Friday, May 31, 2013

Complete Turn Around OR Not?

A little while back I did a post entitled "Thank You".  This post was truly to thank all those who have inspired, contributed or even attempted to help me solve the issues of my gifted and talented young 5 year old grandson's attitude, behavior and re-education into the love of learning.

I received some valuable feedback and I do thank you for that as well.  I would like today to tell you about what appears to be a complete turnaround or not.  Time will tell.  Several days ago, we had one of those really bad, no good, horrible days.  Putting it mildly is an understatement here.  It was like an all out war had begun in my house between me and my "little man".  There was so much anger on both sides and then about 6  pm I decided to attempt to scare the living daylights out of him.  I told him that we would send him to a military boarding school if his behavior, respect level and desire to learn some self-control did not change.  To this he simply said, "You will not".  So I proceeded to google military schools, selected one at random and began filling out the application and printing it out.  Mind you he could see the computer screen but not my face or the streaming tears.  At any rate, he said "ok, mimi, ok, I'll do it."  He picked up his papers which were just a few very simple questions to determine what he knows and what he does not know, for our own benefit, so we could move on to other things.  No big deal.

He took the papers, picked up his pencil, put his glasses on, then took the glasses off, laid them down and said, "but first Mimi, I need to pray for just a bit."  OK, that's fine.  He did, quietly.  I could hear him but not enough to understand words so I just tried to do something else while he was praying and then I bowed my own head.  When he was finished, I have to tell you.  I witnessed the most amazing transformation in him that I have ever witnessed in my life.  I knew that I had just witnessed a miracle.  He then picked up his pencil, put his glasses on and did the quiz.  He aced it by the way.

Since that night, we have had a completely different little boy.  He has been our happy, loving, kind, empathetic, compassionate little boy that we knew he was from before he started public school.  He has been excited to do some things.  So we devised a very simple contest to see if would help him or see if it would last.  We purchased a prize that we thought he would like.  My daughter found a Ben10 movie (not a cartoon) that she thought he would enjoy for $5.  (He used to watch all the Ben10 cartoons, then began to lose interest and then we turned off our cable so there was no more cartoons of anykind.

My daughter does mosaic work and has a lot of those little glass beads in the house.  She took one of the mason jars they are stored in and counted the beads in the jar.  We told him that for every time he did as he was told, responded to a request appropriately, handled his responsibilities without being told, completed the balance of his subject quizzes and conducted himself in an appropriate manner when were out he would get a guess as to the number of beads in the jar.  At the end of the week, if he had a guess in the jar that was within 5  of the actual number he would win. Believe you me, he was the recipient of numerous guesses.  There were NO instances of his not doing what he was told.  If he passed the garbage and it needed to go to the garage, he simply did it.  He kept his toys off the floor when he was done with them.  he displayed absolutely no anger.  He did not give us attitude when we asked something of him or told him he could not do something or have something that he wanted. Well perhaps a couple of times he acted like he was going to be upset, but the first time he did it, I simply said to him, :"if you feel angry, just let's talk about it".  Yesterday, one occasion and I gently reminded him that we could talk about it and today just a couple of instances and he stopped himself and just said "ok mimi".

Well, tonight we stopped the contest just a tad early, because he came to within 5 of the total of beads in the jar and to determine if he was within the range, he had to add and subtract on the board 5 from the number he guessed and we would tell him he was correct or not.  Tonight he won.  This child was so excited.  I have never seen him so excited or so happy with himself.  It is really not possible for me to describe the delight we saw in him.  He simply could not contain himself.

So now I am on the hunt for other contest ideas.  We will do this for next few weeks and offer various different prizes for each win  The contest will last from Sunday to Friday and we will stop the weekly ones when we see that he needs absolutely no coaxing or reminders of the rules of the contest, which if this week was any indication, will not be very long.  Then we will do it on an occasional basis just to reinforce the abilities or if we see him slipping.

So come on folks, let's have some ideas.  What are some contests that you have for your children?  Yes little man is 5 but remember he is not the typical 5 year old so something that you might even share with your say 7-10 year old.  I am looking forward to hearing some of your ideas.

Thank you for your support and your friendship.

Be Blessed
Mimi

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