Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Fussy Box

In an attempt to cut down on the fussing that occurs when having 5 young children...wait who am I kidding, if you have 1 young child you have fussing, ha!  

Anyway, we have staggered fussing here in this house sometimes.  It's kind of like when you have a group of musicians and you don't want the bow change or breathing between notes to be heard you stager it between the masses.  That's exactly what I mean by staggered fussing.

One child will fuss or whine and by the time they finally "work it out" another one is ramping up.

It can be a little overwhelming and draining if it isn't dealt with right away.

So one morning, as we were all happily playing outside Cai seemed to be the never-ending fussy culprit.  I realized that something needed to be done to nip this little attitude of his!

Now mind you, this is after getting eye level with the little guy and trying to get to the root of the fussing and whining.  We always try to let our kids know we're on their side and are here to help them work through their emotional issues.  But if the whining and fussing continue and you simply can't send them to bed without dinner because it's only 10:30am this is what we do:)

I got the chalk out and made a fussy box.

Here are the rules for the fussy box:
If you whine or fuss and will not change your heart when you are asked you must go sit in the fussy box.  
I set the timer for 3 minutes on the kitchen oven. 
Every time you try to venture out of the fussy box the time starts over.
In order to get out of the fussy box you must wait for the timer to go off.
The fussing must come to an end in order to hear the soft timer go off in the kitchen signaling that you may come out and resume your fun activities...FUSSY FREE!

There are several reasons why this works so well for us, I think.

It allows mom to oversea the "discipline" while still being available to the other kids who are still playing outside.
The fussy child can see the others having fun and playing with "happy hearts" as they sit alone in their fussiness.
The fussy child is separated enough from the colony to realize that his/her audience is no longer present to fuss to.
It gives mom a break from the fussing to calm her nerves.
It demands quietly sitting in order to hear the timer, making the fussy child relax and reboot.

Now if I just MENTION the words, "fussy box" the fussing ceasing almost instantaneously:)  Well, in a perfect world it might, but at least you can hear the breathe between the fussies:)
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