Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Accepting Discipline with Dignity and Respect

It has been a good past few days for James.

He really can be a sweet kid.

He has been affectionate, passionate about legos and sledding, and been generally good natured. You can tell he's trying hard to be cheerful when asked to take out the compost and other little unanticipated chores, but the passion to play just came without effort as the attitude did a one-eighty.

This is a drastic turn around.

From the moment he finished up his sit ups and laps on the drive the other day over feeding the cats out of the new bag, he made a conscious choice to put away the behavior.

And he did.

This is proof that he can.

This is hope for his future.

I thought he wouldn't be able to maintain this good attitude through his little trial yesterday, but amazingly...

I have a fun little app on my iphone that teaches kids to tell the time. Missy had been using it the day before, but when I asked for the phone back she threw a royal. She screamed so hard that blood came out her nose. At the sight of the blood, though, the tantrum lost its fervor, but it goes without saying she has lost the privilege of using my phone for awhile.

James was well aware of that. He was using the iphone yesterday and he was doing fine. The second time he used it, though, he went on to other apps and I again instructed him to only use the telling the time program. He was already involved and he did not obey. After a bit I just took it back.

He doesn't understand what big feelings do to him and how they make him act. He didn't cry. He just sat there and tried not to show that he was ticked... Presently he got up and went over to where Brianna was teaching Missy a violin lesson at the piano and told her to go teach somewhere else.

Brianna was like, "What? Are you gonna boss me around?"

I took him aside and showed him that he was feeling angry about losing the iphone and that he was ridiculously attempting to take out his feelings on innocent by standers. He's not mature enough to figure that all out. One has to trace the thought patterns for him. I guess that he was a little taken aback by that idea... but he admitted that it was likely true. I had him take a little time to think about it. He could have blown a gasket right there, but he didn't.

This morning we were going through the morning routine and I asked him to try a little harder on something and after an unsuccessful 3 minutes he told me he had done it, but I called him on the lie.  I told him it would have been better to communicate with me that he had tried and failed, or wasn't able to, anything other than to lie and say it was done. {I have to be careful I don't expect more than they can do... } So, I asked him to do the exercise routine for lying. Believe it or not he did the whole sit-up, push-up, jumping-jack, laps thing without any tears. He tried to take a short cut... Everything has to be done in a visual, tangible and concrete way, so I put out five tiny pretzels and asked him to put them in a line on the back of the car parked at the barn - one at a time. One for each lap. Near the end he asked to take two at a time...  *rolling my eyes* he gets an A+ for negotiations.

Actually, he gets an A+ for obeying and following through with his discipline without losing his dignity and respecting me. He ended with saying, "Thank you for strengthening my mind and my body". lol

This is victory!

This is a victory for him in the fight against selfish inclination. A tiny step in the foundation towards true manhood.

Praise be to GOD!


As for the little man...

He has already managed to dump the kitchen trash all over, spill a pile of the kids' puzzles everywhere, eat some unknowns off the floor, pull the bowls out of the cupboards, and generally make a mess wherever he goes.


Missy is at school. 
She got through her routine without trouble and 
even had time to color a picture or two before time to leave.

Yesterday was not so good.
lots and lots unreasonable screaming that she didn't want to wash up, etc...
and I finally left her home with Christina while I took James to school.
When I returned she was demurely sitting on the couch looking at a book.
All her chores done.
She was all of 5 minutes late for school.

You see, we flip-flop over who is going to be 
the challenging child and who is going to be the amicable one.

It makes for an interesting life.
You just never know what the day will bring.


Sophie said...

Praising God for even the smallest of victories!!!

LOL about the baby. Have to smile because that is my life times 2. :)

GB's Mom said...

All victories are part of God's plans. So good to read about James!

Elyssa said...

Yay for the victory! :-)

Mama D.'s Dozen said...

Rejoicing with you over James turnaround.

:) :) :)