How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk
1. No more gaming (mine)
2. Remove those guys from my friends list online (my son's)
3. Tell those guys at school tomorrow that I got in trouble for swearing and my mom says I can't play online with them anymore, that they are a bad influence on me. Then remove them from my list tomorrow after school. (my son's)
My son's solution was clever - he was able avoid them online now without any sort of stigma about it - as far as they knew, he was forbidden to play with them online. The truth was that he just doesn't have fun playing with them. But this way, Mom takes the blame and he saves face. And, of course, he doesn't feel the need to defend himself against them by swearing.
I was so impressed with the process, I congratulated my son on his decision making and problem solving skills and decided next I was going to try this on my fiance. That night I told V that any complaints or issues would only be addressed on Sunday nights. The only language I would accept from him throughout the week would be a simple "I have an issue/problem/complaint, we'll talk about it on Sunday." I feel good about this. I plan to use the exact same problem solving technique I used with my son, because it's a good way to keep myself calm as well when things need to be hashed out.
There's a trend in my house, albeit improving, that if my finace gets up in the morning and sees that my son has forgotten to put the bean bag on the couch (the dog will sleep on it and get hair all over it otherwise), he reports back to me, annoyed, setting off my mood, knowing that I now have to give my son crap first thing in the morning, ruining the start of his day too. Not a fun situation at 7:00 AM.
I had begun threatening to take away his Xbox if he kept forgetting. This morning it happened again. V gave me the annoyed report, I may have replied with something immature not wanting to deal with it, and then approached my son's room, knocking on the door because I knew he was getting dressed for school. "You forgot the pillow again and you'll have to vacuum up the couch before you have breakfast."
My son, in a disappointed tone replied, "Does that mean no Xbox tonight?"
"You know, you've been doing a really good job remembering the pillow, we all forget things sometimes, you're only human. Vacuum up the couch and we'll talk about it after breakfast."
D vacuumed the couch without complaint and then we discussed ways that we could help him remember. I let him come up with the ideas this time. He said, "I can double check before I leave the room." (a tactic I had suggest to him over and over again since this all began). I didn't say anything. "I can write myself a note and put it on my Xbox so it reminds me when I'm done."
"That's a great idea," I said.
HE USED THE NOTE IDEA FROM THE FIRST DAY! I was doing a happy dance in my head. Fingers crossed that it works for him.
Good luck out there,