I gave her some suggestions and tools. Within 24 hours she sent me this terrific story, and has given me permission to share it with you…
Last night while washing up for bed my 5-year-old son mentioned that he wished he was in charge of making the rules for the house. His 8-year-old sister grumbled something about the TV rules and he nodded at her sadly.
I told them that I wanted all of us to have input into our rules from now on and that we could start with how to handle TV. I apologized for taking away family movie night, saying that I didn't have the right to do that.
Then, I did the four step problem-solving just like you said.
During the second step my son had tears in his eyes while I acknowledged his feelings. Then I told him I loved him too much to fight about TV and asked if he had any ideas how we could make it better.
This is what he proposed:
· No TV on days that he had a playdate
· No TV on days he had his afternoon programme
· No TV on weekends
· One show on weekday afternoons when he had no playdate
· TV on family movie night
Can you believe this is what my TV addict son proposed?!
And he is thrilled that we're trying out his idea for a week to see how we all like it. I told him if it didn't work for everyone we would try something else next week. Which he thinks if very fair.
Who would have thought? When in doubt, just ask your child!
Thank you, thank you!
The bonus is that even if the week doesn’t work out so well, it’s a win-win situation for this family. They are learning a cooperative and collaborative approach to solving differences. Bravo mom!
Check out these resources:
- An example of the 4-steps of Problem-solving
- Parenting I – Raise Great Kids
- Preteen/Teen – It’s a Whole New Ballgame
- Dynamic Marriage for Life
Beverley & Doone