never ceases to amaze me. This Parenting on Track thing really does work. And what's even better is that the earlier you start the easier it is for kids to get it. I have found that Sweet Girl is mush easier to teach and encourage her through the changes then it is with Sweetie Heart. they are both doing so great with all the changes. And things just keep changing and getting better.
I have two stories that really go to show that our kids are geniuses and, when we take the time to ask, they really do have the best solutions.
This first story has taken a bit of time for me to metabolize. I think you'll see why.
As many of you know I have a passion for libraries and reading. When we moved her 3 1/2 years ago I started volunteering at the library. I took both of the girls with me they were 4 & 18 months at the time. They really have grown up at the library. They know and love the librarians and volunteers. Both of my girls have a special relationship with the head librarian. They love to spend time hanging out in her office and she loves having them.
We haven't been to the library for a while. It's probably been over a month. Sweet Girl had to earn the privilege to go by being ready to leave places when I said it was time. Last week she asked if we could go. She has been improving so I decided it was time to go again and see what happened. This isn't really the story, but she did great.
We went on story time day. Sweet Girl hasn't gone to story time for awhile. She's one of the oldest. She doesn't really know the kids her age because she didn't get into preschool this year and she really doesn't like big crowds. And let me tell you, there are a ton of kids and parents there. She tends to spend most of story time in the office and comes out when almost everyone is gone to do the craft. In the past I have heard the librarian tell Sweet Girl if she wasn't going to come to story time she wasn't going to be allowed to do the craft. Sweet Girl's response was to go with her for about 5 minutes and then come back to the office and say she didn't want to do the craft anyway. Good Girl!
This past week was more of the same. We went, she hung out in the office until the end and then came out to ask for the craft. I happened to be in there feeding Squeak when this all went down. It showed considerable restraint, all thing considered. Ms. G was cleaning up the craft table and putting the room back in order. When Sweet Girl asked for the craft she kind of ignored her, looking over her head ans such. Sweet Girl was persistent and asked again. Ms. G couldn't keep ignoring her because let's face it I was in the room. She gave her one. Sweet Girl asked for one for her big sister. Ms. G responded that pretty soon she was going to give one to Sweetie Heart but not to her because if she wanted to do the craft she was going to have to go to all of story time. I hate it when adults do stuff to kids. Totally one of my buttons.
After we came home I sat down with Sweet Girl to talk about it. I asked her how it made her feel when Ms. G said that. She said it made it feel mad. Sweet Girl's go to emotions are happy and sad. She doesn't really delineate more than that. So her saying it made her mad is really saying something. We talked about what we could do. We could go on a different morning or just go realizing that she might not get the craft or she could go to story time. She asked if Ms. G would be there on Wednesday mornings. I told her no she doesn't work that morning. She said she wanted to go on Wednesday. Hmm.
I revisited it on Tuesday. She said she wanted to go on Thursday because she wanted to do the craft. I asked if she wanted to go to story time. She said no, but she wanted to do the craft. I reminded her of what was said and she said, "But mom, she gave me the craft." Very true.
I've been going over it in my mind. Webby and I have talked about it. I've considered talking to Ms. G or the head librarian. I've considered not going on Thursdays so it's not even an issue. I've thought about stepping in and telling Sweetie Heart she has to go to story time. But you know what I decided? I'm just going to let it play out. Ms. G will either follow through or she won't. Either way Sweetie Heart will learn something. Do you know what else I realized? I do this all the time. I decide who I want to be around everyday. I decide whether or not to let someone else move me in the direction they want me to go. This is really good information for Sweetie Heart. And really, she already shown me that manipulation doesn't really work on her. She's a fighter, that one. If she feels forced or isn't asked in the right way, she says no and fights! But when asked if when would be willing or asked nicely she almost always happily complies. She's an amazing little girl!
Sweetie Heart is doing great with less clothes. The other day she handed me some clothes. I told her to put it in the hamper and she told me it was one of her "special outfits", it was dirty and needed washed. Hurray!! She's getting it and so am I!
She wants an later bed time. According to her, all of her friends stay up later then she does. She also gets up a lot earlier then they do, but that's beside the point. I started to make up a P&R for her. I decided to ask Vicki about it. Basically, she told me to butt out (in the nice Vicki way) and let Sweet Heart do it for herself. So we sat down after school today. I told her what my expectations were and let her make up her own P&R. Then I explained a Roadmap to her and she kind of did one of those. It's going to take a bit of tweaking but I'm really excited to see what happens! One of the things she decided to do was put up little signs all over the house that say "Think First." They are to remind her to think about what she needs to do everyday or earn her privilege. As she was explaining them to me she said, "Like your 'Keep Calm And Carry On' signs mom." She really is watching and observing and copying.