Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Some Rules Are Broken

To varying degrees of success, we have always tried to hold Matthew to the same standard that we held Alyssa and Jackson (at that age).  That mostly works, but sometimes, what worked for the big kids just doesn't work for Matthew.  My parenting tool box sometimes feels light when dealing with Matthew.  

Example 1:  Time outs have lost effectiveness with the big kids, but taking away privileges still does the trick.  For Matthew, it is the exact opposite.  Sometimes that causes feelings of unfairness. After a rumble, I may take away Wii time from Jackson, but give Matthew a time out.  One time when Jackson was particularly upset by the perceived injustice in punishment, Jack asked me to take away Matthew's iPad.  I put it on top of my dresser and it spent well over a month there.  Matthew never noticed it was gone. Not exactly a consequence that deters or encourages, well, anything.  Though I want to hold Matthew to the same standard, I have to do what works.  Time outs are really the only tool in my tool box for him.

Example 2:  Dinner time has always consisted of two options-- take it or leave it.  We have held this steady through 10 years of feeding children.  Lately, Matthew has made us rethink that edict though.  Every day, when we pick them up from after school care, Matthew is hangry.  Very hangry.  After a year of this, making almost every evening unbelievably unpleasant because we can't make dinner fast enough, I gave up.  I started packing him a dinner in the morning, so he can eat as soon as he gets home.  And though it breaks our original rule, and the standard to which we hold Alyssa and Jackson, it has made our household a much more enjoyable place to be between the hours of 5-7pm.  I guess some rules are meant to be broken-- for the greater good!

We know Matthew will be different from Alyssa and Jackson, like in the examples above, but in most instances, he's pretty similar.  The challenge is finding which instances are which.  

Matthew loves the new routine!  

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