Monday, December 14, 2009

Green Means "GO"


My husband is the KING of Great ideas. He sees our children's hearts and works hard to find the things that work for each of them.

Zeke has been having a really hard time with temper-tantrums lately. By lately I mean like a year! We have tried everything. He wakes up in the morning and we are dishing out consequences as soon as he wakes up for some reason or another. I hate starting the day out like that.

We started a few new strategies last week with him and they have been working GREAT so far. He hasn't had one melt-down yet...just kidding, but at least he thinks before throwing himself on the floor or screaming out and kicking, and sometimes even chooses to vocalize the problem with words INSTEAD of the afore mentioned tantrum.

We did have a realization though. We figured out how to avoid the morning tantrum. We think Zeke was afraid that we'd forget to get them up in the morning. Before, Josh and I would know when the kids were awake because they'd talk and play together in the morning while waiting for us to go get them out. Now, Areyna has been sleeping a lot longer than Zeke and he gets bored in there by himself and we don't even know he is in there sitting in his bed awake.

So, Josh had another brilliant idea! Since they can't tell time yet we needed to find another avenue to show our kids that they were allowed to get up. We made a sign with thick green card-stock paper. We wrote "Green Means Go" on it. Between 8:30 and 9am one of us will go slide the paper under their door.

If they wake up and don't see the green paper under the door then they know it isn't time to get up and they need to try to go back to sleep. If they wake up and see the green paper then they know that they may open the door and come out without consequences. This gives Zeke the freedom to come out on his own without waiting for Areyna to wake up. There is no question as to whether it is time to get up and it eliminates the melt-down by taking away the temptation to get out of bed "just to see if it's time to be awake".

One of our goals, as parents, is to give our kids an option. We don't want to just tell our kids "no" and miss the opportunity to teach them what their options are and what they CAN do.

But, as for the green sign, it's a go so far=)
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