Our household had one of those glorious moments. We had Andalene Salvesen a.k.a Super Granny visit our home. When she was recommended to us, i thought to myself i am not at my wit's end with my kids and my home is not out of control. So why on earth do i need parenting help? I obliged as she had received an outstanding recommendation from our dear friends. Looking back it was a good decision we made.To be honest, the day we had scheduled for Super Granny to visit, my kids were sick, cranky and it was one of those days i just felt like escaping everyone. Yes, it crossed my mind on several occasion to pull the plug on our scheduled visit. If I were to be brutally honest I also feared that i would witness a tough matron march into our home (no points for guessing which TV series has influenced my vision), scream at my sick-cranky kids and look down on my parenting style. I gave myself a pep talk, threw some air punches and summoned up some courage for the session ahead.
The door bell rang and my hands fluttered. My youngest had got to the door before i could and he was greeted by a graceful smile and an engaging conversation.
The friendly atmosphere thwarted my earlier apprehensions. Only just for a moment, soon enough my youngest had a melt down when I denied him a sweet juice (our house rule involves no candies and sweet drinks on a weekday). I was not going to give in easily, but i soon realized my mistake is that i drag out the process and my routine way of reasoning and then loosing my cool was not managing the tantrum effectively. Super Granny walked right in to save the moment. She advised me to take him away to a boring spot with no distractions to enable him to think about his actions, apologize and then move on. I had to be gentle but firm, put him right back on his bottom every time he walked out, explain he is not listening and hence he will have to be on time out for 3 minutes, i had to jump out quickly and let him staythere for the agreed time- One minute for each year of the kids age. He was screaming, throwing a fit and trying to get out. I thought to myself, she's just chosen the most bull-headed of the lot to display this technique, she's going to give up and so am I. Well, I was proved wrong..after a few rebellious attempts of trying to sneak out, my boy realized I was very serious with this one, he stayed put. I then walked in explained to him why he was placed there and let him know he needs to apologize after which he could come out and drink water. He gladly accepted a glass of water, got his hugs and cuddles and never asked for a sweet drink. The same scenario repeated when he refused to put away his toys after playing. This time the drama was shorter and he knew we have derived some effective formula, so he dare not war.
My second had only one session of time out and he sure learned fast. My oldest figured out that he cannot overpower his parents and was on his best behaviour, however he learned not to interrupt when others are talking and took on to the hand signals that were introduced to him. Supper Granny sat with my oldest and got to know him personally and explained to him special privileges and responsibilities as the oldest sibling. Super Granny helped us implement an incentive chart for exemplary behaviour. What is amazing about her chart is that kids are not rewarded with toys and sweet treats but quality positive time alone with parents. My oldest has been so excited about his special football date with dad, that he has been working on his progress up his chart ever since it has been featured in our home. Another observation i made in my interaction with Andalene is that in a world of ever increasing busy schedules, she points parents to prioritize on spending quality time with children and building a bond with kids from baby stage. My biggest learning from the day was shouting breaks the child's spirit. I realized that my disciplinary style involved shouting as a last resort and my kids responded in fear. Instead Andelene helped me discover that you instruct a child once and if he does not listen then you let them know they are not listening and there are consequences. Then you proceed with the disciplinary action according to their age. This is as simple as understanding the law of cause and effect.
This has opened up to a new discovery. Every parent can do with some help. For parents who are struggling with children's diet, sleeping patterns, tantrums, you are not alone and it is ok to ask for help. We have truly been blessed by Andalene visiting us. As soon as she left the door i looked at my husband and enquired..so what did you think of the session? His response "It has been revolutionary". My oldest said mom we should have Supper Granny visit some of my friends. They really need her..hmmm chuckle!! If you asked me for my opinion i would say it was an interesting learning experience indeed.
Surprise, surprise! It's been almost a weekand my kids improvement has been consistent. Crossing my fingers and hoping that it is here to stay. Hurray!
Cocoon to Butterfly blog is hosting our first official mom's conference on April 16th, where Andalene Salvesen a.k.a Super Granny is the key speaker. She will be addressing the topic of 'Shaping your kids will without breaking their spirit'. Looking forward to my learning experience with all the yummy mommies. Can't wait!!
To register : http://signetring.ae/registration/