We arrived home Thursday afternoon and Mr Owl (aged six) hopped out of the car and went to play up a tree in our front yard.
I released Mr Butterfly (aged 21 months) from his car-seat and took my things inside.
I came back. I took Mr Owl’s backpack and spare clothing out of the car. I took them over to where he was playing and put them on the ground near him.
In a normal, conversational, non-threatening voice, I said, “These need to be sorted.” And I walked away. (Thinking we’ve got half an hour before we have to be anywhere, that gives him plenty of time.)
I went inside and carried on with what I had to do.
Mr Owl immediately hopped out of the tree; picked up his things; took his bag inside and put it where it goes each night; and then took his extra clothing and put them in the washing-basket.
“Thanks!” I called to him as he left to play in his tree again.
“You’re welcome!” He called back.
Key One: We aren’t naturally tidy people, but we do have set places for the boys’ stuff.
Key Two: None of this is new for him. He’s done these things with instruction for at least three years already.
Key Three: We have a strong emotional bond and he wants to please me.
Key Four: He knows that I won’t rescue him and do the jobs for him. He knows that he will still have to sort these things out regardless of what else is going on.
Key Five: I used Mindful Disconnection immediately after I gave an instruction in a normal every day voice.
Key Six: This was an easy task for him to complete alone and appropriate for his age.
The series on Mindful Disconnection begins here: Connection and Disconnection: Optimal Parenting Part One.
(This is officially how I help put food on the table. If you’ve found this article useful, please feel free to use the Koha button just above my blogroll. Even the smallest amount is appreciated. 🙂 )