Thursday, March 7, 2013

Waylon's Day and Keepin It Real

Tuesday was a Waylon day.  When the boys have field trips and I haven't had a million snow days I like to take the day off of work and make it their day.  I enjoyed several of these days with Wyatt last year and now comes Waylon's turn. 

The lowdown:
We slept in. 
He came and cuddled with me in my bed and acted super sweet.
His little bro joined us (he now knows how to climb out of his crib)
We got dressed and waited for NaeNae (my mom).
A round of sausage biscuits and we were off to Wonderscope.
He loved it.
He laughed.
He played hard.
We were done.
We met up with my sister and my dad for lunch.
He loved it.
We laughed.
We had FUN.
Papa says, "you wanna come to work with me?"
He lit up.
He went to work.
He had fun.
Me and my mom had a girl's day.  I really can't remember the last time we did that spur of the moment kind of thing together.  Kinda special.  Shopping for all.
We all met at home.
We laughed.
We had fun.
We waited for Dale and the Sharp's had McDonald's for dinner.  A sure treat for the boys as we don't frequent the place.  Only stepped through those doors for a fundraiser for school. 
They laughed.
They played.
They had fun. 
It was chaos for me and Dale.  I left hungry!!
A pretty top of the books day for a 4 year old.

Keepin it real:
I think I've shared that we are having a few issues with Wyatt and his behavior.  Things have gotten a lot better.  He's not a bad kid.  He's a good, sweet kid, with a big heart. He's a kid, bottom line.  However, he is growing and there are obvious areas that we need to work harder on over others. 

I got an email from his teacher yesterday that made my heart sink because I thought we were on such a good path as of late. 

I was mad.  Not mad at the teacher.  I was mad at him.  We had been working hard on this and he messed up again.  I immediately went into thinking how I was going to punish him.  I wanted to spank him.  I wanted him to get the message another way that getting in trouble at school was unacceptable.  And again, I was wanting to make drastic changes to our routine to address the behavior. 

Thankfully I had an hour drive home.  In the middle of me trying to decide how many swats he was going to get as soon as we walked in the door I stopped.  Why would he say what he said?  What was going on around him?  What was the situation?  Why did he feel it was necessary for him to lose control? 
I had more questions than I had number of swats counted.  So, I told myself, maybe this wasn't the way to go.  I was going to ask him what happened.  Understand the situation and why he felt it was necessary to lash out. 

He wasn't going to get off the hook.  I was going to address the situation regardless, but I wanted to do it in a way where he would learn something more long term from it and not just, "mom's going to beat my ass if I screw up again".

Then something urged me to dig deeper.  Why is he acting like this?  What's the root of the problem.  We've changed his room.  He goes to bed on time.  He is awake by the time it is time to get up.  He has acted well rested, etc.

Self control

He is still learning this and we as parents are responsible for helping him along this journey while he tries to figure it all out.  Do I model good self control when I am stressed around them.  Truth be told - the majority of the time I do not.  Out of all the love and support I got last time around all of this I never felt the release that it isn't my fault.  Or that it can't be changed.  He is scarred for life.  This is how he will handle stress and it is my fault because that is what I model for him.

It can change. 
I can change.
He can change. 

He is a kid and that is his job.  To learn this stuff and mess up and then learn some more.  How is he any different than anyother kid OR adult on this planet.  That is how it is for ALL of us. 
I finally felt that release and I have finally made it a priority to change how I handle stress at home. 
Turns out he lost his temper at school, but he stands firm on his story of not saying what he was accused of saying.  At this point I choose to believe him.  We will actively practice self control and I will do whatever it takes to make sure we don't look like psychos if someone decides to come peek through our windows!!! 

Last night was good practice.  He had 3 homework sheets to do because of his decision not to work on them earlier in the week.  I wouldn't let him off of the hook until he did an exercise staying calm the entire time.  It took him 6 tries, but he got the message.  Later that night he had one more sheet to finish up.  He sat right down.  We set goals:
1. To stay focused
2. To stay calm
3. To get the sheet done neatly and quickly

He met all 3 goals without needing to be reminded.  A big thing that seems to help with him is me telling him I will work on myself with him.  Last night I reminded him that I was staying calm and if I can stay calm so could he.  It also helps if I can explain, "Wyatt, I'm getting frustrated that you aren't staying focused." and list consequences of him not staying focused, such as play time is getting cut short, dinner is late, etc.  He doesn't just get the whole picture at his age.  He's not an expert at cause and effect just yet.  He has called me out on not keeping my patience as well and it has helped both of us. 

So, I chose NOT to yell.  I chose NOT to spank.  I chose NOT to judge him.  I chose NOT to just assume that he screwed up at school as bad as he was being accused.  I CHOSE TO listen to him.  I CHOSE to work on life skills through teaching instead of pain and fear.... and it worked.  (I'm not interested in going into a spanking vs not spanking debate.  Sometimes it works.)  I CHOSE NOT to rip everything out of his life that isn't the best influence.  This is usually the first thing I want to do, blame others or blame things for his actions.  He NEEDS life skills to be able to handle the things that he comes into contact with whether they are people or things.  He NEEDS to learn how to handle himself in ALL situations and his dad and I are responsible for modeling that for him. 

I CAN'T and I WON'T expect PERFECTION out of the little people that float in my footsteps just as I WON'T expect perfection out of myself.  We do our best and when we fail/fall/mess up/slip we try harder tomorrow. 

Now, with Weston getting out of his crib 3,474,984 times, I just might turn psycho anyway!

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