Life, as usual, has been busy. I've had reams to blog about but no time to do it. Particularly as I am reattempting the unconditional parenting techniques (as espoused by Alfie Kohn) to try and tame the beasties and this requires far less blog time and far more playing of hide and seek. Which is how it should be. However, it means I am falling very far behind on my blogging and blog reading.
But there have been three major milestones that are worth noting for posterity.
I got a genuine apology from son1 the other day. Not only that, it was a direct result of putting my newfound parenting techniques into practice. You could have blown me down with a feather. The boys had both upended their drink bottles in the car and deliberately squirted their drinks all over the seats causing quite a bit of damage to the upholstery. Husband opted for the military approached of putting them in their room for sometime to think about their behaviour including a fierce daddy lecture (why is it that mummy lectures never carry the same weight?)
I gave them time to calm down and then went in and instead of reprimanding or demanding an apology, I said I needed them to answer one question, which was: Why did you squeeze the drinks inside the car?
They were initially perplexed but ultimately we got the reason. It was long and convoluted but it did make sense from a small child's point of view. So I explained calmly why we had been cross about it. Son1 listened and then very genuinely and sincerely apologised for not thinking and messing the drink. Of course son2 just yelled his normal SORRY! But I couldn't believe how calm, rational discussion made such a difference. Much of it was just being willing to open up my mind to the reason why they did something rather than assume that they did it just because they're possessed by devils or are hell bent on annoying me. So I shall continue (as best I can) with this approach and see if it results in a calmer house.
Son 1 got his first ever report card. I can honestly say that I was nervous about opening it. Why for goodness sake? It wasn't my report card. But actually, it was. As a parent, your child's behaviour and performance at school is hugely influenced by how you parent them at home - certainly while they're young. Have I spent enough time doing arts and crafts with him? (apparently not) Do I encourage a love of reading by getting out books? (yes, gold star for me) Does he show care and concern for others and operate well in a group? (yes - amazing. He beats the daylights out of his brother). Is he punctual? (yes, and that is entirely down to me. If that was his own doing we'd still be looking for shoes at 3pm)
Isn't it strange how as a child you were concerned about the contents of your report card because you didn't want to get a bollocking from your parents. Yet your parents were probably just as concerned all along to see if what they've taught you at home is reflected in your school scores. It's only when your child gets a report card that this truth comes to light.
Son2 (aged 3 - will be 4 in a couple of months) has taught himself how to swim. Well, he can swim as long as he doesn't need to come up for a breath. Unlike most children who battle to put their face in the water, this child can't swim unless he swims underwater like a little fish. It's remarkable to watch. He just decided one day to take off his armbands and jump in. He went under the water and swam holding his breath to the side. And he's not looked back. How you teach a child to swim with their head above the water is another thing, but I'm thrilled (and a little astonished) that he's decided to skip learning to swim and go straight to free diving.
So you see - we've had some big stuff going on, hence the blog silence. And today we have pre-school sports day in which I sincerely hope son 2 will take part in. Last week I got to go to son 1's sports day and once again, got to watch other people's children running as he refused to join in until the very last race. At which point he cried that he hadn't had enough turns. Sigh
Bloggy kisses to all