Thursday, February 14, 2019

Serenity Now

Happy Valentines Day! Life is chugging along with its ups and downs. I am doing really well in some realms and falling behind in others, as per usual. We don't have any couple or family V-day traditions really. L took cheap drugstore Valentines in for his class, B didn't want to this year which was more than OK by me. The boys did pick up some flowers for me on the way home yesterday. I think I'm allergic to them, my throat & eyes got itchy. We will have dessert after dinner and maybe some wine for G and I after the kids go to bed.

I've been yelling a LOT at the kids lately and I'm trying to be less reactive. Its so much easier said than done. The mornings are the worst. We get them up early enough to have plenty of time for breakfast and getting ready, but then they have 2-3 minutes to spare, start playing, and end up late leaving the house. When I call them down to get going (we set an alarm that goes off, but they ignore it), they inevitably fight with each other, dawdle and get distracted (i.e. put one shoe on, then start walking over to the kitchen again), and generally need LOTS of prompting to put on shoes and coats and grab their bags. Many MANY mornings our short walk to school involves crying/grumpiness. Not an ideal start to the day and it doesn't feel good to send them out into the world feeling bad. 

I actually had a talk with them and we figured out a system of good behavior for X days will equal a treat/prize. I know I know, I always resort to the bribery. Today was Day 1 and it did go better. I'd be happy to take suggestions. 

Starting tomorrow I begin a stretch of call. Again, trying for a good attitude about this. I am definitely hoping to stay at work and catch up on some things that are urgent but not important so I can get them off my plate and focus on paper writing during the week. I'm also hoping to somehow get in workouts and all the other weekend stuff. I am dumping meal planning and prep on G (usually my job). We also need to finalize some of our summer plans & start looking at flights. 

Honestly I have no love for February and this month has been no exception. The weather is gross, there are no holidays (for me, the kids & G have president's day), the energy of the New Year is fading, and I'm just really ready for spring. At least the days are getting longer?


  1. Bribery is NOT bad parenting. It's positive reinforcement.

    I too am tired of this crap weather (and my crap schedule... but that's another issue). My goal is to hunker down until I'm done with this rotation in 7.5 weeks (q2-3 call, no post-call days), and then study like hell for my oral boards, and THEN hit the gas on my research projects again. But Jesus, when is this ever going to be less intense? Can somebody please tell me?

  2. Bribery is often what works to create better habits. As adults, we call it positive reinforcement. :-)

  3. My oldest has pretty severe ADHD and the only way we can have peaceful mornings is by giving him a small amount of screen time once he has completed his "checklist"--on a dry erase board we have a short list of what he has to do. He is 9 but to be blunt is more on par with my 3.5 year old when it comes to completing self care/ hygiene/ self prep tasks like teeth, hair, shoes and socks, getting his backpack ready etc. He needs a big carrot to keep his eyes on the prize and for him it's screen time. He has 20 minutes once his checklist is completed. I think your boys are maybe older so that might not be motivation enough for them, but maybe they could earn a check for every morning it's done well and on the third day receive a small reward. In general---I really recommend the book "The Kazdin Method for Parenting the Defiant Child"--HORRIBLE title I know, but it is a sensitively and thoroughly written book that I found so helpful and offers some very practical advice on setting up rewards systems. My typically developing kids don't need this kind of planning and thought which is frustrating--my oldest requires so much more energy--but the book was empowering. Sorry for the very long and random comment, I just thought I'd offer what has worked for us!