Thursday, March 7, 2013

Behavior booster: Work as a team

Ever since Brady and I's discussion the other night that he and I work as a team to help him improve at school, day care and elsewhere, I have started thinking how important that idea really is.

If you have a child with some behavior problems, you know how it can seem like a daily battle, daily consequences, joy in one good day and sorrow the next if it didn't go well. Your emotions and relationship can hinge on the day-to-day.

If you can somehow get both yourself and your child to see this as team work - even the consequences - I am beginning to believe it will make all of it more rewarding and effective and less painful. My kid and I have cried together, yelled together, been absolutely stumped together at what to do.

But this idea that we are in it together - him at making the choices, me at guiding him and providing motivation - could possibly be relationship-changing.

Yesterday he told me about several times he got in trouble throughout the day. He knew if that happened he would have some at-home consequences. At first I was so frustrated since he'd done well earlier in the week but it progressively went down hill as the week went on and then I felt bad because he's being so honest yet still has to have consequences.

But this morning I told him, "You know, I want you to know how proud I am that you tell me just exactly what happens at school and day care. Number one, I love that honesty, and number two, that's how we work as a team. That's the only way we can figure out how to make this better. You tell me and I figure out things that can motivate you and help you to make better choices tomorrow. I know you don't like how it feels when you get in trouble, so we're working to change that."

That seem to click for him. And it seemed to click for me. I hope this is a new chapter in our journey. 

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