Monday, February 23, 2015

Cause and Effect and Proclaiming Your Own Consequence

Very interesting morning here. Missy was not motivated to get moving until the last few minutes and when she saw that she was 15 minutes late she went into a tantrum and started screaming, "I want to go to school. I want to go to school!" 

 I tried to calm her, and get her to eat breakfast, etc but she was bound to have a big tantrum. So I left and went to do other things. After awhile she followed me and was slamming doors, kicking and stomping. 

Finally I just said, "You know, I never said anything about school or anything. I'm just listening to you and I'm hearing from you that you are late, and you know cause and effect and you have decided that you have messed up and you understand the consequences of not doing what you should  and you are proclaiming those consequences rather loudly. So what I'm hearing from you is that you need to work with me today...."

She went absolutely silent. It was like I had knocked her over the head. It was a new revelation to her. We talked about mercy and people who abuse mercy over and over. I asked her what usually happens the next morning if one day she we allow her to be a tiny bit late. She pretty much said she would be late again the next day. Really, I had wanted to get her to school but the lesson would be lost if I did that. So guess what we are doing today?

It's difficult when the kids ride the edge. I don't want to be rigid and uncaring. I want the kids to know there are times when things don't go right for everybody and it's very nice when others give you a little wiggle room and have mercy on you. I know she was NOT obeying, but she started to at the last few minutes and I was trying to figure out what the RIGHT thing to do was - honor that last ditch effort and give her a wee bit of a break, or be absolutely firm and unmoving over the set time frame. In the end I didn't make the decision. She did with all her hollering.

She's grumpy as all get-out, but we'll get past it.

By the way, we did have the kids birthday dinner last Thursday as planned, but the kids who were going to come didn't, so it was just us which was good. James was a little unstable most of the weekend, but Sunday he started to even out. Today he was up at 5:30 and ready for his day with a good attitude. When he's not quite stable, she is really careful, but when he gets it together she lets her guard down. I think they stress each other out a lot.


Ruth Ann said...

Your last couple of sentences. It's true with mine, even though they didn't come with all the baggage. Just something about having to share your position as a twin. I always thought it shouldn't be so bad with boy/girl, but.... Hang in there. God sees and knows. He is helping even when you can't see it for all the drama....Melinda

Emily said...

That mercy thing is sure tough, isn't it? For two of my girls, mercy=weakness. If I show mercy, they see it as a gap in my defenses. Then they spend the next however long checking to see if they can break that gap wide open. It is so much better for them--and for me--if I stay rigid. We're almost three years into this now, though, and I'm starting to be able to be a tiny bit less rigid. I hope that someday grace can be grace without being a trigger.

acceptance with joy said...

Emily, You put it into WORDS! Exactly.

It's been 5 years here. And the improvement is miniscule in that area still.

I am tired of being the witch mommy.

acceptance with joy said...

Ruth Ann...

twins are twins, eh? sometimes I have to remember that regular kids have moments, too.

ErinL said...

I always say that with some kids if you give an inch they take a mile. With Oksana if you give an inch she takes a marathon. When she is more stable I can poke that little bit of flexibility in there at times but usually I have to stand absolutely firm. Despite the fact that I know we will pay in the moment it benefits us later. I hate that it has to be that way but she literally can't function with out the firm, firm boundaries.

ErinL said...

One more thing. I so understand being tired of being the witch mommy. When Oksana was in the hospital I got to come in, play, tickle, have fun, and then leave so she could berate and beat everyone else up. Truthfully it was good for our relationship. She calls me a bossy witch all the time. For once someone else got to be the mean one.

Anonymous said...

I have one son who can't handle mercy, and one son who probably gets a little too much mercy! I've been told how "mean" I am by family, friends, and strangers. I guess they don't see that look in his eyes when I do try to extend even a tiny bit of mercy.