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.

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