I’ve noticed that a couple mornings each month, she arises with one goal in mind…
Test. Pack. Hierarchy.
She has a go with random acts of sibling violence and a Marie-Antoinette approach to manners.
It’s tiring but far better than when she was an Alpha Pup, each of those days was a grind.
We’ve tweaked our approach as she gets older.
Written schedule – always visible – seven days forward. Without the anchor of the school week, this is a huge help. Keeps me relaxed as well.
Binary choices – One of her weaknesses is self-directed time, so offering simple choices works for everyone. Frankly, I don’t care what she does (so long as she does something). Since her first birthday, when she’s not engaged… it’s been challenging.
With the top two in mind => Listen, consider. change later. In order to run the house, we need a schedule.
She understands “change later” and we make it clear when we’re adjusting the plan based on her feedback.
If you have a go-with-the-flow personality then all the structure, rules, discipline… you’ll be asking, “Is this really necessary?”
If your home life is calm then “no, it isn’t.”
However, if you have a young person (or husband 😉 ) who is constantly trying to take command then they might do better with structure, routine and scheduling.
For a few days each month the conflict is real. For the rest of the month, she relaxes into the hierarchy and our mutual expectations.
It helps to remember my goals for the kids:
- Daily physical activity
- Polite => most importantly, to people with no recourse
- Learn to teach yourself and live independently
I am at my most effective when I lead by example.
When I need to give guidance: immediate consequences and always follow through (especially when inconvenient).
She has a nose for inconsistency and weakness.