Mar 25, 2009

Behavioral Modification?

In my house life can be somewhat chaotic because between my room mate and I, we have four children several cats and two dogs. The children range in ages 12 years old to 8 years old and as all children are...each has their very individual personality. We have one bathroom and three bedrooms and space is at a premium as one can probably guess with only one bathroom and three little girls (poor Conor is the lone boy in a house of women) our mornings are completely and utterly insane. As you may have guessed I am heading into the deep murky waters of just how to get along with each other and up to just has definitely had it's hairy days and hazy grey areas. Anyhow, we all sat down the other day and decided that the stress had to be removed from the house and we were all going to brainstorm ideas in order to ensure the smooth sailing of each individual that lives here.

One of the issues that we had been dealing with was the lack of personal space and personal privacy...take the telephone for instance.....One of my greatest pet peeves is being in an important conversation and have one or more children vying for my attention and as they do I notice that the loudness level slowly increases until I stop my conversation and address the child(ren) involved. My tolerance level immediately drops and I find myself turning into what I like to term "mommy dearest" and when all said and done...I'm rather disgruntled and crabby and unfortunately that feeling would follow me into dinner time and even as far as bedtime which inhibited my ability to unwind myself and get to bed at a decent time.

Our solution will now be that the child(ren) that insist on this behavior will immediately go to the table and sit quietly and respectfully until the adult that instructed them to do so believes that said child has sat there and successfully and completed their time... then they are called aside and this behavior or attitude is discussed and understood as to why this was inappropriate and the best way to avoid future issues. If it happens again, then a toy or privilege will be removed and they must earn it back.

So far the results of our brainstorming session and resulting modifications in our lives has had an immediate and positive result and I can personally say I'm absolutely thrilled that at the end of the day I am not ready to run screaming from the house pulling out my hair and bedtimes are blissfully calm and peaceful. I hope that this endeavor will continue to pay out in respectful, responsible and well rounded children....but just in case, I have an emergency suitcase ready and waiting by the front door....

1 comment:

Hibiscus Moon said...

What a great solution. So glad that it worked out for you.