The Five of Us, Spring 2014

The Five of Us, Spring 2014

Reprogramming and Running Away

27 July 2011

The bigs attend year-round school, so they had 5 weeks in June and July off for their summer break. Three of those 5 weeks were filled with visits from the grandparents (first my parents for a week, then Aa's for 2). Our last visitors left on Monday morning. Needless to say, after all that spoiling by the gps and the relaxing of discipline by Aa and me, some reprogramming has been required this week!

I gave myself a break on Monday and did nearly nothing regarding housework and child-training. But, Tuesday was a new day and a return to routine and our typical standards of behavior. So, after about 5 weeks of doling out threats with nothing to back them up, I told the bigs Monday night that they'd used up all their warnings and that consequences would be swift on Tuesday.

On the way home from school Tuesday, it was bicker, bicker, bicker. Of course. Part of our routine is that the kids do a few quick chores (pick up the mail, take out the dog, deal with lunch boxes and backpacks) and then have some blow-off-steam play time before we hit the homework. Well, they decided to rough-house and I could tell it was escalating, so I called it off and told them not to touch each other. So, Punk poked Pea. Of course. I sent him straight to his bed and told him I'd be there to talk to him in just a moment. After assuring myself that Pea wasn't also in need of discipline, I called Punk down from his upper bunk. He recalled that there were to be no warnings and we reviewed the meaning of obedience (you do what I say right away, all the way, and with a happy heart). He admitted that poking Pea didn't fit the bill. I told him I'd have to spank him once for his disobedience. I gave him one quick thwap. Being the drama king he is, he screamed bloody murder and leapt up into the air. He scurried to his closed bedroom door and flew out. Before I knew it, I heard the front door open and close. Hot on his heels, I got outside just after he did. He turned and scowled and yelled, "I'm running away!"

Well, that was a first, so I had to think and act quickly. Without rushing, I caught him up and began to talk to him.
"Where are you going?"
"Hrmph. I don't know." Grumbled.
"Hmmm. Well, you didn't stop to get your shoes (compassionately). I bet your feet are going to start hurting."
"And, it is raining out here. You'll be getting awfully wet soon."
"So what." Angry.
"Why don't we go home where it's dry and cool. We can talk about this and come up with a plan."
"Hmf." Resigned?
I scooped him up and held his stiff, angry body close to me. I said gently, "You know, no matter where you go in this world, you will never, ever find anyone who loves you as much as Daddy and I do. And, your sister and brother are a close second." I couldn't believe my brilliance! I sounded like a movie script! And, what's even better--it worked! By the time we got inside the door, his attitude was changed and his arms were around my neck. His hands slid down my arms as I set him down, not wanting to break the connection.

After 7 years of parenting this little boy who is cut from the same cloth I was, I feel I'm finally getting a handle on how to deal with his drama. It requires every ounce of strength I have to fight drama with kindness and quiet (instead of escalating the situation as I have in the past). Just like me, he just wants empathy and understanding. And love. It all comes back to love. When I remain calm and in control of myself, I can show him my love in a much more convincing way. And, when he knows I love him no matter what, all the other stuff falls away for him too.

I was amazed that the rest of the afternoon and evening passed without another incident. Five weeks worth of unprogramming reversed with one spank and kindly whispered words of love? Unbelievable, but true!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this story. Very encouraging to me. I feel like I am dealing with similar things with my dramatic son. I have three kids--two girls and a boy. Never dreamed my son would be the most emotional and dramatic. :) He just needs so much love and encouragement right now.

My Man and Me

My Man and Me
married 7/7/2001


ours through biology, born 7/25/2004, home 8/1/2004


ours through adoption from Liberia, West Africa, born 7/15/2005, home 10/25/2007


ours through domestic adoption, born 1/15/2011, home 2/10/2011, final 8/3/2011

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Round Two Timeline

  • 9/24/08 Home study update home visit for Ghana adoption
  • 10/15/08 Dossier sent to AOHG
  • 10/15/08 I600A application sent to USCIS
  • 10/30/08 First heard about possible domestic private adoption
  • 11/18/08 Last spoke with contact about possible domestic adoption; expected to hear back about meeting with birthmother
  • 12/3/08 Withdrew application from AOHG
  • 1/6/09 Found out another family had been chosen for possible domestic adoption
  • 1/21/09 USCIS fingerprinting appointment
  • 1/8/09 Received USCIS fingerprinting appointment notice
  • 4/11/09 Sent Pre-Application to Covenant Care Adoptions for Domestic Infant Adoption program
  • 6/8/09 Social worker visit to update home study from International to Domestic
  • 7/24/09 Received completed home study update
  • 8/25/09 Went "on the list" for birthfamilies to choose from
  • 4/28/10 Found out a birth mom had chosen us
  • 5/8/10 Met the birth mom
  • 5/11/10 Got the call that birth mom changed her mind
  • 5/19/10 Birth mom's scheduled c-section
  • 11/30/10 Visit from DSS sw about foster parenting
  • 11/30/10 Got the call that another birth mom had chosen us
  • 12/21/10 Met with the birth mom
  • 1/15/11 @1:42 PM BB was born!
  • 1/19/11 ICPC (interstate) paperwork sent to GA for approval
  • 1/31/11 ICPC Clearance Approved
  • 2/10/11 Placement Ceremony and Pup comes home!!!!
  • 8/3/11 It's Official! Pup's Adoption Decree was issued