I've running an experiment on my kids. I know that may sound bad, but I'm with them all day, why not experiment on them? lol. For the best, of course. This summer I've relaxed a bit when it comes to sugar intake, morning cartoons, and TV dinners (against my better judgement). It's been a full summer with a lot of "circumstances" that took priority, and so I would just stick my kids in front of a movie and take care of my own business. And I would bribe them with candy just to take a nap each day. And that's just not my style. I don't do stuff like that. Well, I didn't, until recently. And my kids have turned into wild monkeys that whine all the time and if they don't get their way, throw a fit. So I am in search of a cure. Don't tell me to read the latest parenting book or pray about it, I've done all that. And I've learned a lot. But there's more to it. There needs to be action.
So this week, the kids are on a "break" as I'm calling it, from sugar and from television/movies. I want to see if there's a difference in them. What's interesting to me (it's only been 2 days since we started this), is that they haven't missed it yet, like I thought they would. Tristan asked once why we didn't have a picnic lunch on the living room floor (which means movie time), and Kira begged to watch Super Why while I cooked dinner, but I answered them plainly, and gave them options for a different activity and they were fine.
What's MOST interesting, is my involvement. When the television is off, I naturally am spending more time with them. Playing "hide-and-go-seek", coloring, reading books, reading more books, playing with dolls, trains, letting them "do" my hair, letting them help me clean and cook, etc...etc... For the first time in the 3 years of my daughter's life, I have found her occupying herself. If I'm busy cooking or Tristan is playing in the backyard, Kira will wander up to her room and play with her dollhouse and ponies for hours. I didn't even know she was capable of occupying herself!
So, the cure is on it's way. 2 days in, and I'm seeing success already. I hope it continues. But I am leaning towards the real cure, which I believe is TIME. The time I am spending with my kids now is quality. Simple. Fun. Priceless. I can't wait to see how closer we have become at the end of this week, and how happier and less whiny this household can be.
If you feel your kids are out of control and whining all the time, I suggest you try this. For a week. See what happens. You'll be surprised. It may be the hardest week of your life, but it will be the most rewarding. And if your kids ask why they can't have a cookie for finishing their dinner, you say, "It's because in this house, we eat our dinner no matter what. We don't need a reward to do what is right". :-) They'll catch on. Mine have already, and it's only been 2 days.