Things have been a little crazy around here. I guess I should say crazier. I console myself with thinking that it happens in a lot of households and not just ours. We are a fairly routine oriented family and have expectations of behavior that need to be followed. I wouldn't say that I'm extremely strict. I believe in picking my battles, but I do stick with it. Even though it's painful at times. Very painful. That being said, sometimes things get a little lax. We get into a good place with routine and behavior and then things slowly start to.....slip. Little by little. Until, one day, you find yourself wondering what happened to your sweet, darling children and what you can do to rectify the situation short of selling them on eBay.
That is when Baby Boot Camp comes into play. But more on that later.
Recently, what started out as an annoying, common-among-siblings problem ballooned into an out-of-control-drive-mom-to-the-loony-bin problem. Teasing. Sounds so innocent. Teasing. All kids do it, right? Right. But ours had become totally out of control. It would literally start while they were still in bed and continue throughout the day until they went to bed that night. And it wasn't just teasing. Whoever was on the losing side (and it varied fairly equally) shared their discontent with the situation loudly. And often. One would be screaming or crying, while the other would be cackling with satisfaction. It was as pleasant as it sounds and then some.
Traditional time outs, loss of toys or privileges and other punishments didn't work. What's a mom to do? This is when Baby Boot Camp starts. I've done Baby Boot Camp at other times when we just needed a little refresher coarse on what is and is not okay. This time though, it had a little twist.
Now, pay attention because the advice I'm about to share is priceless. And most likely has been used countless times in the past and worked equally as well. But this is the first time we have used it and I'm a big fan.
Whenever there is teasing, taunting tormenting, screaming, etc. there is one warning given in the morning to remind the girls of how the process goes. Then, the next time it happens...BAM! Both girls in time out, separately, for 10 minutes. Every. Single. Time. It doesn't matter who started it, I ended it. Gone is the huge amount of time wasted trying to figure out who actually started it and who should rightfully go in time out. Gone is the satisfaction that they no doubt felt when getting the other in trouble. And, even if I have to do it ten times a day, I at least get 10 minute breaks without the fighting.
The first day, they were put in time out for teasing at least 6 times and I think probably more. When you add that all up, it's over an HOUR spent in time out. There's a lot of playing that can be done in an hour.
Since we instituted the new "teasing time out" rule, there has been a significant drop in the amount of teasing. It's been nice. And, honestly, there have been a few times when they have been totally out of control and not listening and I've done the group time out even though it wasn't for teasing. It works well. Now it's just a matter of not abusing it. ;o)
I'm certainly not a parenting expert (obviously) but I think it would work with most kids. I have fairly strong willed children. A recent example:Babs decided (3 days before Christmas) that she didn't want to wear a shirt. Any shirt. And spent four and a half hours in her crib screaming and refusing to wear a shirt. Technically, the last hour she had fallen asleep and as she was waking up, CG forced a shirt on her before she was awake enough to fight back. After she ate, she thanked me for the best day. Yes, I do live in the Twilight Zone...why do you ask? The next day, it only took an hour and a half. Like I said before, I pick my battles and wearing a shirt when it's 18 degrees outside is a battle I choose to fight.
As I was saying, really strong willed children. And I think that is great. Or, will be in about 20 years. And I don't want to squash their strong will, but rather teach them to use their powers for good and not evil. And I have found that this really works without me turning into a total monster. Or them turning into monsters. It's a win win.
Now, any advice for the teenage years? Because I am terrified.