Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Negotiator and rule enforcement

Yesterday evening, after work, I took the kids to the playground. At first Anjali was reluctant to give up her swing, but we devised a game of taking turns with Sharon and oliver, whereupon each child sits on the swing to a count of ten.

Then Sharon, Oliver and Anjali went to play in the slide down, while Sophia slept. THeir new favorite game is to make tunnels with their legs balancing on the sides of the slide so that other kids can slide between the tunnels.

After Sharon and oliver left, Anjali wanted to stay in the playground. So I sat with her until SOphia woke up and told her the story of the conch bearer. First she wanted the book. But I told her that she can either go home and get the book, or stay here and imagine the story. So she wanted to imagine the story. After that, we had a good time pretending to be Abhaydutta and Surabhanu (Anjali was anand and she was climbing the slide to the top of the mount everest to put the conch back. I was Surabhanu going to attack her, and she, being the hero had to fight me off). We had a grand time.

I am still imposing the count of ten with her. But I need to be careful there, not to do it too often or for too trivial things. Anjali has realized that count of ten means business. Like if she doesnt wash her hands, I say "I'll count to ten and if by then you are not at the bathroom, I will carry you there". Initially, she was crying and throwing tantrums, but now, she realized that it means business, and by the count of three, she is already in the bathroom, or asking me to carry her, or giving a token grumbling resistance before moving.

I think now is a good time to discipline myself. I will put two important rules at a time to impose the count of ten method on. The other things, I will try other ways to make her do it. For now, the rules are as follows:

Rule 1: When you come back from outside, wash your hands and feet
Rule 2: When Sophia cries in the playground, it is time to go home. 

We'll see how it shapes up.

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