...because we all have our motley moments!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Dear Motley Moms...

I was all set today to share the story of my family versus the Brown Widow spiders on our back porch, but I need a favor instead. PLEASE HELP US! WE ARE LIVING WITH A PRESCHOOLER!

Our son is almost three, and it has been a crazy summer. We traveled for almost a month, and when we returned home we closed on our new house the next day, so since our return we have been packing and moving and shopping, etc. We have tried to keep our routines as constant as possible, but he has thrown a curve ball into the schedule. Our little guy has been a trooper throughout this whole ordeal, and his behavior has been amazingly stellar for the most part. The exception: When it is time to change clothes, change diapers, take baths, and do anything that requires our grown-up help, the charming little guy says, "Don't get me!" and starts running around our newly acquired living room furniture, laughing hysterically as he does so. When we finally catch him (he's pretty fast), he screams and cries, "Noooo, Daddy/Mommy got me!!!!" What follows can get pretty ugly.

We have tried playing along, standing our ground, trapping him between the two of us and the sofa...it's pretty exhausting and not a lot of fun. When we have a schedule to keep, such as getting to church on time, it's even less fun. These episodes, I'm ashamed to say, usually end in me yelling and him crying. Yet, he continues to do it. Every time. And we don't know what to do.

So, Motley Mommies, does this sound familiar to anyone? How can we express to our son that it's great to have fun and play games, but certain things like getting ready for bed and getting ready to leave the house simply can't involve a high-speed obstacle-course chase? I appreciate your feedback!

On another note, thank you for your patience the past two Tuesdays--I apologize for not blogging, but until the end of last week we had been completely without internet service in our house and blogging at the library with a two-year-old in tow was not my idea of a good time. Also, if anyone is interested in the spider story I can post it over at my personal blog--I know Pam will be disappointed to miss it. ;)


Liz said...

Make him do it himself (might not be a good idea for diaper changes). Set a timer and let him try it himself. If he doesn't get it done in the allotted time, he has to let you do it. Or just spank him. :)

Maria said...

My best advice..... This too shall pass.

Until that time you can try:
1) Try Liz's advice!
2)Give him a 5 minute heads up of what you expect him to do.
3)Play chase at other more convenient times for so long that even HE gets bored with the game.
4)Give him the choice of either listening to you now, or getting a spanking and THEN still having to do whatever it is you want him to do. His choice.

Keep us posted!

Bryssy said...

Rachel, I feel you here. I have done the spanking (it only sometimes works for us). I am a fan of the love and logic method. He's trying to be more independent...so let him be. Let him find out and face the consequences of his actions.

He doesn't want to change clothes...let him wear his pj's and don't take something for him to change into. When he decides he wants clothes after people ask him about pj's....say something like, "I would want my clothes too if I wore my pj's out to play, tomorrow you'll definitely want to wear clothes." Be sincere and sympathetic, but don't fix it for him.

For me, this has really helped. First, I figured out what things were really important...skipping a bath once in a while, clothes, costumes, pjs, even diapers...not worth a chase or argument.

Immediate safety dangers are the only things I spank over anymore.

Lindsay said...

Pick your battles. :)

I haven't dressed or bathed Sage in 2+yrs. Right around age 2 (which is also when she potty trained herself), she refused to let me change her, or pretty much do anything for her. I don't even pick out her clothes, but I do make her change if I don't like what she choose (like mismatched), but I am pretty relaxed most of the time. And as I am sure you have noticed she always picks strange shoes.....that I don't fight her on.

And honestly I am a spanking kind of mom. Nothing else worked for Sage. Time outs and games worked for Avery, but when it came right down to Sage I had/have to spank her to get her to obey sometime. I use to have to do it a lot more, now not so much.

And like Maria ( I think) said.....this too shall pass.

Sage at age 2-3 was so VERY VERY difficult I can't even explain it to you, but now she's pretty easy 95% of the time.

Lindsay said...

Oh and at the beginning of her doing everything else herself I had to start getting ready WAY early. I don't like to be late so that always stressed me out, so what should only take 5 minutes, ended up taking 20 or so minutes, so I just had to plan that.

Rachel said...

Wow--thank you for all of the great advice! I love hearing from so many different perspectives.

I do need to start encouraging him to be more independent with getting dressed. I like the timer idea.

Playing chase until he's tired of it sounds good, especially since I can multi-task by exercising at the same time! Giving him a 5-minute warning works on the playground, so why not when we're getting ready?

Lindsay, you hit the nail on the head when you said that you had to start getting ready earlier. We are probably more frustrated than necessary because we're rushing to leave the house and he's taking his own time.

I may just let him go out in his PJ's and see how he likes it. I've let him wear mismatched shoes before, so why not? ;)

Pam said...

First, it is great to have you back! So many gave such good advice, and I have nothing new to add. I do vote for letting him do it himself. It impowers the kids and helps offset being bossed around by us all the time. I was told to give Alex choices whenever possible. If you are leaving the playground, you could ask him if he wants to walk to the car or hop like a rabbit - for example. Good luck. So sad to miss out on a good spider story - if there are any good spiders :)

Liz said...

Yeah, speaking of the spider story, where is it???