First, it was TV. If the TV was on, the boys weren’t listening. So, I did what any parent would do – I banned the TV in the morning. I’m slowly weening them off the TV in general, but you can’t go cold turkey. Like any addiction, you’ve gotta start out slow and work your way towards NONE.
Things were going great, the boys were getting dressed on their own. Brushing their teeth and combing their hair. We even started making breakfast together. I would get out the bread and toaster, they would pop the toast in, I would come back to put something on the toast. It worked (and still works) well.
When we woke up this morning… dun dun dunnnnnn – all heck was about to break loose.
Usually, Evan wakes up in a great mood. I wake him up, tickle him and give him hugs – then he’s good for the day. Happy, smiling, cheery. But Brody, on the other hand, is a freakin bear in the morning. Ahem… I’m not sure (ahem) where he gets that from. He needs to eat first before he does anything else – then after food, he magically turns into a nice kid. This morning was no different. Nothing I could do or say was going to move him from bear into nice kid. His head hurt. His knee hurt. He was cold. Evan was looking at him. Endless…
So I did what any (krazee, tired, and worn out) parent would do who was pushed to her emotional and mental limits by a crying, weeping 7 yr old whiney boy – I banned talking in the morning. It’s perfectly logical if you think about it. Brody is no longer allowed to talk in the morning unless it’s positive or helpful. He’d wake up on the wrong side of the cave and bitch and moan at me – then I would bitch and moan back and all of a sudden, we are all in a bad mood. So I discovered the root cause and have nipped it in the bud. You see, WE have this problem in our house, WE think (and by WE, I mean THEM) it’s okay to talk to people any old way WE feel like – without suffering the consequences of OUR actions (and by actions, I mean words). It’s unacceptable and it’s rude. Manners matter!
I once did an experiment with them where I didn’t talk to them, for what seemed like an eternity (hence 30 minutes) I did not answer them or speak to them at all. They felt it was fine to ignore mommy when she spoke, so I ignored them. As you can imagine, neither child liked that very much. What this did was give me ammunition (should I need it) to stop this behavior in the future. If they don’t listen to me, I can very quickly say “do you want mommy to not listen or speak to you?” and both boys know how THAT felt and can quickly change their actions.
So we will see how the NO SPEAKING (unless it’s positive or helpful) rule goes. I’m determined to make it work. Of course, I have no control over what they do at their dad’s house. Hopefully, with time, Brody will wake up and feel positive about the day rather than bitch and moan and make the rest of us cranky. Wish me luck!