Monday, November 30, 2009

Enforcing Rule #6

Please read the earlier post on details on rule #6

In our house we try very hard not to create situations in which Crash learns a contradictory rule to a rule that has been established. He is so smart. It only takes one time and the old rule goes out the window and the "new" rule takes over. So that eliminates choices one and two. It's pretty clear I will NOT accommodate the demands of a three year old, so that leaves choice 4. We will brush our teeth. I had a few options.

1. I could sit on top of him force his mouth open and do it my self. Personally that seems like a lot of hassle and child services probably wouldn't look to kindly on it not to mention the embarrassment if he told his school teacher how mommy brushed his teeth.
2. I could wait him out. You are not leaving this bathroom until you brush your teeth. Hummmm I think Crash is just as stubborn as I am so we would probably still be there.
3. I could take a tip from Super Nanny and put him in time-out. I told him to brush his teeth, he disobeyed, he has a consequence...Again I think we would still be in time out. Crash wasn't trying to be disobedient in my opinion. His long established routine had been changed without any warning. It doesn't matter how silly or small that change was it still occurred and his body went into it's automatic response of fight/ flight.
4. Luckily I saw this coming (in the moment). Although it is had and seems completely opposite to a natural reaction, I remained calm. I placed one hand on his back and one on his abdomen ( a technique that helps encourage deeper breathing. When he started to calm down we talked through the situation. He was able to verbalize the problem! Then we talked about the toothpaste. I put a drop on my finger and said look, its the same color as the tooth paste at home. He agreed. Then we talked about what his toothpaste at home tasted like. We looked at the NEW toothpaste and talked about what that might taste like. I tasted the toothpaste and told him he was right. after 5 min I asked him if he would like to taste a small taste. Wouldn't you know it...the toothpaste didn't kill him. He was able to brush his teeth and I was able to keep our tooth brushing rules in place.

Rule #6

Rule #6: You have to brush your teeth with whatever toothpaste is in the house.

No one wants to smell. Bad breath is a huge turn off no matter what your age. Tooth brushing in our house in not negotiable. Luckily we crossed this bridge ages ago and found a couple tricks like using an electric toothbrush to make this job easier. In this simple activity that occurs a couple times every day, I hadn't realized an inflexible routine had been established. It has been well documented that Crash has great difficulty with changes in routine. We try had to shake things up to keep him on his toes (at least until the changes in his routine begin to drive us crazy). So it was here in the middle of the tooth brushing routine that the "Crest vs. Colgate" war developed.
Crash loves the movie Cars, to motivate him to brush his teeth, I have purchased Cars toothpaste. I didn't think anything of it. Well, we got to grandmas's the other day and it was time to brush teeth and much to Crash's surprise was...CREST toothpaste. Uh would have thought the world was coming to an end. We have already established that it is not an option, you have to brush your teeth, so what is one to do...

1. Give in (it's grandma's house maybe Crash won't generalize the new rule that you don't have to brush your teeth)
2. Brush Without toothpaste (again hoping he doesn't generalize this new rule)
3. Go to the store and buy the RIGHT toothpaste (A 3 year old can't win)
4. Use the NEW toothpaste.

Getting Kids in Sync

Although this conference is now closed, I highly recommend it to any parent or therapist. Principles of sensory processing and clearly explained in terms untrained individuals can understand. There are a variety of techniques and strategies as well as pages of resources on sensory processing.

"A Sensory Processing Approach to Challenges Associated with Autism, ADHD, Learning and Behavioral Disorders This fun, informative and interactive seminar is designed for parents, therapists and other professionals. You will gain understanding of the basics of sensory processing and learn "ready-to-use" strategies to support learning, attention, social and emotional relationships and behavior in children. Genevieve Jereb, OTR, is an Australian-born pediatric occupational therapist who has lectured on sensory processing disorders, both nationally and internationally. She is also recognized as a childrens’ singer and songwriter, Genevieve uses the principles of sensory processing theory to create music, songs and rhythmic activities for children with attention, motor and regulation difficulties."