Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Boot Camp for Gracie

It's been a rough evening. Gracie periodically regresses and usually does two things: deliberately disobeys Trevor and I and cries when the least little thing doesn't go her way. Trevor and I don't tolerate either one of these behaviors, and when she does this we have to have a little "Gracie Boot Camp" to get her back in shape.

The battles of wills began at the dinner table (doesn't it always?) and did not end well for Grace. She and Trevor battled through every, single bite and many tears were shed.
SIDE NOTE: Trevor and I don't force the kids to clean their plates. We are trying to teach them to eat until they are full, and the archaic practice of "a clean plate is a happy plate" does not encourage healthy, long term eating habits. Now, we don't let them waste food but we do have a "No thank you rule." They have to try everything on their plate, but they can say no thank you if they don't like something after they've tried it. But I digress.

Tonight, Gracie chose dinner as the battlefield on which to take a stand, and we could not let her get away with deliberate disobedience. I made jambalaya and green beans which are things that Gracie likes. As a matter of fact, she helped to snap the beans before I cooked them. She just decided that she was going to play instead of eat, and when we told her to eat she simply refused. You can imagine the scene that followed, and when all was said and done, Gracie had a clean plate.

In between that drama, Nathan disobeyed us by continuing to swish his spit/milk around in his mouth in true 6 year old fashion and was sent to his room. When I called him to come out and talk to me after dinner was over, we discussed why he was punished. I told him that although he had been punished this evening, that Trevor and I had noticed his good behavior recently and were proud of him. (He is going through a good phase right now....we don't have to remind him to say "yes sir" and "no ma'am", he has been very obedient and he is generally just a great kid).

He sat there for a second and then said, "I was walking down the hall one morning and I said to myself without talking out loud, that if I was doing something and Mommy or Daddy told me to do something , then I should just stop what I'm doing and do it."

Whew!

I realize that was a total run on sentence, but it was a direct quote. He went on to say that he "decided in his brain" that he was going make a good choice. His choice of words made me want to laugh, but I was so proud of him. It's clear that the values we are trying to instill in him are slowly but surely becoming more and more firmly rooted in his mind and spirit. He is such an intelligent, thoughtful boy and I feel lucky to have him as my son. Everyday he surprises me with some insight or comment on life in general. How did I get along before I had children?

So, boot camp continues for our youngest offspring and we have a season of grace with our eldest. God give us the strength to redirect the energy our strong-willed child!


2 comments:

Debbie said...

Thanks so much for dropping by my site today. Thank you for your encouraging words. Great post today!

Blessings to you.

The Small Scribbler said...

So, boot camp continues for our youngest offspring and we have a season of grace with our eldest.

It's funny how this works. With our five, one is always in boot camp and the other four are in a season of grace. They rotate through. Thank goodness they all don't need boot camp at once.

I saw on your profile that your parents made the no reading rule at the table. Mine too! I love to read.

Thanks for visiting my blog and for your kind comment.

Kate