Working with the issue

December 16, 2009 § 1 Comment

I’m here to brag.

Sometimes I come up with some pretty wicked (I am in the northeast…) strategies for working with my kids. One said strategy came to me one day when baby brother was hitting a lot. I felt like he was doing nothing wrong and didn’t feel like saying the traditional “no hitting” line. I had also lost interest in those commands from my time with bilingual baby who doesn’t work well with them.

The solution that day has now become my standard phrase- our standard phrase- for most everything. What we say now is that one has “hitting energy”.

Why does that rephrase make any difference?

In my head it makes all the difference. It hits my brain like an observation rather than an accusation or an adult judgment placed on a child. Once we realized that we had “hitting energy”, we could go over to the sofa and hit the sofa all together, which usually gets all three of us laughing. A much more sane way for me to deal with hitting energy than telling my kids over and over again that they have hitting energy.

Since starting to use “hitting energy”, we’ve realized that when we get all wound up inside, we have “outside energy”. Again, rather than saying that one of us needs to use inside voices, we recognize that we have energy better fit for the outdoors and we can usually get outside soon after the realization.

After noticing that everything is energy (thanks Katherine B), bilingual baby has started saying that she has things like “swinging energy”, “hugging energy”, “washing energy”, and so on. It really can encompass everything.

My mom and I were talking the other morning and she said that a friend was over with her two daughters. One of the daughters, as she put it, had outside energy. That was the first time that someone used to remove all the crud that comes with adult assumptions on children.

Today I came up with another solution to one of my never ending problems.

The problem: I can never get anything spread all the way around a piece of toast. In turn, bilingual baby, upon seeing my half spread piece of toast will up and demand another piece, spread better. With more. Argh!

Or so I used to think.

What happens is that when I try to spread flax seed oil on toast, it’s nearly impossible for me to get the oil spread all over the bread. How can I?

Solution: Today, I’m sure inspired by one of my favorite tv characters, Monk, I decided to just cut off the pieces of bread that didn’t have enough oil visible to appease my 3 year old. She ended up with a perfect square toast entirely covered by oil.

It worked. The tears and frustration were replaced by a contented face.

One point for Leila!



§ One Response to Working with the issue

  • QueenHoneyB says:

    Good idea about the energy! I’ll have to give that a try.
    My daughter is also becoming more specific about how she wants her food! About two months ago she started refusing to eat bread crusts, whereas before that day she had never even noticed a breadcrust and just gobbled everything up. Not sure where that came from! Now I have to cut off all the breadcrusts. Recently I started saving them to grind up and use for breadcrumbs in recipes and I realized just how much bread I have been throwing into the compost!

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