Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Letting Go Experiment, Day 1, Aftershock

Technically, this should be called "Day 1 Evaluation" or something equally appropriate, but "Aftershock" is the more accurate word...

Jee and Aee were amazing. They both did their top three things (although Jee didn't actually get to finish his) and they did the "work" inbetween more willingly than ever before. They:

*took their baths without whining. I didn't even hear the typical question, "Do I actually have to get in the water???" (They're such cats.)

*ate unique foods at dinner and didn't complain

*did a *full* shopping trip with me without a single complaint. (This is the sound of me stunned...


Usually, when we do shopping of any sort, my two little anti-consumers whine and moan, "Can we go home yet? This is So NOT Fun. This stuff is stupid. This is stupid."

The only whine that isn't too bad is when they said, "Ooooh noooo... my brain is rotting..." and they melt into the cart (or worse, the floor). That one is actually a bit funny.

The worst whine is "Are you done yet? Are you done yet? Are you done yet?" followed by, "But you said you only needed three things! This is more than three! I can count you know!" (followed by an inaudible, but still very obvious "It sure looks like you can't count" unsaid, unspoken, hanging in the air.) I have the nasty habit of saying before we go into the store, "It'll be quick; I only need three (or five or eleven) things." This particular habit is called a "habit of pre-emptive self-delusion" or at least that's what it would be called if I got to write the textbooks for Psych 101.

But, today there wasn't a single complaint. I think I may be in shock.

The survival tool I use most often in stores is to give them a +1 if they show good behavior and a -1 if they show bad behavior. It helps them grasp the continuity of the number line and it helps demarquate the terms of appropriate and inappropriate behavior. For example:

Jee: "M o m, this is so stooopid." (said in a whiny voice while pointing to any miscellaneous item in the cart)

Me: "Minus one."

Jee: (mouth shut, an important EQ skill)

On the flip side:

Jee: "Mom, can I see the list so I can help you find the next item?"

Me: "Sure, you'll get a plus one if we can find a new rug and towel together nicely"

At the end of the trip, they had a combined plus six which lead to two extra items (a hamster exercise ball and some window chalk for the car. That car can't get any more ugly. Drawing on the car's windows will be an improvement.)

The activities they chose to do were fun. They got plenty of exercise and plenty of "Ok, before we do ___ we have to do 15 min of clean up work. Okies?"

Met by, "Sure mom!"

My two favorite words of the day.

Aftershock = When people, even little ones, are in control of their lives, they are far more pleasant to be around.