should go" in the Hebrew means "bent". So basically if you find out how your child is designed or created and teach them how they are geared then they learn and will not depart from your teachings. This is a goal for my kids as well. Thanks for sharing...great ideas.