In desperation to have a bit of me time I have enrolled in a Positive Parenting Programme, commonly know as 'Triple P.' It is run by the local authority and runs for 6 weeks, every Wednesday night for 2 hours and it's free. It is, as the name suggests, to help you with positive parenting, therefore getting the best relationship with your children and hopes to end the majority of screaming and shouting and repeating ones self several times before screaming and shouting at ones children in order to get them to carry out a simple tasks.
The first meeting was on Wednesday and there were 5 mothers with one to start next week, it was a good size group but I couldn't help be disappointed by the lack of numbers, the programme was open to all parents at the school and I'm sure the ones who could actually do with it were insulted at the mear suggestion they may not be good positive parents. I, on the other hand, was delighted with the idea of becoming the best parent that I can be. I came home armed with a workbook, which apparently will become my bible and a questionnaire, the same questionnaire will be completed once the course has finished to see if, sorry, what the differences are!
My children are actually very good and they certainly know the difference between right and wrong, my issues are simple and brought on by my actions and now I need to rectify these issues, my issues are as follows;
My son, age 11
Lazyness - he is in Primary 7 and only this year have I decided that he should hang up or deal with his own uniform after school. Previously I would have gone upstairs with him, picked out a change of clothes and as he striped I would hang up the uniform or put it in the washing. Now he has to make these choices for himself. And yet everyday I go upstairs to close the windows and the curtains and there it is, the uniform lying over his chair and his answer 'but I left it neatly!' my response then varies depending on the time of the month but always starts with 'but I don't want you to leave it over the chair rant rant rave blah blah BLAH' If it does make it to the washing basket everything is left in a ball as he took it off, he only does this when he can't be bother to hang the clothes up, 9 times out of 10 they're not even dirty. But is there a conscequence for this lazyness, apart from the ranting NO, so what clear message am I giving my son? The message is it's fine to leave your clothes on the chair because the ranting will start, be over in 3 minutes and then the women will do it herself anyway!! So this is our first rule to sort out and I have to give clear instructions, with specific timescales and a conscequence if the action/rule is not carried out. AND I MUST NOT SHOUT. This does apply to other things, I'm not just obsessed by the hanging up of the uniform you know.
I now have to decided on a realistic conscequence. Short, sharp, conscequences are the thing, such as the TV going off for 10 minutes! Grounding for the rest of his life is not the answer.
My daughter - age 9
Whinging & talking like a 3 year old while answering back - my daughter doesn't take the hint in public, you know the huge wide piercing eye one that all mothers have the ability to do, my son will stop immediately, but my daughter she carries on regardless, touching, arguing, I trying saying her name sternly, through gritted teeth and she goes on and on in a high pitched 3 year old tone, not that she behaved like that when she was 3, I think I had control then. This then results in her being put back in the car or taken to a quite corner of the shopping centre and once more I find myself ranting 'I'm sick of this behavour, you're behaving like a baby, I can't take you anywhere blah blah BLAH.' And again is there a conscequence, NO, gone are the days where children are afraid of their parents and I mean in a respectful way.
I would have been frightened of getting a row from my mum as it upset me, it seems now I am so used to ranting like a mad women that the kids pay no attention.
So the plan is to sit the kids down and explain the new rules and what I expect from them and likewise what they expect from me, we will agree the conscequences together and take it from there. No ranting, no mad woman, only conscequences.
Sounds like the perfect positive household.....
We'll see how long it lasts!
PS. I have just noticed this is my 100th post - yeah me!
Does any one else watch The suite life of Zack & Cody or is it just me that's sad enough to use children's TV characters phrases?? If you don't watch it, don't worry you don't need to know what I'm talking about.