Friday, January 13, 2012

A Pat on the Back

I had to give myself a pat on the back.  That doesn’t happen too often, so I made sure I even have Ms. H as a witness on my latest good parenting skills.  It’s just not that easy for me to be strict with Puppy and even harder when I’ve seen him on both his good and bad days.  I want those good days to prevail over the bad.  I imagine any parent wants the same for their kids.

I am constantly being reminded by Puppy’s teacher to ignore the unwanted behaviors.  Well yesterday, that little voice inside my head, which was really the teacher’s voice, kept picking at my brain to follow through on the instructions given to me if I want to see changes in Puppy’s behaviors.  So even I couldn’t believe it, I followed through. I was giving Ms. H the thumbs-up every time I was successful.

Puppy was whining and nagging that he wanted to put paper and credit cards in his handkerchief and for obvious reasons, to fold and mold it into a wallet.  But with so much coaching from his teacher and me, he is fully aware that it is something he isn’t supposed to be doing.  He was calling me to go upstairs and probably talk to me, or rather convince me that it was only a handkerchief and he has permission to carry the handkerchief, a small comb and Chap Stick in his pocket.  Because I know my son better than he thinks I do, I ignored his calls.  Occasionally, I’d tell him to come downstairs and talk to me, but with Ms. H there, he may have already been predicting we might gang up and preach the rules to him.

Nonetheless, I was successful in ignoring the repetitive calling, and ignoring his actions of manipulating his hankie into a wallet formation.  He gave up and jumped into the shower and continued on with his nightly routines.  Of course when was out, he got dressed and tried one more time to get my help with folding his hankie, but I shook my head and suggested that it didn’t come that way and he shouldn’t put paper, cards or tape on it.  He showed me his sad eyes and disappointment, but he did take everything out.  Although he still folded the hankie into the worst looking wallet want-to-be, he placed it under his pillow like he does with anything important to him.  We had another night without a tantrum, hurray!

He woke up this morning and tried one more time.  I was surprised to hear the words though.  “Mom, right I can’t put cards in this (handkerchief)?”  I told him he was correct and together we took all the tape that had remained on it from last night’s trial and errors.  I gladly ironed it gave him a neatly pressed hankie for him to place in his pocket.  Good job, Puppy.