Thursday, April 10, 2008

Reality Discipline

On Tuesday night we went to MOPS. The speaker was talking about discipline--reality discipline to be exact. She based much of what she was saying on Kevin Leman's book Making Children Mind without Losing Yours. I like this style of discipline because it makes sense, the consequences are a natural outcome of the behavior.

We had started some of this already, without having a name for it. At dinner, Abigail would not eat, opting to play instead. We had decided that not eating was fine, but that dinner had to be eaten before the precious eeecweem swandwich (ice cream sandwich). It was working well.

So between the encouragement at MOPS and the success at dinner, I decided it was time to apply the method to breakfast. Both yesterday and today, Abigail got a choice of toast or oatmeal for breakfast. She was to sit and eat it. If not I would put it away, and there would be nothing more to eat till lunch. Both mornings she refused to make a decision. Yesterday she had oatmeal because that was what I was making. And today she had yesterday's oatmeal. I should add that if she had wanted toast today, I would have given her toast. She ate a little more today than yesterday; all the nuts and raisins were consumed and a little of the oatmeal.

She got down to play and the oatmeal was put in the refrigerator. I knew that around 10Am she would begin to get hungry, and she did. "I hungry." I reminded her that she was hungry because she skipped breakfast and would have to wait till lunch. She fussed but went to play as I worked on packing a picnic lunch.

Momma, I no wike it! She shouted from the dining room. I no wike it!

I turned to see a blue mouthed Abigail walking toward me. Bright blue froth working its way out of her mouth, down her chin and onto her pajamas. A quick scan of the room revealed that she had gotten into the egg coloring kit that I hadn't yet put away. I scooped her up spilling blue froth onto the kitchen floor and tried to teach rinsing right then and there. I think she swallowed most of it. Reading the package, I found that egg coloring tablets are more harmful to clothing than to digestive systems.

So, I gave her a bath and brushed her teeth. For some time every time she drooled a new blue streak would run down her chin, but that has ceased. Her teeth are rather blue, her mouth and chin have a slight tint and her hands are quite blue. Other than that she is fine.

We made it to the library, but had no picnic. One little girl was envious of Abigail's blue lipstick. I just smiled.

Did I mention that stuff stains and we have a home study interview HERE Tuesday? It is so funny I can't even bring myself to be worried. Did I mention that this came from MOPS? Tomorrow at 10AM what will she find to ingest?


  1. Oh, how great!! I am sure there were many at the library envious of her blue. I am sorry about your kitchen floor and her clothes. Just think of what you have to come--she is Chris' daughter. Throw down a throw rug for the interview if you think they will notice---but I bet they won't. I am praying that God continues to give you both wisdom and confidience in Him.

  2. Oh my. Oatmeal yucky but blue dye ok? The logic of preschoolers. LOL. We do something similar with our 4-yr-old. ALthough we do have designated healthy snack times at 10 and 2 because of her tiny tummy, but I don't allow her to eat inbetween.

  3. Mealtime issues are a joy, aren't they? Ok, maybe not. Isabel has a hard time with dinner. We enforce the 'eat or go sleepy' rule. I'm not sure how effective it is....some times she says 'seepy!' as she gets down from the table and heads for the bedroom.

  4. I hope you got photos of the blue face and chin - that would be something for the scrapbook!!!
    I'm all about natural consequences. I don't make the kids wear a jacket outside if they don't want to. It won't make them sick, and if they get cold, they remember to wear a jacket next time. That's my best example right now :)