Sunday, September 20, 2009

How to Have a New Kid by Friday

Okay, so we've been having some behavior issues in this house. A lot of behavior issues! We had always tried to be consistent in our discipline, but yet we were at the end of our rope with Owen. He had managed to become a tiny tyrant in our house, and things were miserable... For everyone!

Last Monday was the straw that broke the camel's back. I was taking the boys to the zoo, and on the way there Owen decided to take the lid off of his sippy cup and throw his milk on the window. When asked why he did that, he simply stated, "I wanted to."

I was furious. I turned that car right around and we went home. I sent him to bed, and called my friend Joell to vent. She recommended the book, How to Have a New Kid by Friday.

Now I'll admit, the title alone kind of turned me off. It sounded gimmicky and too much like a "quick fix". I generally don't believe that quality things come quickly or easily- so I wasn't too sure. Joell assured me that other parents she knew had tried it and it had worked wonders for their families. I decided that I was willing to try anything, so off to the library I went.

I sat down and read the book immediately, and we put the plan into action Monday night. Owen didn't know what hit him. He cried in his room for almost 2 hours after the first incident, but finally calmed down, and woke up the next morning with a better attitude. Basically, Dr. Leman says, "Say it once, turn your back and walk away". Now of course this is more easily said than done, but surprisingly, the concept works really well! Tuesday was a really great day. Wednesday, he decided to test the waters and see what he could get by with, but Thursday and Friday brought with them a different child.
Today is Sunday, and although today was slightly bumpier, I still feel like we're on the right track. I at least feel like I have some tools to help me deal with my strong-willed son. "How to Have a New Kid" is all about teaching your child to be accountable for his or her choices. Owen will tell you right now, "I'm learning to make better choices."
I realize that this isn't a miracle cure, but man have things changed in our house. I don't feel *quite* as much like a crazy person now. We'll see how things go... We've got a long road ahead of us, and Matthew and I are going to have to remain diligent with this course of action, but I think that it will all be worth it...
BTW- Thanks Joell!

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