Saturday, March 20, 2010
We are a Rocking Family!
Today Sarah threw a rock at Joshua and hit him in the arm. He has a small bruise on his arm, and a slightly bigger one on his elbow. Otherwise, he is fine.
Sarah is particularly hard to punish in a way that deters her from doing something again. She tends to look at punishment as something to be endured and ignored. She has a great imagination, and whether it is a time-out, or extra chores, she tends to pretend her way through them.
We can't let Sarah decide that throwing rocks is an okay way to deal with frustration, even with a bossy older brother. So, after the rock throwing incident, the rocks (there were several pieces of a larger rock that Josh had found at the beach yesterday) got a two day time-out. (We find that giving the object they are fighting over a time-out is often the best way to stop the fighting.) Then, Michael took Sarah outside.
First, they filled up the bottom of a bucket with rocks from the driveway. Then, they went out to the back yard. Michael told Sarah that since she likes throwing rocks, that she had to throw all of the rocks in the bucket. At first she tried to throw several at a time, but Michael told her she had to do them one at a time, and to throw them as far as she could.
When she was about halfway through the rocks in the bucket, she asked if she could stop. Michael asked her if she knew why she was throwing rocks. She said she didn't know, so he explained that if she needs to throw rocks, this is the right way to do it, and if she ever threw a rock at a person again, that the bucket would be filled halfway up, and she would have to throw all of the rocks.
When she came in, she told me that she wasn't ever going to throw rocks again. She apologized to Joshua, without being told to, and she didn't fight with anyone for the rest of the day.
It is nice when a little creativity can get threw to Sarah. She is the hardest of all the kids to come up with effect punishments that help her learn not to repeat bad actions. I am so glad that Michael thought of this, and that I had the good sense to let him handle the implementation of technique. I am very lucky to have such a creative husband, who loves my children as much as I do!
In slightly different rock news, Michael sprained his foot when he stepped on a rock wrong, when we were at the beach yesterday. They x-rayed it today at the doctor's office, and they are pretty sure there is no break, but they will have a radiologist check it on Monday to be sure. He is hurting a lot, so he is spending a lot of time with his feet up. It makes me even more grateful that he was willing to go out rock throwing with Sarah this afternoon.