Monday, March 17, 2014

Assessing the Situation

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The other day Liza and Jason were just getting on each others nerves... nonstop. I gave them several chances to work things out and play nice. It wasn't happening so I eventually sent them to their rooms to spend some time on their own and settle down.

Liza decided that she would start cleaning the living room to avoid going to her bedroom. I told her bedroom first, cleaning after that. She responded with her attitude all Fine. I won't clean when I come down then. And she stomps up the stairs.

They both sit quietly in their bedrooms for a while and then I hear the floorboards creaking. Liza is sneaking into Jason's room whispering (loud enough for me to hear her downstairs) Jason, I need to tell you a secret.

Mike and I sit on the couch listening. What are they up to? Do we punish Liza for leaving her room when we told her to stay in it?

Mike yelled up "What's going on Liza?"

LIZA: I need to tell Jason a secret.
MIKE: But you are supposed to be in your room.
LIZA: I know... but I needed to tell Jason a secret. It's a good one.
MIKE: Well you were supposed to be in your room. What do you think we should do about that?
LIZA: But it's a really good secret!

At this point I realized we should probably explore the situation a little bit more before handing out more punishment.

ME: Secrets huh?
LIZA: Yeah.
ME: What kind of secrets?
LIZA: I can't tell you. But do you want a clue?
ME: Sure.
LIZA: It's something that mommy hates!

It was said in a way that I knew that they were up to something good. When Liza asked if they could get out of their rooms I decided to say ok.

Liza and Jason came down the steps and immediately, with big smiles on their faces, started cleaning up the living room.

I, of course, made a huge deal about it. I DO hate cleaning! Oh my! This is so nice!

Big hugs all around and then they were off to playing together again. Smiles and laughter.

I'm really glad that I stopped to assess the situation before getting angry that Liza was out of her room. The point of me sending them to their rooms was so that they could settle down and adjust their attitudes. That had happened. They were no longer fighting and instead they were working together and coming up with a plan to show me that their attitudes had changed.

We all won that day. :)

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