Monday, April 15, 2013

"Aha" Moment

What is it about Mondays?  Four days in a row with no yelling, and it all went to pieces this afternoon.

I did have a moment this morning where I was talking myself down from a mighty yell.  This is my one Monday morning a month that I have to work, and L was to ride with me to the office to be picked up there by my parents, so I was pushing her to get a move on.  She sat on the day bed with her arms crossed and a frown on her face, and started screaming.  "I don't WANT to go to your office!  I HATE your office!"  (Not true...she begs to go there.)

L:  I'm NOT going!  I WON'T get ready!

Me (calm at this point):  You always ask to come to my office...here's your chance!

L:  Uh-uh.  I don't want to go.

Me (getting slightly irritated):  There is no other option.  No one else will be here.  Please help me out and get ready.

L (tear sliding down her cheek):  NO!

Me (counting to 10 under my breath):  I don't have time for this!

Then the light bulb went on above my head.  Walking away and setting the timer, counting, threatening, yelling...NONE of it was going to work.  And ALL of those options were going to take time that I didn't feel like I had to spare.  What she needed right then was empathy.

So, I sat down beside her, and finally was able to determine that she didn't want to go because she was embarrassed about her haircut, she thought it looked "ugly"!  So I promised her that it looked very nice, it just was very different.  Since she went for 7 years without bangs, the change would take some getting used to for all of us.  I told her that the people who would see her loved her anyway, and no hair cut would change that.

That worked!  She dried her tears, came upstairs and got dressed.  This doesn't mean that she didn't take 4 or 5 breaks to play with the dogs, and she was still 15 or more minutes late starting school work.

Now if I could just figure out how to get her ready in an hour's time every morning...THAT would save a lot of frustration and near-yelling incidents too!

1 comment:

Kimberly Long Cockroft said...

I'm so proud of you!

I am also proud of myself when I manage to do this. . .ever since you wrote about yelling I have been trying to be better, too, and you're right, the calm approach almost always works wonders. those middle kids really push us to the limits sometimes, though.

I want to see a photo of Lauren's new bangs up close! :)

By the way, the tree house looks outstanding. Can hardly wait to see it this summer!