I always like to keep things in balance so today I am writing 2 blogs, one negative entitled ‘WHY DIDN’T YOU JUST PUT HIS SOCKS ON?’ and “WHY A 2 STARTS WITH A RAINBOW’.
As You will all know my method is to do semi structured routines with organised activities trips out and social events. However I have neglected our structured routines and its had a devastating effect. The first stage was in trying to go back to a structured framework, after so many days of being out we encountered another epic temper tantrum, despite 2 time outs during a lovely trip out to do crazy golf, we came to blows when I had laid down 3 rules. 1. No throwing your golf ball in the water. 2. Do not pick up anyone else’s ball and 3. Do not throw anything its not safe. After these rules were breached we had a time out followed by a hug but then the final blow was when I timed him out for showing off in front of his friends that he could and would breach these 3 rules. So I took him out the back of the loos and had a chat. He instantly turned volatile as he thought it was to throw his ball into the water then hack at it with his gold club. Not to mention that it was breaking the rules it was also scratching the hell out of the equipment we had borrowed and the brand new adventure golf’s’ pebbles and barrels. Unfortunately little man didn’t quiet see eye to eye with me and so I marched him back to the group handed in our equipment and then said our goodbyes. He refused to hold my hand and stormed out the grounds me in tow. I was so embarrassed it was like having a row with your partner and them storming off to get in the car and drive home. This however was a 4 year old and things are never as easy as saying OK go have your sulk I will see you later when you calm down!
I had to call partner on this occasion as despite my desire not to give in to what he was asking for (a lift home) the place was simply not on a pedestrian zed area and so there was just a country road and no bus links home. By calling partner we avoided the treat of waiting for friends.
Lesson learnt – he didn’t want to go out that morning and it was a fight to get him dressed. Despite the build up of we are going to a theme park type of event he refused to get dressed and that is where my article title comes into play – ’why didn’t you just put his socks on?’
We are a few weeks down the line now and we have had lessons every day for the last 5 days so things are improving, instead of 8 hours getting him to write a number in his work book – it now takes 3 seconds and in fact he finished the book it was so much fun! Going back after the handwriting exercises were done so that he could work through the fun activities. What a difference I thought.
That brings me to a day where we had done our last page of the book, our last number conquered all the numbers up to and including 20 written perfectly. I suggested an afternoon activity of going to the library with a treat time on the computer if he was good at the with swapping his books. However I was pinched to the post when he was asked to get his socks as shoes on. He utter the words ‘you do it!’ Which if you are a child reading this and thinking how can that be bad it really is. Its both back chat and contempt for your fellow human being and should never be uttered. He was told if he wanted to go out he had to do it himself – and so the onslaught of throwing socks throwing a temper tantrum and getting angry putting his socks inside out to demonstrate tom foolery … the tactics are endless like every tool in the box was used to avoid just doing it himself. Much like the homework week we just started instead of the 30 seconds work done and then a new activity started we never got started so we could never finish. Its either my pencil threw itself on the floor, I need a drink (sipped verrrrry slowly), I need a tissue, I need the loo, I need to just play with my car, I just want to lie down for a bit, or the pencil isn’t sharp enough. Every evasive tactic as I said. So I counted to three and followed through with the threat of some time out I bed. This ultimately results in teddies being thrown out of the bed but then he has to put them back before he is allowed out of his time out.
Partner (bless em but they can be a pain at the wrong time) decided to ask “why didn’t you just put his socks on?” To which I then responded, “you don’t get it if its do this for me now imagine how much more I have to go through just to get to the library.” He didn’t get it he says that all he wants is his socks putting on. What he doesn’t get is that we women aren’t just mums, carers and accountants and chefs – we are also clairvoyant too! I know that despite being able to do his own socks it won’t stop there -next it will be I can’t do my shoes, then it will be I can’t do my coat, then it will be I cant walk down the stairs I need a carry, then it will be I need help walking, then I don’t want to go that way I want to go that way, then its I want to go in the car shop followed by an argument about not going in the car shop because we only came out to go to the library, then he won’t help drag the bag of books, then we get to the library and he will insist that he has the computer reward before swapping his books, then he will go into melt down when I say it is time to go and I won’t be able to carry him home. The problem is once you have one difficulty trying to get over the hurdle its best to listen to what the child is really saying, yes some children maybe just needing a hand but not this one – he can do his own socks and if he won’t then that’s an indication of his mood. If he doesn’t want to try and do a simple task like that then the other more testing tasks will be too much of a challenge. Then there is the factor that I have something called Joint Hyper mobility Syndrome, I’ve had it since I was born but didn’t know, due to stress the symptoms have worsened and much like Fybromyalgia and ME I find I get very tired when stressed. So faced with a 4 year old who is too tired and wants his mummy to do everything so that he can complete the task of visiting the library – its best to evaluate and be realistic — do I have the energy – yes do I have the energy if I am predicting a battle at every 5 meters – no is it safe to proceed? – no then re-evaluate your time. Needless to say little man settled down picked up his teddies and played with his cars, exerting minimum strain on both him and me.
2 starts with a Rainbow.
So I said two blogs this one is very positive – After difficulties with doing number 2 I changed tactics and found I made a break through which I wanted to share. I cut Mr 2 up into 3 parts – a / like a number 7, a corner like the one from number 4, and an arch like the one from the top of number 3, 8 and 9. By dividing up the component parts of number 2 it was then easier to see which bit of the number he was struggling with. As predicted it was the start, (start as you mean to go on as they say). So we took the arch and tried to make tunnels – but the tunnels looked more like an n than they did an arc. Suddenly I realised what it looked like and thought bill’ a change of tactics – it’s a rainbow! So I picked out all the colours of the rainbow in crayons go a piece of paper drew a dot for the start and finish and asked him to arch a line from one to the other, first he tried to be smart and took the shortest route (a straight line -) So he tried again, this time it bulged to the left and then went into a bend, so I drew a template for him to copy, he managed to guess which colour came next in succession for a the rainbow colours even referring to the purple as ‘violet’ – I was very proud of his colour pallet knowledge as he could see the ‘closest’ colour to the last one used, merging colours and blending is a real skill yet he could visually define them as red, then orange then yellow not jumping to blue or purple. All the while he was learning both colour relationships, mixtures, the feel of the crayon in his hands but the main point was he was learning that all important arc! This then led straight into drawing 3’s with the arc and coloured crayons, some encouragement was needed but he soon was able to piece the 2 back together again using the 3 different components using a different colour crayon for each component. Then I asked him to copy it using just a blue crayon, then we swapped to a pencil and he asked can I have my sticker now -so I promised if he can replicate it into his book he can have his sticker – needless to say the 2 was more perfect than any 2 I could have drawn. Success a sticker and a big hi 5. So now we have all our numbers written down and mastered – the next step is to keep repeating this writing them in a row so that he considered what numbers come after 15, then hopefully he will be on his way to counting to the moon and back!