Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Great Expectations

Each time I leave Lucas, either to work or just to the store, he gives me the following warning as I walk out the door:
Mama. Mama. Watch for dinosaurs and another one and another one and roar back at them and they'll go "eeeee" and run away. And don't hit or pinch. Take turns and share. No spitting.
The "no spitting" is relatively new, since we found out he spit on one of his daycare buddies a few weeks ago.

Can you tell we talk about the rules whenever we go anywhere?

Sometimes I get so exasperated with Lucas when he doesn't behave as I would like him to and often I then realize that I haven't clearly explained my expectations. For example, he used to be awful, really awful, when I was on the phone. And a hissed "shhhh" wouldn't do a thing. After many crazy phone calls, I realized I needed to do a few practice phone calls with him. So, I explained to him exactly what I wanted--that he needed to be quiet while I'm on the phone but if he really needed me, he could tap my leg and quietly say, "Mama, excuse me." Then, I would tell the person to hold on while I answered his question/need. We even did a few practice phone calls with me chatting away to a dial tone while he appropriately got my attention.

Now, I'm not trying to tell you that he's a perfect angel while I'm on the phone or that his leg tapping and "excuse me" aren't overly loud and for non-critical (in my opinion) needs, but it is a huge improvement.

Church continues to be a huge stressor for me each week. Even more frustrating because before Lucas was born that was a really peaceful time for me. Our church doesn't have any sort of children's program (but I'm working on getting one started!) and Lucas is terrible in church. But, every week we are getting a little bit better and he's lasting a little bit longer before he starts to get too loud. I'm learning what works best, too. It isn't enough to tell him that he needs to be quiet in church, I have to go into great detail about what it means to be quiet.

More and more I realize that disciplining myself to be clear and not assume anything is the key to disciplining Lucas. I can't expect him to live up to my expectations when I haven't made it clear what those expectations are, can I? (Hmmm...that's something I need to keep in mind with my husband, too!)


  1. Ha ha! Isn't this so true. How good of you to realize all this and give Lucas the time he needs to learn. If only more mothers were aware, there would be many more behaved children and mothers.

  2. I like your style, Aimee!:)

    I love reading these stories and your tips. It's like a taste of Super Nanny (which I love, but never seem to catch it on).

  3. Nice...that's some major supernanny advice. It's all about the expectations. so exciting to know it works!

  4. after reading this all I could think was that you're ready to be a teacher! :)

  5. good stuff- great advice!!!!!
    Church is a tough one- it's kind-a boring for little ones- I bring a pen and notepad and books- it seems to be working :)

  6. Good advice. You should like a great mom.

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  8. Church... You have to sit in the FRONT. Especially in a church like yours, where it is sooooo far to the front that you can't even tell who is talking. Try it! Tell him you will sit up front if he will behave. He will LOVE watching the choir.


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