We're getting off to rough start at Ward Academy this morning (remember, I homeschool). My daughter has already racked up three consequences and it doesn't appear like it's going to get better.
Michael and I have been inconsistent with some issues for a long time and recently "saw the light" thanks to Boundaries with Kids. I've been reading the book off and on for over a year now, but it's hard to implement something when both parents aren't on board. After a recent weekend trip without the kids, we talked about where we have failed and how to turn it around.
We realized how often we parent in the moment because we're exhausted from all the battles. (Another great book if you're struggling with a combative child is The Explosive Child by Dr. Ross Greene.) We--mostly me--would start out calm then end up yelling, so we have trained our children that they don't have to obey until we get mad. Boundaries helps you see why that's not good for your child's future and how to change what you're doing.
We decided to crack down while remaining calm...most of the time...throughout the interaction. We have a "Consequences" and "Rewards" jar. We also use an "If...Then Chart" so they know what the consequence is for certain infractions. Each consequence includes Scripture for them to read, discuss and memorize. We've used these for some time now but kind of got out of the habit.
I have been yelling less though it's been a rough few weeks. Some days go better than others. Some days I want to pop their heads off. Our sweet girl tests the boundaries regularly which is completely normal but oh my goodness!!!
I'm hoping she will finally get it and start learning what we are teaching and modeling, that it will begin to take root in her heart and mind. Usually, she accuses us of being mean or evil and laments how horrible her life is.
Oh, the woes of being ten with parents who care enough to ground you when you declare war on parental authority.