Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tinkerbell and the Boy

Having not been back here for a good few weeks I have a number of interesting developments to update on.

Thanks in no small part to the fabulous Sooze I have finally got a handle on the Boy! I am in disgrace, however as I do not have photo proof as yet, photography being low on my priority list in an increasingly busy life. BUT. But. The days of chasing the Boy down the road, school bags and shopping packets flying in all directions, in an attempt to thwart his escape, have long since passed! Now he gets out the car and is gently coaxed (read dragged) in the general direction in which we are actually headed! Not to mention the screaming boy who attracted those pitying glances from other shoppers as he was manhandled into the trolley seat, who wanted so desparately to get out of the trolley and walk, has turned into the lion satchel toting, independent (though secretly restrained) master of his own universe. I owe you Suzi!

This monologue from Tinks... erm Shannon amused me somewhat and I hope I live long enough to see it materialise:

Shannon: When I am 165 years old the fairies will give me magic. *dramatic pause* And I'll grow a rat that you can only hold by the feet, 'coz if you touch its back, or its head, or its tail it will bite you. *another even more dramatic pause* And it will be poisonous! *dramatic silence*

Since then she has been wearing her fairy wings and skirt at every available opportunity (such as at school today) and insisting on being called Tinkerbell. But NOT Tinks!

As for me, I am working as a volunteer at a brain injury rehabilitation centre called Headway to get some experience and to have something to add to my CV at the end of next year when I will FINALLY be able to start my new career proper and will be looking for a job! I also have exams looming so if there is a longer delay than usual in updating this blog, that is why.

Sean seems to be going from strength to strength with BMO Steel and, though it feels slow it seems to be growing all the time. At the very least he has not been without work since he started and he is more able now to direct his business where he wants it to go, rather than just following where the jobs come from.

Right, I hope you are all up to date enough to go on for a few more weeks... I will add pics of the Boy in his reins when I get round to it!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Positive discipline and the marble jar

Picture curtesy of

I know I am often banging on about how things go in cycles and how we should learn to see and anticipate those cycles in order to be most effective. Well, here is another cycle:

The cycle of discipline (or the lack of it) in my children. This may well be linked to my cyclical way of life but nonetheless it needs some attention.

So we are in a downward spiral of rapidly declining behaviour in this house, which happens from time to time as I relax my expectations and/or lose focus, and the time has come to put a stop to it. I am however, or have been until recently, at my wits end. One of the problems I can't seem to overcome is that, while Shannon is constantly brought to book for her indiscretions on the behaviour front, Jordan has been allowed to get away with a good amount of disastrous behaviour under the guise that he is too little to understand (bad mother). He has been recently subjected to the Naughty Mat, but since he thinks it is a game for me to catch him when he gets up and runs away, I am still figuring his discipline out. In the mean time, Shannon needs to be less victimised and positive discipline has always worked better for her anyway!

In discussing this with another Mum, who is also head of a pre-school, she suggested I try the Marble Jar with Shannon. This ought to stop the shouting and offers a positive form of self discipline that I am reinforcing rather than enforcing. This is an age old method, used by many a parent before me, and for anyone who is keen to try it here is how it works(in theory anyway, I have yet to begin!):

There are two jars, one for Shannon and one for me, for every good behaviour such as tidying up, listening the first time, getting her own things together for school etc, she gets to take a marble from my jar and put it in her jar. For every bad behaviour, she must take one out of her Jar and give it back to me. Once she has a certain number of marbles in her jar she recieves a treat, like stickers for example (she loves those) and if she get more than the target she gets a bigger treat (haven't decided on that yet, but I think I will ask her for her input!)

The fact that shannon herself is doing the rewarding and punishing, in the form of moving marbles, is supposed to lead her to regulate her own behaviour! We shall see. I still have to buy the marbles!

I am going to start on Monday as we are out and about all weekend, so it would be pointless starting now. Until then the Naughty Mat will remain a warm spot to sit. I will keep you posted on the success (or not) unless I lose my own marbles in the interim!