Four-year-old Lukey got in trouble today.
Hitting at school. This after yesterday’s “pushing game” at school and the day before’s “spitting at school.”
Now his mom and dad are on strike. And we kept him home from school today.
Going on strike
Lukey gets what “going on strike” means. It means he’s drained our energy.
— He has to prepare his own food.
— He has to clean his own dishes.
— He has to put himself to bed.
When Mom and Dad are on strike, we make a clear (and very important) distinction between love and service. He still gets 100 percent of our support. He can still sit on my lap and get loved. He still feels very much a part of the family and keeps his self confidence and self esteem.
But he knows that he’s gone too far and he needs discipline. We’re not helping him pick up his things, do his chores. Nothing. Mom and Dad are serious! It seems to be working.
Home from school
Luke’s spending most of today in his room with books. He can “earn” some toys from his good behavior.
As I left for work this morning, I went into his room and pet his head. I looked at him in the eye and I told him,
We’re doing something nice for Eric today. We’re doing something nice for Amber today. We’re doing something nice for Russell today.
We’re keeping you home. They will have a nicer day because you won’t be there to poke them or hit them or push them.
I told him how that made me sad that we had to do that. And I told him how he was put here to make people smile and laugh (something he’s remarkably good at), not to make people sad and cry.
And I think he understood in his four-year-old way.
What do you do when you really need to alter your child’s behavior?
Good luck from a fellow Dad,
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