Monday, 14 June 2010

House Arrest tales - mittens and slugbox to the rescue

House Arrest Solution #1- Mittens:

It is a little late, but I found these mittens in the cupboard. I say a little late because the household tally for HFM has now reached three. Nugget is the latest victim. He is spot-less but has a nasty sore throat {and Manflu}. Doo Dah gets the gold star for his immune system, which seems to be fending off the disease beautifully (it is rare for adults to catch so the Geege and I don't really count here), but he milking the situation anyway.

Technically these mittens belong to the Minx but surely cute little kitten mittens extend their services to boys in times of trouble? With mittens can travel? What do you think? Can we take a trip to the park this afternoon if he promises to keep the mittens on?

House Arrest Solution #2 - Television bribes
When your attention span for any activity is about 15 minutes, there is A LOT you can do in a day. Play outside in the cubby house, kick balls, play with playdough, read stories, draw, play with lego and ride bikes. Been there, done that already today. And it is only noon. I am tempted to turn to our friend, the Slugbox. Our big boys can sit and watch TV for hours on end. They don't fight (they amicably take turns picking a show). They don't move (hence the nickname). It is every mother's dream (and nightmare) wrapped into one.

I have strict Slugbox scheduling. They can watch one hour in the mornings (usually when I am having a shower and getting stuff ready for the day) and one hour in the evenings (when I am getting dinner ready). TV on my terms. But when it is pouring with rain outside or when we are stuck at home for days on end, I have to say that my scheduling gets a little more relaxed... but that is the goal. I know I miss out on parent of the year with this schedule. The current NSW Health guidelines suggest only an hour a day, but when you have a household as crazy as ours and kids as interested in TV as ours, I feel like a saint for sticking to it.

After 7 days at home, I am getting some serious Slugbox pressure. The last couple of days I have been keeping a 'cross chart'. If either of the lads does something unsavoury (hits, kicks, punches - you get the picture) or doesn't listen to their parents then a cross gets put up on the chart. If they get 10 crosses, then they don't get any Slugbox at the scheduled times. I know this goes against all the 'positive parenting' rules but, trust me, I have been 'rewarding good behviour' for years with all sorts of fancy sticker charts, and I can't say I am a big fan of an express result with this method. They seem to learn good behaviour when they are ready in my experience.

Having them work as a team for this 'cross chart' has been surprisingly good though. They have been reminding each other to do the right thing because "we don't want to get a cross". So far we have managed to keep to the schedule AND the number of crosses has gone from 9 on Day One down to 3 yesterday. That is a lot less refereeing for me. Which is handy because I have my hands full being the household nurse.

* The photo of the TV was taken by Doo Dah. Taking random photos around the house was one of yesterday's activities.

1 comment:

Maxabella said...

Love the cross chart. Rewarding postive behaviour only works when there is postive behaviour to reward!!!

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