I've decided the thing that I like the most about taking a parenting class is that it makes me a more purposeful parent. I'm making more conscious decisions about my reactions and getting more creative about consequences that actually fit the action.
For instance: Today Storey unbuckled her car seat while we were driving, which is a big no no (she HAD to get a cracker that fell). Rather than lecture her, I reminded her that it was very dangerous and because of her decision she was going to get a consequence. I couldn't think of anything right away, but as we pulled into the garage, I spotted her old car seat (the 5 point harness kind). I let her know that because of her choice, for the rest of the week she would be back in her old car seat which is more difficult to unbuckle than the booster seat she currently uses. She was not happy, but I think she will get the point after sitting in that "baby seat" (as she calls it) for a few days.
And lest you believe that Storey is always screaming and disobedient, tonight she shut herself in my bedroom while I was making dinner and then came out to inform me that she had a surprise in my room. I discovered that she had made my bed and left a pink paper heart in the middle. Cute.
In other parenting news, I was able to use the "empathetic response" that we learned in our last class today when Jakson got in the car after school and showed me his broken glasses. It was only a matter of time....
I wanted him to own the problem, so I expressed how sad I was that it had happened, threw in a "that really sucks," and then asked what he was going to do about it. Right away he said that he would just wear them broken. Nice. Only a boy.
He then said he wasn't sure what to do. I asked if he wanted a couple of ideas. Maybe he could buy some gorilla glue and try to glue them back together? Though it might not work. Or he could call Walmart and ask about the warranty on the glasses? But that might cost him some money as well. He decided to call Walmart. It was kind of hilarious to listen to--he told the lady at the eye center that he had broken his glasses and needed to find out if he could get new ones. I could tell that the lady on the other side was a little confused as to why a child was calling her. When she started asking for insurance and birth dates, I took over the phone, but left it on speaker. I explained that he had to call because he needed to take responsibility. Thankfully, she caught on quickly to that and told Jakson that it would be free this time, but he would owe them $55 the next time. Did he have that kind of money? He replied that it would be a lot of chores.
Side note: Actually Walmart's policy is that the frames are under warranty for the first year and can be replaced as many times as the kid breaks them. Which is exactly why we went with Walmart for his glasses. After that first year, it's $55. We still have awhile.
Jak was excited that the replacement glasses would be free, but now his problem was getting to Walmart. First, he asked if I would take him. I told him that a trip to Walmart was not in my plans for the day and he would have to pay me $1 for gas. I suggested that maybe he could walk there (he said, "too far") or get a friend to take him. He took my phone and said he was going to call his friend Daly. Well, Daly lives about an hour away and Jak doesn't know his phone number, so quickly that scheme was nixed. Then he said he would call the Bishop. I'm sure that's all the Bishop needs---a phone call from my kid asking to be driven to Walmart. I don't think that's part of his job description. Fortunately, he doesn't know the Bishop's number either. In the end, he decided on "Miss Mandy." With a little help, he found her number on my phone and called. No answer (though I spoke to her later and she would have charged for gas too). Sadly, his options had run out and he begrudgingly was stuck with me and my $1 gas fee.
There's a happy ending to this story-he got new glasses for free and I earned $1! Who wants dinner?