Yesterday was MUCH better! I have discovered something about myself during this. I am a little lazy! I never would have said that about myself before. I mean, I can ALWAYS act lazy at any given time, but I've always considered myself a very hard worker. But, I'm sort of having a hard time sticking to the plan everyday, because, well, I'm a little lazy. That, and a little bored. Plus, LittleK is in preschool in the mornings, and he needs the training more than anyone, and he's missing most of it. I'm going to have to remedy that.
Here are some specifics: So yesterday we did the Messy Scavenger hunt. That went super well, and we talked about how easy it is to get a job done when we just focus and work hard for a short time. I gave them a blow pop at the end. Then, a little bit later I asked them to pick up a mess, and GirlM asked for a blow pop as a reward! Backfire! Augh! This is why I generally don't like rewards for expected behavior.
Then, there was a small mess last night that I asked BoyD to clean up, and I could tell he really had no plan to do it, so I asked, "Do you think you've had enough training to get this done, or do we need to do some more?" He just nodded and immediately went to work. This is MAJOR improvement!
We had some friends stop by yesterday to take BoyD to baseball, and he had the opportunity to greet the man. His first reaction was to be shy and walk away and ignore, but when prompted, he turned around, looked the man in the eye, and gave some mumbled response because he wasn't sure what to say. He then came into the kitchen and asked "What would have been a good thing to say?" That tells me he is trying, and that we need more practice with all that.
So, here is today's plan of action. I'm REALLY going to try hard to stick to it:
This morning before LittleK goes to school: Code Word Calling, and "TIME TO GO"
Breakfasts are difficult when he goes to school, so I'm gonna do my best to enforce bottoms in chairs, napkins in laps, etc. If it doesn't really go well, then we will practice when I get home from taking the little one.
I've discovered another problem that we have, and that is coming in the house after we've been gone. The children tend to scatter to the far ends of the house and we end up hollering a lot to get everyone back together. So, at least with the older kids, we are going to practice like 10 times, getting out of the car, and following some set of instructions when they get in the house. "Walk straight in and wash hands and sit at the table." "Walk straight in and sit on the couch." "Walk straight in and head upstairs to your bedrooms."
We are going to play the Quiet Game for 6, 7, 8 minutes (we're a little behind on that one)
Around lunch time, we're going to walk around the block and visit a couple of friends and practice greeting and speaking with adults.
We need to have another Messy Scavenger with LittleK around, as well as several rounds of the Interrupting game. My littlest one has a REALLY hard time waiting if he wants to talk to me or ask me a question. I think practicing when he isn't dying to tell me something, might help give him some tools to keep him from getting so frustrated.
I've pinpointed some of the reasons that I've struggled with this training in the past. When I am totally "there" and involved with the kids, there with body, mind, spirit, focused on them, it works better (seems obvious, right), but if I'm distracted, talking on the phone, answering an e-mail, visiting with a friend, trying to clean my room, ANYTHING that has my attention, they kids feel like they don't have to obey. They aren't motivated to do what we've practiced. They know I'm not going to notice immediately if they get distracted or just ignore me. I'm not sure how to remedy this. Any thoughts on this are welcome.
Ok, to see descriptions of each of the games that we are playing, see the post from Day 1.