When I was a newbie to RAD, I was pretty clueless about how to handle giving consequences to my son. What had always worked for me with my other kids absolutely did not work with him. Although I sort of knew the 'why' behind it
it didn't make it any easier to navigate my way through the stormy seas I was sailing through.
You parents out there, you know the drill when it comes to disciplining your child...
Back sass? Hand over your phone.
Refuse to pitch in for chores? Give me your DS.
Pick a fight with your brother? Go to your room.
Ummm, no. Can't take from him, can't make him.
Even a couple years ago he was bigger than I was. And even if he wasn't? No amount of me trying to lord over him was going to be met with compliance. No way in hell.
Only made him dig in deeper, and I always found myself looking like the ineffectual idiot that I was.
That is, till my good friend Dee offered me some advice. See, she was going through roughly the same thing as I was, only she had more experience as well as more actual book knowledge in these matters than I.
What she advised was to not threaten to remove privileges or give extra chores, or anything else that involved some level of cooperation from him. She reminded me that there are always favors our kids want from us, and that withholding favors, as simple as it sounds, was the most effective way to give consequences.
So if my child was disrespecting me, I learned not to get all angry and start telling him he was going to have extra chores or no phone or anything else that could result in a power struggle, but to simply let him know that when he treats me disrespectfully and unkindly, it makes me feel like I do not want to help him out, or to do nice things for him.
The ride to his friend's house he was hoping for? Not gonna happen.
That special snack he likes me to make? Don't much feel like making that anymore.
Not in a nanny-nanny-foo-foo kind of way, but in a simply stated, when you're not kind to me and to others in the family, I'm left not wanting to do nice things for you, or to help you out.
That has helped me tremendously.
There's another trick I've learned, too, but it's late. I think I'll save that one for next week.
I should also say that I know I had talked earlier about consequences that involve the cooperation of the child (like handing over a phone or doing extra chores). There is a time in your child's progress where that can work, and James (and I) are reaching it. In the past, we could not go there, and I needed to really learn to scale things back to the extremely simplified method above. Only very gradually can you introduce discipline in which the child struggling with RAD can take part in voluntarily giving up a privilege, or taking on a chore. Know your child, and tread lightly when moving forward.
Sorry I did things kind of out of order, but I hadn't really planned this series out in terms of what and when I would introduce concepts. In other words, I'm flying by the seat of my pants here, so please bear with me.
If you want to revisit any of the topics in attachment I've already covered, here are the links:
Attachment The Attachment Tree
Attachment.2 I Love You
Attachment.3 Keck and Kupecky
Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!
Don't forget, I am now posting daily on my blog Life on the Funny Farm. Come on over!
Like Mr. Rogers used to say (paraphrased), Won't - you be - my Followers?
A Little History
Quite frankly, I don't know what I was thinking at the time. We went from 3 kids by birth to "oh, let's adopt a 4th" without a whole lot of deliberation.
While adopting said 4th (in Kazakhstan), we met a young man of 8 yrs by the name of Borya. Thought he was a pretty nice kid and years later found out we could adopt him too. Only thing was, he came as a 2-in-1 package with his younger sister Ylia. What the hay, said we, and rushed headlong into the adoption process. Again. To adopt two kids that were 10 and 13 at the time.
Started a blog to keep track of where my head was in this adoption game. When Borya and Ylia arrived home, we were suddenly the proud parents of six kids, ages 9, 10, 11, 11, 13 and 13.
That was back in 2009, but I still blog. I figure what doesn't make us laugh makes us cry, and I'd rather be laughing.
Also? We live on a farm(ish) with a few dozen critters. You're just as likely to read a post about the farming side of things as you are the parenting side. Thought you might want to know in case you have allergies or something.
As for the structure of this blog, I pretty much post on a daily basis, and I tend to be all over the place in what I write about, so if it's nice, neat and compartmentalized you're looking for, be off with you now, you won't find it here.
I do have some structure, though, I'm not a total bohemian. I roll like this:
Mon: Mirth Monday. A little somethin' to make you chuckle.
Tues: Sometimes Adoption Tuesday, sometimes A Tip For Tuesday, sometimes random thoughts.
Weds: Wordless Wednesday. Usually a photo or some artwork from myself or one of my oh-so-talented children.
Thurs: all random, all the time.
Fri: Farm Friday. Speaks for itself.
Sat, Sun: More random musings.
Feel free to explore and don't be shy -- drop me a line to say hello, and be sure to add yourself as a follower. Feeds my ego in a big way. I'm very insecure.
Cast of Characters
Meet the fambly:
Our Family in 2009
I'm on Top Mommy Blogs!
An award? For ME?
The Lazy Mom Award for Most Popular Lazy Mom Tip of 2011 is.....