Monday, November 14, 2011



Buddy is amazing in every way.  One of his very best talents is testing my abilities as a parent.  I have been trying to consistently do timeouts rather than supplementing with lectures, yelling, or worse.  But many of his behaviors that test me the most don't really fall into the "you've just earned a timeout" category.

I have found that if he gets a chance to explain himself, a lot of times he de-escalates.  Unfortunately, when I'm irritated I rarely have the patience to sit and listen to his feelings.  So along came a brilliant idea.  I could have him write essays to explain his behavior and what he could do better.

In the last 6 days, he's written 17 pages worth of essays.  He earns a page per infraction that I feel doesn't really warrant a timeout.  I make a list of topics I'd like him to cover in each essay.  He has to sit on his bed away from the rest of us and write.  If he gets off his bed, he gets another page.  These essays have become a highlight of my day.  I might share a few here on the blog because they are so amusing.  The interesting thing is how much I adore him after reading his essays.

Here's today's essay.  The topics were:  Why I shouldn't get out of my bed.  What happens when I don't get enough sleep?  Why mom doesn't like it.  And What I should do if I'm not tired.  He got out of bed three times last night before falling asleep, so he earned 3 pages.  I kept his punctuation, but fixed his spelling errors, which are getting fewer and further between which each essay!

Without further adieu:

"I have one essay to write and it will not be fun.  So I got out of bed and I don't remember what I was doing while I was out of my bed.  And when you don't get enough sleep you get really really really really cranky in the morning, middle of the day, and afternoon, and noonday.  And your parents don't like it right?  So you should go to sleep... right mom or dad?  And mom or dad doesn't like it because it sometimes wakes him or her up and she or him doesn't like that and she or him doesn't want to be cranky right mom or dad?  And also our parents don't allow it so they don't let you do it.

And if I am not tired I should lay down and rest, or try to go to sleep right mom or dad.  But I should never get up never... right?  And if I...Ever... Ever... Ever do that again I will be very very very very very very sorry and try not to do it again never... or never again in my life!  And make sure to discipline me so I will learn even though you don't like it when you have to discipline me.  I want to learn very very very badly.  So I want you to discipline me good.  And I don't want to get off of my bed but I can't sleep.  And getting off my bed is a very bad choice right?

Oh I forgot a couple of stuff.  So on getting out of my bed.  So it's because God doesn't like it either... right mom or dad?  And about the if I don't get enough sleep.  So your parents get cranky too because then you get mad and you get even more cranky right mom?  So about the why mom doesn't like it thing.  So she doesn't also like it because it is the rule to stay in bed.  Oh did i write that down already?  Oh well if I did because almost done and I am very happy about that...  And I mean it like a ton of times.  And if I get out of my bed again I will be very sorry."


R said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
R said...

Classic Buddy! I wonder where he got his writing talent? Anyway, great idea! Keep all those essays for posterity.

And since you corrected Buddy's spelling, it's "ado," not "adieu." The latter being French for "good bye." (Didn't you live in France for a while?)

Myndi said...

Can Buddy write me an essay on why I need more sleep?

LOL! You need to post these as often as possible--which means you should get him an IPAD so you don't have to re-type them:)

J said...

Seriously, I want to read more of his essays.

JLJ said...

I'm so glad I read this today! Essay writing, what a brilliant idea!

I enjoyed reading your post on Buddy's 8th birthday. I relate to your feelings. Parenting is so weird that it's ultimately fulfilling and yet so darn hard. You are a great mom, by the way, and I love coming on your blog to read your parenting experiences and ideas.