Jakob has been having some issues with listening/following directions for the past few weeks. Now, I know he's only FOUR and I know he's a BOY full of ENERGY...but he is normally pretty good. He has swimming lessons five times a week, for an hour each time. As he has become more comfortable in the water, he strays farther and farther away from his class, and ignores his teachers more and more. As a parent this is very frustrating because I want my child to be a respectful student and to more importantly,
LEARN HOW TO SWIM!!!!
At school he has had issues also...wandering off from group activities, ignoring directions and rules set by the teachers, etc., etc. So knowing that he is now not listening to other authority figures - besides Mom & Dad - we decided to give him a week to improve, and if he didn't, then he would lose all television/movie privileges for a week. Our hopes and expectations were high...but unfortunately he didn't pass the test. So, since last friday, he has not watched TV or movies and I must say that it has really helped! I may just keep it this way FOREVER! (Well, maybe not, but a lot less TV has definitely helped the situation!)
We have also made a chart for him to earn points and once enough have been earned then he can get a reward. This not only includes listening the 1st time, but other responsibilities he has around the house as well. Maybe every parent repeats themself a thousand times every time when talking to their children, but even if that is the case, it doesn't make me feel any better!
So, being the hyper-control-freak that I am (at times...) I was starting to feel as if I was helpless in this situation. But, seeing that things are improving - not only at school and swimming lessons, but also at home, is giving me hope as well as enouragement not to give up! If anyone out there has any ideas or wants to share any experiences with me on raising
strong-willed boys, let me know! :) Jakob is such a sweet boy, and very sensitive. He is one of the most creative and imaginitive people I know and I love hearing his made-up words and stories and explanations for things. I don't want to stifle that side of him, I want him to still feel free to express himself and to explore things and life but I also want him to be able to listen when he needs to listen and to follow directions and rules when they need to be followed. I have been trying to focus on not yelling so much and just talking
calmly and making my directions short and simple for him
because I know his attention span lasts about 2.2 seconds.
I am SO grateful for his funny jokes
and out-of-the blue hugs and kisses and "I love you Mommy" moments.
I hope those never go away.