This evening we had an object lesson. It was born from the fact that our evening went very, very poorly. It started with some disobedience and spiraled out of control. The kids were all over the place, screaming, instigating each other, and absolutely not paying attention to mommy. This was one of those evenings you want to hide in the closet until everyone goes to bed, but then you remember that you are the adult and you are the one responsible for getting them all to sleep.
So, I corralled the older two and we had a lesson. I placed a rolled up blanket on the floor and called that the line they were not supposed to cross. Then we talked about what different kinds of things that line could represent… picking on your siblings, not coming when you are called, whining, yelling, etc. We talked about the choices that we make and how it is up to us whether we cross the line or not, and the wisdom in staying as far from the line as possible.
They seemed intrigued by the idea, and we acted out a few scenarios where the kids made the choice to cross the line and the choice to avoid it. It seemed to click in their minds as they mimicked the bad behaviors they get in trouble for, and the reaction they got from me when they chose not to do them.
As they were getting ready for bed they kept mentioning the line and saying they were making sure not to cross it.
Like all my parenting exercises, this will probably work for them for a couple of weeks, but I’m hoping that something stuck. 🙂