Flexibility - The ability to adapt and generate creative options rather than to obsess, worry and control.
I love this definition of flexibility. I really like to think I am the type of parent that can "adapt and generate creative options" but I have to admit that lately I have been falling back on a lot of the old standby maneuvers. For example, I don't really think timeouts are very effective, particularly when my girl is tired but I still hear myself counting to three -- all the time hoping I won't have to follow through on the timeout which usually goes something like this.
OK Sweets, that's it go to your room for a time out!
"NO!! I promise I won't throw the blocks anymore. I really promise."
Sorry Sweets. It is too late now. You didn't stop when I asked you to stop.
Sweets arrives in room. "Is my time out over?"
No not yet.
Two seconds later "Can I come out now?" followed for the next 100 two second intervals, "How about NOW? Can I come out now???"
Finally when I can't stand it any longer I go down to her room for the "talk."
Do you know why you are here sweets?
"I threw the blocks"
Yes you threw the blocks and you did not stop when mommy asked you to stop.
"But I'm not throwing them NOW."
No you aren't but do you promise NOT to throw them anymore when you get back to the living room?
O.K. then. You can come out.
A few minutes later... Please don't dump all the books out of the book shelf.
OK that's One! Two...
"But I'm NOT throwing the blocks!"
I suppose I could consider immobilizing her like these parents have done:
But I don't think that is a very FLEXIBLE approach either!
Give me some ideas folks! How do you handle it when your requests go completely ignored?
Next Post: Something ... flexible!