Week 6 – Crucial C's


This past week we have been working on the Crucial C’s:  connection, capable, count and courage.    I think this wonderful weekend is a testament to how impactful the Crucial C’s can be.

Kirk and I both struggle with making sure we take time to connect with our kids during the week.  It’s wake up, get ready for the day, work, dinner, homework, bed.  We both feel pressure (whether real or imagined) to be as productive as possible and slowing down long enough to connect with the kiddos is not part of the productivity formula.  Of course, the kids mean way more to us than being productive but we’ve been in productivity mode for so long, it’s hard to re-invent that part of ourselves…but we are working on it!

Anyhow, we have been working very hard to make sure to connect with the kids during the week and I think we have see some pretty immediate results.  For example, Rip, without any prompt from me, came into his room where I was just getting ready to start cleaning, and asked me what I was doing and would I like some company.  I told him I would love his company and that it would make cleaning so much more enjoyable.  Less than a minute later he volunteered to pitch in and help me clean his room!! He even said he liked to have his room look ‘handsome’ and was glad to help.  Wow!!  This is amazing as I don’t think he has ever volunteered to clean his room!

I’m not sure if I’m seeing any changes in Riley just yet.  She’s still a hit or miss on participating in anything other than play time.  She does randomly take her dishes to the kitchen and yesterday she did help me a little bit with emptying the dishwasher.  Oh, and she is starting to throw away her trash in the trash can (vs. leaving it on the floor).  So, yes, I am seeing some changes in Riley, but not as dramatic as Rip….and that just may have to do with her only being 2 and just starting to learn everything.  I think I need to pay a little more attention to her progress.

Ok, training updates:

One of the first things Kirk said to Rip this morning was “So, how was the potluck?”  Rip said, rather weakly “OK.”  Then he continued with:  “Well, I really don’t remember it.”  And he kind of looked to me for some help.  I broke the news to him that he feel asleep on the way there so we actually didn’t make it to the potluck.  He was amazingly OK with it.  Once again, I need to have more faith in my kids being able to handle things.

Rip had karate tonight and apparently his teacher told him to come back to the studio tonight for the Christmas potluck. Rip only remembered the details of 8pm and that he was supposed to come back.  I have known about the potluck but elected not to share the information with Rip because it took place so close to the kids bed time that it screamed meltdown waiting to happen.

Anyhow, Rip usually forgets about these things but not tonight.  As soon as we walked into the house he went to his room, picked up his clock and told me that 8 o’clock is when the little hand is on the 8 and the big hand is on the 12.  Also that I should hold the clock and keep looking at it so I didn’t forget.

When 7 o’clock rolled around I gave Rip the 20 minute warning and he promptly reminded me we had to go back to the studio because his teacher told him to.  Ugh!  I really thought he would forget!  I explained to Rip that it was just a potluck where people were bringing food to share.  He said he still wanted to go.  OK, fine, we’ll go.

We start heading to the car and Rip says “Mom!  Where’s the food?”  I explain that I hadn’t planned on going so I didn’t prepare any food to share.  Rip goes back into the house to get food.  He opens the refrigerator, grabs 1 cheese stick.  I ask if he thinks that will be enough and he says, “Yes.”

So my thinking in agreeing to go back to the karate studio is that Rip is tired and the kid CANNOT stay awake in the car so we may get 3 -4 miles before he falls asleep.  However, I am not taking chances that he will stay awake so I crank up the heat and put on some soothing music.  Sure enough, 1 mile away and he’s already had 3 BIG yawns.  By the next block, the thumb is in the mouth…it’s only a matter of time!  One more mile and I turned around and came home to put Rip sound asleep in his bed.

Now we’ll just have to see what he has to say about this tomorrow 🙂

Tonight at dinner, at a restaurant, I was feeling rather blissful about my family.  Here we were sitting at a table, in a restaurant, enjoying each others company.  No tantrums, no climbing under the table, no running around the restaurant, just an amazingly pleasant time hanging with my hubby and the 2 kiddos.  And I made sure to let my family know that I thought we had an “amazing little family unit.”  Kirk and Ripken immediately agreed with me.  Made my heart melt!

So the blissful feelings came on at the end of a rather pleasant weekend.  Friday night we did our movie/popcorn tradition which is a great way to wind down the week.  Saturday during the day was not as much fun as we spent quite a bit of time doing contributions but then Kirk & I took off for the night to enjoy his company’s holiday party.  Then Sunday came along and we headed to Seaworld where no tantrums took place.  This is quite a feat as Ripken LOVES to have people buy him stuff (a.k.a. junk food) at places such as Seaworld.  He did ask once and we explained that he is welcome to buy whatever he wants with his money but we bought the tickets to get in and we were done spending money there.  A little bit of whining, but Kirk and I caught ourselves and kept the mouths shut – no cheap drama for us thank you!!

As for our Parenting On Track progress, this week we are focusing on the Crucial C’s.  These “C’s” are going to help us connect with our children in a way that will make them want to be a part of the family.  Very simple in concept, but will be a bit of work on our part until it becomes ingrained in our lifestyles.  I did manage to practice a little bit on Saturday.  I had a TON of stuff to get done before the party and Rip was REALLY wanting me to play with him.  It took me a couple of tries but I did manage to get 3 of the 4 C’s into my conversation with Rip.  I am completely convinced that by doing that, it kept Rip from going into full meltdown mode because I wasn’t able to play with him at that moment.  Felt pretty damn good to see him not fall apart when he didn’t get his way.  I can definitely see how over time the “C’s” will move him towards participating more in the family.

Quick update on training.  Took some steps backward with Rip and his laundry.  I think I have it figured out though and, surprise, surprise, it’s probably my fault he stepped back.  All revved up and ready for training, I moved WAAAY too fast and put too much on him when it came to laundry.  So this week, I took back some ownership of the laundry and sure enough, he jumped back in and started helping out.