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An admission of guilt January 1, 2009

Posted by The Mom in Uncategorized.

18 months ago, in the middle of the black time after my second miscarraige, I started to let D walk all over me for an easy life and so as not to agitate M.  Then I did 3 cycles back to back and was pregnant at the end of the 3rd.  Pregnancy brought with it its own problems & a continued desire for an easy life.  I ended November with a new baby & a 3.5 year old who could but wouldn’t tidy up after himself, dress himself & many days feed himself.  He has a will of iron & coming back from letting him away with most everything is hard.  Admitting that I needed to do something about it was even harder.  I felt like asking for help or telling anyone what was happening was, as the title says, an admission of guilt.

On Christmas Day we were OK but by 6 o’clock on St Stephens Day our little family & its festive celebration had turned into a train wreck of epic proportions.  M was livid with D, I was upset for a variety of reasons, one of which being the fact that D would not do one thing I told him to & if I attempted to “punish” him (by the removal of a toy etc) he would bargain with me or come back with the threat of retaliation and D was loving the attention regardless of whether it was good or bad.  I felt like I was drowning & didn’t know how to even begin fixing the situation.

My sister had bought me a book a while ago – Setting Limits with Your Strong-Willed Child – which I put on a shelf because reading it would have meant admitting that there was something wrong & if there was something wrong then it was my fault.

On Christmas Day I picked up the book, feeling sick doing so, and read 50 pages!  I read another 50 the next day and I swear the man could have been writing the book about us!  While he directs the reader not to implement anything until they are finished reading it is hard not to watch what is actually happening & not to change things.

D is a dawdler.  He would do anything sooner than dress/eat/put his shoes on/get into the car etc.  On Saturday morning I laid out his clothes & set the timer for 20 minutes.  I told him that if he wasn’t dressed when the alarm went off a jigsaw was going up.  He did EVERYTHING but get dressed.  The alarm went off, he was still in his PJ’s & the jigsaw went up.  I reset the alarm, told him that if he wasn’t dressed when the alarm went off another jigsaw was going up & M would dress him (M takes no prisoners when it comes to dressing).   Again he did anything but get dressed.  The alarm went off, he was still in his PJ’s & the jigsaw went up & I told him that as soon as M came downstairs after he had brushed his teeth he would dress D.  D lost it.  He insisted he would dress himself & he did.

This morning I laid out his clothes, set the timer, told him it was time to get dressed & what the consequence would be if he weren’t dressed.  5 minutes later he was fully dressed without being distracted by anything & the timer was turned off.  I thanked him, congratulated him & told him that I was very proud of him.

We are a LONG way from where I want us to be but I can see us getting there.  Today I have hope.



1. jacqueline - January 2, 2009

Well done on your first success – I really hope it continues to last.

2. jacqueline - January 4, 2009

Are you continuing to have success with D? Was thinking of reading the book myself to deal with my 7 yr old – the more I read your blog entry, the more I see similarities between your D and my J! Am interested in how you’re getting on!

ajourneythrough - January 4, 2009

In University we learned about irradiation and overflow… where one thing has an effect on the things around it. That is what this book is like. It deserves it’s own post so I will do that rather than putting it here.

3. denzo - January 5, 2009

I have just read this and the amount of times I have nodded, uh-huhed and seen exactly what you have written in my own house is frighting!! I am off to the book depository right now.

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