Parenting with Grace. The other day, after a particularly sinful exhibition of parenting that will probably land the chickadees in therapy twenty years from now, I took it off the shelf again. Of course, we all know that the answer to everything is between the pages of a book (not). But I did like this one, and it inspired me.
Trying to start the next day on a positive note, I brought each girl in to my bed separately for a morning cuddle and talk. I asked #2 to tell me some of the rules we have here in our household. After a long pause, she said something along the lines of "always zip the trampoline net closed". This is a rule, but not really what I was going for. I then asked her to name some rules at school, and she was able to trill five or six without any hesitation. Chickadee #1 had an even more difficult time naming some household rules. Truth be told, she also had trouble naming rules at school. Maybe she was not focused.
Anyway, a light bulb appeared above my tangled bed head. I went downstairs and told my husband that I had found the key -- the kids didn't follow the rules because they didn't actually know the rules.
Later that night, we had a family meeting and articulated the rules together. We told the chickadees that, now that we all know the rules, there was no need for confusion. When a rule has been broken, parents will send chickadees to a list of rules and ask them to identify which rule they have broken. It's working like a charm, both to reinforce the rules and stop the negative behavior.
And so, clearly articulated family rules posted in an easily accessible place to which Chickadees can be sent repeatedly throughout the day as they serially break them WORKS FOR ME!!