Tuesday, February 5, 2013

What Happened?

This is a question I believe Selena has been asking this week. I don’t know what it is about the age of 6, but it brings on an entirely new set of rules, not necessarily our rules. Selena has been so testy, cranky, and mouthy here lately that Papa and I decided it was time to step to the next level and get control of the situation again.

Over the weekend after being told numerous times to stop throwing her stuffed animal in the air, she was given one final warning from Papa, “One more time and it is gone for a week!” He left the room and as I prepared dinner I heard her stuffed animal hit the floor for the last time. I stopped what I was doing went in retrieved the poor stuffed animal and put it up on a very high shelf, where it still resides, in plain sight of Selena.

She cried, and sobbed so hard that evening for several hours. I believe her feelings were hurt because truly Papa has always been the softy in our home, so for him to go to such an extreme really hurt. I remember all to well being in her shoes, and at about the same age finally having my father step up in the discipline, boy he was as tough as Papa, and boy my feelings were hurt as bad as Selena’s were.

We finally got it through her head that the more she complained about not getting her stuffed animal back, the less likely she would be to get it back. She insisted she couldn’t live without it, she couldn’t eat or sleep without it. Come on, she just got it for Christmas, so for 6 years she had been living, eating, and sleeping without this one stuffed animal.

Yesterday morning I told Selena it was time for a behavioral chart because Papa and I are tired of her always thinking she is Miss Bossy and thinking that she is always going to get her way. I told her that after we finished school we would get it made and explained that throughout the day we would be checking the rules, and giving her stars for positive behavior, then at the end of the month she could earn something special. This sounded great until the rules started going up on the board. Her world was coming to an end or so she thought. She gave one last protest, and TV was pulled all together for the entire day.

What has she learned? First and foremost her toys are a privilege, and yes, she can live without them. With that lesson though came a rediscovery of some of her old toys that haven’t been played with for sometime, and a new sense of imagination could be heard from different corners of the house. She also learned that it can be fun to not have TV, and instead help Mama clean, sort, and then have time to play. Will we go back to TV? Well we won’t turn it off forever but there will be a lot less of it. Will she earn her stuffed animal back? Of course she will. First and foremost though we would like to see this side of our sweet little girl fade away, and for her to realize that just because she is 6, does not bring on a whole new set of “Selena Rules” for our house, that Mama and Papa are still in control.

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  1. I have to tighten the reigns on my boys ever so often, too. I think it is part of the ages and stages of growing up.

  2. From time to time we go through this too, but not to this degree. Lars is consistently strict, and Anna knows that I can get tough too if needed. We actually introduced the system of positive rewards when she can earn a "coin" for being especially caring, responsible or persistent. She has a similar reward system in school, so she understands it pretty well. Once the glass cylinder vase is full, she will also earn a special outing, but so far she only earned about 7 coins in January :)