Thursday, October 27, 2011

14 Day Challenge Update



I have been taking the 14 Day Challenge over at Pearls of Price. The object is to confine yourself to positive or neutral words, and when you can't manage that, be silent.  And do this for 14 consecutive days. I thought it would be difficult. I am finding it impossible. I have yet to start Day 4!


Even though I can't see myself actually making 14 consecutive days, I have benefited from trying to do so. The girls have also benefited. Being in the challenge has made me monitor closely my attitude and words. After all, attitude is the birthing ground for our words anyway. Hope has responded well to my silence. There have been many situation where I can't think of anything positive or neutral to say. For example, Hope was sitting on her mat screaming and sobbing that she was in control. The only reaction I thought of was to laugh. Obviously not positive or even neutral. So I said ABSOLUTELY nothing- not even a mutter. After almost an hour , Hope finally got quiet. I waited five minutes, then went to her and told her that this is what control looked like, gave her a hug, and let her up. I don't know if she got the message on control, but I do know my blood pressure didn't shoot up and I didn't contribute to her meltdown.

On the other hand, Hope complains and whines constantly. When I try silence, she just ups the ante and and tells me I don't love her or like her. Eventually, what I think of as her "poor Hope game" beats my silence and I tell her to take "poor Hope" into another room. There is another blown day. It supports my attitude is the birthing ground of words theory. Obviously, I need to stop thinking of it as the "poor Hope game"when she starts whining and complaining. I am working on it.

I don't know that I will ever make 14 days straight, but just the effort is improving the quality of life around here. I will update again.



4 comments:

Struggling to Stand said...

My first thought about Hope's "I am in control" was when Mr P, who was just over 2 at the time, had a tantrum because it was his job to drive the car and I wouldn't let him. My first response was to laugh, and it didn't occur to me until now that while it sure helped me handle the tantrum, it probably didn't help him.

Re-framing the "poor Hope game" ... how about the "Hope is practicing to the be BEST politician who is in opposition to the party currently in control of the White House game" or the "I *have* to remember to buy a radio station for her! She is going to be a fabulous person for social commentary game"

Oh! Oh! I know! You can treat it as a drinking game. Every time she says a particular word, say "fair", you get to take a drink. (Maybe of something chocolaty?) Or make some bingo cards with her words on it and you can play bingo based on the words she says. (Then it will really be a game!)

Sigh. This is what you get for encouraging me to read your blog. My family gets this kind of smart-assedness from me at the dinner table. On the Wii, I named my Mii "Smart Ass".

Anyway,

Normally I avoid giving child-rearing advice but Mr P (who doesn't have nearly the issues Hope has, although he does/did have that traumatized child reaction of fear of lack of safety), responded well to the "I can't understand what you are saying when your voice is so high. I want to understand. Can you help me by talking in a normal voice?" ... In other words, responding to her without actually responding??

TheLazyJ said...

Oooh-oooh! My favorite is empathy, and it drives my kids nuts, and it works over time! "Oh honey, I'm so sorry you feel that way." All sappy and sweet and smiling. No negative reaction, they have a right to feel how they feel, but don't get the control of watching mom doing kart-wheels and back-flips and screaming back like a wild ninny. Now THAT'S control!

Keep up the good mama-ing. :)

Denise said...

I'm impressed that you've made it as far as Day 4. I haven't gotten through Day 1, and a couple of times I had to start over before I even got out of bed! (E doesn't like to waste time, and usually starts right in before my eyes are even open.)

Jenna said...

Hi
My name is Jenna and I came across your site. Your girls are inspirational hero's. I was born with a rare life threatening disease, developmental delays, and 13 other diagnosis. I also have a diagnosis of bipolar and so doese my dad. I love it when people sign my guestbook. www.miraclechamp.webs.com