Summers at home with the boys have basically been a free-for-all, trying-not-to-kill-each-other, kind of experience. This year, inspired by Nicole & Maggie’s recent post, I’m trying something different.
It’s called STRUCTURE.
My boys need it, especially since they’ll both be in school come September (E will be going into grade 2, C into junior kindergarten). BUH-BYE super expensive daycare!
E has two weeks of summer camps (first one is science/multi-sport, second is outdoor/nature-based), and will be home otherwise. C will be at daycare Monday/Wednesday/Friday, and home otherwise. We will also be going away in mid-July to visit my family in Alberta.
So, here are my rough thoughts so far:
For E (between grade 1 and 2)
- Reading time each day (15-30min?)
- Writing practice each day (1-2 workbook pages)
- Learning piano with me M/W/F (15-30min?)
- Math practice on T/Th (1-2 workbook pages)
- Weekly journal entry
- Other educational activities: puzzle books (he likes word searches and mazes), electronics and robotics kits, flying drone
- Video game time and unstructured play-time of course (board/card games, lego, etc).
- Summer goals: learning to ride a 2-wheel bike; learning to knit
C loves doing homework when E does, so hopefully this will work. I have a couple pre-K workbook, so he’ll work on:
- Reading time
- Other educational activities: puzzles, his codeapillar, colouring
- He’ll also get screen time & unstructured playtime
- Summer goals: writing his name legibly; not drive me insane!
For both (T/Th):
- Soccer practice
- Arts & crafts
- Field trips!
- LOTS of outdoor time/exploration
Any thoughts or suggestions for kids that are 3.5 and 6.5 years old? What are you doing with your kids this summer?
Sometimes, when E starts a new class/activity we enrol him in, he complete shuts down, starts pouting, refused to take part, stands by a wall/on the sidelines, and just shakes his head while repeating “no” anytime someone tries to get him to participate.
Notice how I say sometimes. He does not do this with outdoor soccer, and not when he knows someone else (so we try to do that when we can). He usually does not start out this way. Instead, usually a game of tag or something will send him into this state.
Both DH and I are at the end of our ropes with this behaviour. When it happened when he was 2 or 3, we just assumed he’d grow out of it. But, he keeps doing it as he gets older, and it gets more annoying every time (and embarrassing too!).
We’ve tried positive strategies (talking it up before hand, getting him to choose the activities, being super encouraging, offering rewards, etc.), neutral strategies (ignoring behaviour), and negative strategies (time outs, lecturing, taking away privileges).
Sometimes he’ll eventually and reluctantly start participating, but with an over-the-top-pout, continually looking at us (to make sure we know he’s not happy?), faking like he’s hurt, etc.. NOTHING seems to have the desired affect of getting him to participate in a positive way.
Any thoughts or tips?? HELP!!!
There has been a couple great videos going around about the problems our society is facing with the millennials. This one in particular is well-worth the 15 minutes if you haven’t seen it already:
I’ve seen or heard a number of discussions recently on how people with young children are fighting back against this trend. We are dong this by:
- Saying no (probably) way more than yes
- Teaching responsibility (with chores, saying sorry if you hurt someone, being mindful of surroundings, etc.)
- Ensuring there are consequences (time outs when younger, taking away privileges, etc. as they get older)
- Teaching good manners
- Praising effort, not result (unless very special, like a first soccer goal)
- Teaching delayed gratification
- Ensuring they have independent play-time (not relying on us to entertain them)
- Explaining why their behaviour is mean/rude/disrespectful/etc.
One thing I despise is when other adults say “it’s okay” or “it’s no big deal” when we’re trying to teach or discipline our kids in public. My stock response is usually “thank you, but our child is working on learning **insert skill here**”.
What kinds of strategies have you used to try and combat entitlement and the other traits that go along with it?
Okay all…I know I haven’t been blogging much, but boy, I need help!
C is right smack in the middle of his terrible 2’s, and it’s really, truly, terrible. I remember this stage being difficult for E, with a handful of major temper tantrums, and a lot of whining, but this is practically impossible to deal with.
E has always been a rule-follower. He tends to push right to the line, but rarely goes over. C, on the other hand, sprints over the line and jumps off the cliff backwards with his eyes closed.
He doesn’t listen to anything we say. He always says “no” to absolutely anything. He has extreme meltdowns regularly. Time outs don’t work. Positive-reinforcement doesn’t work. Negative-reinforcement doesn’t work. Yelling doesn’t work. Hugging doesn’t work. NOTHING WORKS.
I know my description of his behaviour probably sounds “normal” to everyone who’s had a 2-year-old, but please trust me in that this is completely different than anything I’ve ever seen.
Does anyone have any suggestions – techniques, websites, books, secluded institutes we can ship him off to, anything?
I NEED HELP, especially since summer is coming up and I’ll have both boys at home (ARRGH).
I’m done teaching my university and college course, so I’m heading into the post-secondary summer (yay for 4 months!).
E will stop attending before/after school program starting tomorrow, and I’ll be walking him to and from school every day. I’m excited about it because a) it’ll force me to move and b) I get to spend some good 1-on-1 time with him.
C will be going back to part-time at the daycare and will be home with me on Tuesday/Thursday each week. This will allow me to have some nice 1-on-1 time with him as well.
I’m a bit nervous, because the summer last year was very hard for me because it was just TOO MUCH kid time after a very stressful and busy academic year. But, I’ve put some things into place that will hopefully make this summer more enjoyable:
- I’m taking a couple additional qualification courses for teaching (special education and getting my physics teachable). This will help me make strides toward my goal of getting into a public school board, but shouldn’t be too stressful (I hope!)
- I’ve registered E in 3 summer camps, so that’s 3 weeks with him out of the house and being around kids his age
- Both sets of grandparents will be visiting
- We have booked a cottage for a week
- I have joined a women’s soccer team in the hopes it will motivate me to move more AND I get automatic social time every week
At the end of summer last year I was more frazzled than at the beginning and ended up taking a not-so-great job just so I could BE AWAY. So, here’s hoping this year will be better (and hopefully with some kind of decent employment in September.
The daycare asked us to provide something for a display they’re putting together about the kids called “All about me”. They want to include info about each kid both from the perspective of the staff and the parents.
So, here’s my input about C:
C is outgoing, energetic, and a risk-taker at heart. He knows what he wants and doesn’t back down, but he’s also very in-tune with the emotions of his friends and family. He can often be heard asking “what happened?” or “what’s wrong?” when someone is hurt or upset. He loves to make people laugh, and can be super silly! He seems to be relatively laid-back (for a 2-year old): things don’t tend to phase him too much.
He love dinosaurs, cars, Lego, Paw Patrol, and his big brother. He hates eating at the table, going to nap (but he’s an awesome napper once asleep), not getting his way, and sometimes his big brother 😉
He thrives in the outdoors, and loves to explore. His favourite activity is to jump off anything he can climb onto and chase his brother (or us!) around. He LOVEs to rough-house with DH and E, but he loves to cuddle too.
His talking has exploded in the last couple of weeks, stringing together a couple sentences at a time. It seems like he asks more questions than making statements, like “what’s that?”, “what was that sound?”, “where did X go?”, and more. He’s definitely interested in learning about everything around him.
We’re looking forward to watching how he’ll change and grow as he moves from toddler to little boy.
E and I went winter boot shopping tonight after dinner (why can’t last year’s winter boots ever crap out at the beginning of the season when there are actually boots on sale?).
Anyway, on our way home, E said that when we were walking around the mall that he was sad.
“How come?”, I asked.
“I missed C.”.
“Aw, how come?”
“I just really like him.”, he said with tears in his eyes.
*melting heart ❤ ❤ , ❤ **