Training Johnny to Sit Still- Part 2
In my last blog Mom, after a Doctors office experience with Johnny, realizes more than ever that her son’s behavior in certain situations is unacceptable. Mom decides to seek advice from her Grandmother, which proves to be life changing for Mom and Johnny. Here’s what happens:
After Mom’s talk with Grandmother, she decides to gather all of her “a-day-at-the-park” friends together and have, well….. a day at the park!
With the help of a hired sitter to watch the children on the playground, Mom collaborates with her friends and realizes that they too struggle with knowing what to do about their preschoolers learning to sit still at appropriate times.
Mom shares the wise advise of Grandmother, and they all commit to giving it a try and meeting at the park again the following week. They all leave the park feeling encouraged and wide eyed with that “There’s hope!” look on their faces.
On the way home, Mom helps Johnny recall the events that took place at the doctor’s office. She explains that his behavior was unacceptable, and that when they get home, they are going to practice being still and quiet. Mom and Johnny arrive home and grab a quick lunch (Johnny is not happy with lunch options, but that is another blog). =)
After lunch, Mom stoops down to Johnny’s level, and with a gentle and matter-of-fact way says, “Now it’s time for sitting-still-and-quiet practice.”
Mom is very resolute about not allowing herself to get emotionally involved with what could happen during practice. After all, this is about Johnny, not Mom.
Mom’s goal for their first practice is simply to help Johnny understand that sitting still and quiet is a reachable goal and that he must hear and obey Mom’s words.
They have a seat on the couch, and Mom says “Johnny, we are going to sit still and quiet for five minutes.” Mom sets the timer and hands him a book while she begins to read hers. The house is perfectly quiet.
Mom recalls her Grandmother’s words and is encouraged to stick to this plan.
After one minute, Johnny decides that boredom is his enemy and entertaining Mom would be a lot more fun. He jumps down off the couch and begins doing a silly little jig in front of her. Mom resists the temptation to be amused (it is actually quite cute) and confidently reaches for the tool she had chosen for correction, a wooden spoon.
She recalls her Grandmother saying, “Now remember, you are not disciplining him, you are training him. You know, like your Paw-Paw used to do on the farm when he trained that sassy filly he bought for you to ride.”
She maintains her composure and firmly pops Johnny on the leg once leaving a painful sting.
“Ouch!!” Johnny says, with a look of horror on his face that Mom would do such a thing. “Why did you do that?!”
“I told you to sit still and quiet for five minutes and you disobeyed me, Johnny. Now, let’s try it again.” Mom calmly states.
Mom chooses not to answer any more of Johnny’s questions at this point. This is no time for reasoning. All Johnny needs to know is that there are consequences to his disobedience. She lovingly instructs Johnny to sit back down and explains that he must choose to be obedient and sit still and quiet for 5 minutes, and she resets the timer.
Johnny is firmly corrected five times with the spoon for whining, running away from Mom, making loud truck noises etc., but after five corrections, sixteen minutes and a few tears, they reach their goal.
“Ding.” The timer goes off. Mom and Johnny look at each other with shear delight! They had reached their goal!
Johnny jumps up and down and into Mom’s arms because now it is time for celebrating and sweet affection. They decide to celebrate with the space rocket popsicles Mom had bought at the store just for this occasion, and then they play Johnny’s favorite game, “The Hungry Frog”.
Over the next three days, Mom has still-and-quiet practice with Johnny twice each day. By the end of the three days, they reach a twenty minute goal! She can hardly wait to hear from her friends about their experiences and share her success.
The values that are gleaned for Mom and Johnny and their relationship from what takes place this day and days to come are rich indeed. Mom’s friends have a lot to share, some successes and some failures. Read more about it in my next blog!
He who withholds his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him diligently. Proverbs 13:24