Friday, July 30, 2010

A Therapeutic Parenting Conversation in 2 parts

Last night after we go back from the cottage I was putting the boys to bed. It was after 10, the were tired, 2 hours in the car had left them a bit silly but they were calming and getting ready for bed. Calvin noticed that his sheet was pulled off his bed in 3 corners, he made a discouraged comment about being to tired to care and I offered to help him fix it. As I put the top corner on I found a small rusty pocket knife that P keeps in the car. I looked at Calvin and asked him what it was doing there, he started to make excuses and I said tell the truth, it sounded like this:

Mom: Where did this come from?
Calvin: It's Dads, I took it from his car.
M: Why
C: So I could cut my nails with it.
Fudge: He has a flashlight in the other corner.
M: Give me the flashlight, why is that here?
C: So I can use it to go to the bathroom in the night.
M: Where did you get it?
C: It was right there on my desk ( a lie)
M: we'll discuss this tomorrow, good night.

By this point P had also come into the room and was involved in the conversation, he thought neither thing was to serious but I disagreed and we discussed it further after we left the boys room. We agreed that Calvin we need to make amends with P for taking something that was his and I would try to talk with him in the morning to get to the truth.

So this morning after I had a cup of coffee and was was reasonably calm and regulated myself I began talking to Calvin.

Mom: C, I need to talk to you.
C: Yes Mom.
M: What might I want to talk to you about?
C: Not keeping my clothes clean.
M: Nope, that is an issue but not what I want to talk about.
C: Not stopping what I am doing and going to the bathroom when I need too?
M: No, that is an issue too but not what I want to talk about with you right now.
M: I want to talk about last night and about what you said to me.
C: oh.
M: Last night I asked you tell me the truth about something and you started to but then you began lying. You told me that you were using that knife to cut your nails and we both know that is not the truth. Please tell me why that knife was in your room.
C: I wanted to use it to cut my hair.
M: ( knowing that the crazy lying has begun) Really, hang on just one second while I go that little knife and then we can cut your hair with it.
C: No, No, that is not what I wanted it for.
M: Oh really, I am sure it would work for that, let's just try it out.
C: No, No.
M: Oh, you don't think it would be a good idea, neither do I. I also know that is not why you took it. I would like to know why you took it though.
C: pauses, I took it to make Dad mad.
M: I think that may be part of the truth but I don't think that is the whole story. I want to know what was going on in your head when you picked up that knife and put it in your pocket and brought it inside, what were you thinking and how where you feeling.
C: I was feeling like I was responsible enough to have a knife.
M: I think that is the truth and I can appreciate that you are feeling like you are old enough and responsible enough to have it but this is not he way to get one and lying to me only gets you in trouble. I have not even discussed the flashlight with you but I know you lied about that too.
C: Yes.
M: We will have that conversation later and there will be some lines written for choosing to lie to me.

As I type this I am sitting beside an angry boy who is not at all interested in his calm and regulated mother assigning consequences. He is supposed to be writing " Sometimes I lie when I feel scared but I still need to be honest", he is not happy about it and has been at it for an hour even though he could of finished already and moved on to something else. He is working up to a rage because we have had an excellent few days and there is only so much good that he can handle before he needs to try to sabotage it. I am ready for it though and I am not feeling at all interested in a raging child. I'll talk him through it and let him sit with his notebook all day if he decides that is what he wants to do. I have some errands to run but I guess he can just bring his book along.

ETA: He just apologised for lying and started to write, I won't catch my chickens till they have hatched but maybe he will pull it together and get them done and not try to ruin the whole day.


GB's Mom said...

I hope so. Enjoy your weekend :)

Essie the Accidental Mommy said...

Ooooh, I started with sentences just recently and they are a hit! With me! The kid hates them, lol. Awesome!