Jo Frost is my heroine. Because my years of parenthood are behind me and I know by the results of how my two children turned out that I did a very good job at it, thankyouverymuch -- and let's not forget Dear Hubby's contribution to it, too -- well, with that said I never thought about tuning in to "Supernanny". Then, a while back as I kind of channel-surfed out of boredom, I came across an episode of it and watched. I find Jo amazing. Truly. I have two very, very spirited grandsons and as I've stumbled and bumbled my way thru trying to find solutions to getting some of their behavior under control I hadn't found much to guide me. In all honesty, I hadn't even done any searches or reading about it...I have barely enough time thru my busy days to keep my head above water. But as I sat there watching "Supernanny" the cogs of my over-tired brain began to slowly grind to life and I thought to myself, "Why can't I use some of these techniquest on the grandboys?!" Considering they're with me about 90% of their waking hours, 90% of what they learn about human behavior and what's acceptable or not is coming from me.
I've initiated the Naughty Corner with House Rules listed. Cooper loves it...he'll even go sit on the little bench when he's not naughty. He'll 'pretend' pinch me or 'pretend' bite, then look at me expectantly and I'll say, "You need to go sit in the Naughty Corner, young man." He'll not his head, smile at me, and go sit himself down. A minute later he'll come back and kiss me, then pretend another offense and go back to sit down again. Then, back for a kiss. Another offense. And back to the bench again. This can go on until he runs out of 'naughty' things to do. But when he's truly naughty, it works wonders on him. Dylan, on the other hand, absolutely hates the Naughty Corner and, in all honesty, it doesn't work so well with him. But I do find if I get him off by himself for a minute, hunker down and have him make direct eye contact with me, and tell him why his behavior isn't acceptable he'll listen. We finish it with a big hug and then he's ok.
Another thing that is a great success is explaining to Dylan what behavior is expected of him when we're out in public. Again, down at his level and with eye contact. I ask him if he understands and he says "Yes" and away we go. A perfect example was at Walgreen's the other morning. He prefers to walk beside me now more than he likes riding in the stroller so he holds on to either side of the handlebar - whichever is away from traffic - and I've told him he needs to hold on to it in stores and the library, too. He is very, very good about that. In Walgreen's we'd gone down the aisle where the candy is to buy a couple packets of MnM's for him and Cooper and some yogurt raisins for me...I let him select the candy. In other stores, I let him pick out whatever items we need and place them in our basket -- that goes for selecting fruit or vegetables, too. He loves doing that. As we came up to the check out in Walgreen's a lovely lady who works there and is a grandma also and has 'known' my grandsons from the days of Dylan's infancy happened to be at the register. She's always thrilled to see the boys and is so sweet with them. I let Dylan swipe my Debit card and help punch in my PIN and she stood watching as he concentrated on what I was telling him to do. He behaved SO well and I was so proud of him. I smiled at her and said, "This is one of our good days!" She laughed because she's witnessed some of our bad days. She told Dylan, "You're so lucky, honey. You have such a sweet grandmother." I looked at her like she was out of her mind and said, "Oh no, not true." And she adamantly told me, "Yes, you are. Even on the bad days you handle them with so much love and patience and a lot of grace."
If that didn't make my day!
And at the library they were as quiet as mice and good as gold.
I think I'm on to something here.
Thank you, Jo.