Monday, February 3, 2014

Hot Tea and Redirection

“How is a Raven like a writing desk?”
I remember watching the movie 'The Last Unicorn' as a kid, and wondering what the answer to this riddle was. And by the way? The old freaky lady that had the animal circus in that movie still gives me the full body shivers. FA-REAK-Y

So the other day, and today, and lets just toss in every day/waking hour of my life for the last four years I have needed to help a child of mine in a behavior adjustment or repair. It spans from basic, “lets not pick our nose and eat it” to “you really don't feel like burning the house down today, do you?”
Hey I like variety.
“It's the spice of life.”
er somthin.

One basic thing I am STILL learning is the dropping the suggestion, or recommendation for alternative behavior or thought is the 'leaving it in their lap to absorb/chew on/sit on/digest”....and WALKING AWAY...mostly the leaving it and walking away part.
Nope, I sometimes like to suggest, re suggest, AND THEN RE SUGGEST AGAIN ,add three more reasons for WHY my SUGGESTION is a GOOD ONE...and then sit and watch, and wait, and remind them to pick up the suggestion, and what to do with it...and REMIND them how to chew, and process...
to the point that I have bought myself a full scale battle with my kid.
Because sometimes I am awesome like that.
Because sometimes all of the time, I like to be right, and obeyed, and not have to wait.
NOTE: This never turns out well for me.

So how is Redirecting your kid like hot tea?

Just yesterday my child was “Doing their chores” , really this kid was slapping the broom down LOUDLY and scattering dirt. I was not feeling therapeutic, I was in desperate need of a snack and a nap and my blanky.
The come home had begun with a door slam and toss of coat and shoes and backpack in the middle of the floor (insert eye roll) and demand for a snack. Yeah, awesome.
I was NOT in the mood for Senorita Drama-pants.
I prompted with, “hey I am super excited to get your snack for you, as soon as your coat and school stuff is picked up and you finish up your sweeping that didn't get done this morning, when you were in a rush to get out the door.”

Beginning the broom and floor abuse.

“Sweetness, if you are too tired to sweep the floor nicely you may go rest first, and after you have rested come back and pick up your things, sweep and then ...may have your snack.”


Kablam, bam, bam...(the poor broom was loosing synthetic hair like a bad weave)

and here is where I blew it.

I walked over and tried to take the broom.
I engaged in a stupid control battle, one that she had been vying for the second she walked though the door.
She gripped it hard, screaming “LET GO.”

So I stood there and started talking, about how if she would just use her tools, and what her tools were, and how we had American Idol tonight, and didn't she want to watch that..and kept on talking, while she yanked that dumb broom and I didn't let go, because, I WANTED her to LISTEN....
The situation began to escalate,and my child was now spitting angry.
I was doing it.
Trying to give her a recommendation, but then MAKING HER TAKE IT, trying to make her chew on what I was trying to tell her, standing there wanting her TO HURRY UP and LISTEN TO ME.
NOTE: It took me five minutes of broom dancing to realize, this was not working.

So I stopped.
I apologized for trying to take the broom, told her the tools and things she needed to do to get the snack and the repair she would need do for arguing, so that we could make her snack together, and then walked over, with my phone and tried to pretend I was lost in Facebook, I WALKED AWAY and left it with her.

She stood there glaring at me, trying to argue.
I sat there, kind eyes and just kept on nodding my head and agreeing with her...and finally after I am sure she contemplated throwing the broom through my head like a champion javelin Olympian, calmed and begun sweeping.
Before I knew it, the menagerie of school stuff was put away, and she was sitting at the table waiting for me to get her snack.

How are our kids like Tea, or a Fine Wine?

If you don't have patience, and let things simmer, cool and seep....
You will end up with a HOT unseasoned burn of blah or bitter Nastiness.

Trust me.
I totally burn myself with tea, and children regularly.
Just a little thought, and reminder mostly for me.


  1. Oh yeah, low blood sugar in Kids From Hard Places is especially triggering. I try to keep mine filled up enough, but he often refuses to eat when that's really what he needs. Gah. It's never easy.

  2. perfect. Thanks for being real! (is it wrong that I need to learn to treat my husband like tea too?)