I have mentioned before about subtle shifts in comments my kids make that make me take notice.

There is a momentum that is starting to build that cannot be ignored.

I still will not say anything – as that would be counter-productive, but I am noting the change and watching closely.

Recently, Hun and I had to talk to Monkey about her telling us she was in one place and actually going somewhere else.  As usual, us attempting to hold our kids responsible for their actions had her attempting to tell us we were being unreasonable and horrible parents.  Sorry kiddo – that tactic does not work with us.

But a couple of things happened during that conversation (and a later one a few days later) is what really what this post is about.

The first thing that happened – Rowdy didn’t try to insert himself into the conversation like he has in the past.  He knew we were talking to Monkey (we never involve the other kids when talking to one about behavior – but they are usually aware that a conversation is happening).  I’m pretty sure he was listening as closely as possible from another room with the TV on.  And still he stayed out of it.

This is a GOOD thing!

Another thing I noticed was that Jetsam was not a prominent subject matter during this conversation.  One of the kids usually will invoke their mom during our conversations to highlight how much better she is than us and as an attempt to derail the conversation.  In the early days, this worked to a certain extent – despite our best efforts not to let it, so the kids keep attempting to deflect the focus away from them in any way possible.

In fact, Monkey went so far to comment at one point that she didn’t like her mom’s house.

WHAT?!?

This comment has NEVER been uttered in our house before.

Like I said, we didn’t make any comments when that comment was made, but it was very notable.

We kept the subject focused on the choices Monkey was making and what the consequences of those choices would be.  She wasn’t happy with what her choices resulted in, but that’s what happens when a kid rolls the dice hoping they won’t be caught.

The lesson was short learned though because she was caught doing the same thing just days later.

That conversation had me telling her how disappointed in her I was and that she had now lost my trust.  I received attitude in return and not even a hint of remorse was displayed.

I’m sorry, but when a kid displays these traits to me, I become very stubborn and I’m unlikely to react cooperatively with said kid.  In fact – I will act over-the-top obnoxious to drive my point home to the kid who thinks that behavior is acceptable with me.  I realize that all of the standard parenting gurus will tell me that this route does not work with kids and not to do this – but it is part of my personality, seems to work for me and until it doesn’t, I’m going to use it!

Monkey responded with calling her mom and attempting to “tattle” on me.  I encouraged Monkey to tell her the WHOLE truth and that if she wouldn’t, I didn’t have any problem talking to her myself.  Monkey finally put her on speaker and I stated my position.

Wonder of wonders, Jetsam sided with me and took Monkey to town on her behavior and attitude.

Shocked I tell you!!

The next day, I did receive an apology from Monkey for her attitude and behavior.  I’m not sure where that came from – whether from remorse, a suggestion from Hun or Jetsam, or something else.

I accepted her apology and we’re working on building the trust back.

These shifts are noticeable and a welcome change from what our family has experienced in the past.

Advertisements