Thursday, June 07, 2012

Responsible boys

Well, summer is officially in session.  The boys got out of school about three weeks ago and we've been having a good time.  Truthfully, I'm still trying to get a good system going for us--a balance between being home to get stuff done and going to do fun things with the boys.  I also am trying to get a good schedule down for the boys so their summer is not filled with computer and TV.  But, it's been a great summer so far.  We've had fun in the hot tub, on the trampoline, at the pool, the park, and karate.  We also had some visitors during Memorial Day weekend.

One thing I'm trying to make a normal routine in our home is teaching the boys about leadership.  It sounds so serious and grown up, but really, after this past school year Mike and I realized it was needed.  A few posts ago I mentioned that Isaac is very particular and likes routine.  Will is not like that.  Will is so laid back and happy go lucky and just kind of in his own little world some times.  But because of this, he often forgets certain important things--like putting his lunch in his backpack or getting his shoes on.  Each night we would remind the boys to get their things ready for school and Will would obey without fight but he would always forget some part of the process like putting his shoes together so the next morning I'd find myself mad at him as the bus is on it's way, "Why aren't your shoes on?"  "I can't find them."  Why not?  I told you to get your stuff all together last night!"  It was so frustrating and I hated those mornings where he would have to run to the bus stop and I was mad he was in tears.  I just hated sending him to school that way.  I just felt like I was nagging him all the time.  "Will, you need to start thinking through things."

When Mike and I talked about it I realized that I keep expecting him to think through his processes but that it's just not a natural thing for him and I can't expect him to just start thinking through each detail if he just doesn't know how.  I realized we needed to start teaching him how to think about each step and detail.  So that is what we are working on.

I have been trying to give Will responsibilities where he has to think about every single step to get us ready.  So for instance, I put him in charge of getting us ready for the pool.  We talked about each step:  towels, bathing suits, sunscreen, snacks, putting Diamond in the backyard, etc.  We did the same thing for preparing lunch and Will had to make a list and cross off each thing.  He had to decide, with input from his brothers, what we would have for lunch.  I showed him how to read the directions on the package and he had to help cook and then delegate setting the table, saying the prayer, etc.  Everything that went into preparing lunch was Will's responsibility.  He had to check and make sure he didn't leave the food out that wasn't used and help his brothers with condiments, etc.  It was a really good exercise for him to try and not rush through things but to slowly consider each step of the way.

He is just so used to seeing the end picture that he often forgets that getting there takes specific, thought out steps.  The other two boys thought it was cool that Will got to be the leader and asked if they could have turns being in charge too.  We had to talk about what makes good leaders so that we didn't have any little bossy boys reveling in their new found power and they all seemed to understand that a good leader encourages, delegates, and helps those that he is in charge of.

It's been going really well even if it does take a lot of patience and time on my part.  I have to be involved with each point and really help them consider each step and that can be a little annoying with the amount of time it takes.  But, I'm really hoping that if we do it all summer long, come school time I won't have to be as involved and I can say, "Boys, go get your stuff ready for tomorrow" and they will be able to quickly think through each point so when the morning comes things will just go smoothly and easily.  Plus, I just think it will aid them in their every day lives anyway.  So, here's to teaching our kiddos leadership.  Wish me luck and patience so I'll want to keep doing it.


Lokodi said...

I'm having the same problem with Gabe in the mornings. He always forgets one step or another. It drives me nuts and I end up yelling at him as he's running out the door. I am going to steal your idea Adrianne. Thank you for being smarter than me and thinking about it. :) You are awesome. Now if only I can have some of your patience to go along with this because this is going to take some serious patience. :)


Mike and Adrianne said...

Linds, I'm glad I'm not the only person that gets frustrated by this. Just remember that Will is seven and Gabe is 4. But, Eli really enjoys this as much as Will so I think it could work with Gabe, just be patient with him if he still forgets because he's still little. It's funny because I get so frustrated with them and then I find myself doing the exact same thing later in the day. Maybe I need to do this for myself?!

lrbodine said...

Some day I will be as good of a mom as you are! What a great message and lesson for both you and Will to learn... that you realize what needed to change and are patiently working through it to help Will out!