discipline Ethan without breaking his spirit?? That is the long time question we have wrestled with. He is our most difficult and disruptive of the bunch. Rob and I look back to when they were just little babies. He was our best baby. Easily the most laid back and happy.Its funny, I can see the character traits he's inherited from Rob and me. From what I've been told, Rob was a very goofy little boy. He did everything in his power to annoy his sister. He did things like, throw a croquet ball in the air and miss it and knock himself out. He was just GOOFY! Always into something he wasn't supposed to. Ethan is the same way. He doesn't play with things like normal people. He breaks stuff or hurts himself because he doesn't play like a normal kid. He takes toys and causes turmoil and disruption. Ethan is similar to me in his lack of imagination and enjoyment in playing. I didn't like playing pretend or barbies or dolls as a kid. I was more task and goal oriented. Give me a task and I would work on it until I completed it. He is just like that. He doesn't know how to play pretend. Ethan gets bored with toys and activities quickly.
He may not have the knack of playing, but he has been given an ear for music. That is definitely a trait not inherited from myself or Rob. He can hear a song one time and practically have it memorized. He even puts the vibrato in his voice when he sings. I pray he has a good voice when he gets bigger. Every second of his day he has a song going through his head. You know how you hear a song and it drives you crazy because you can't get it out of your head? Ethan can learn anything by music. That is his niche.
So, how do we try to reign in his outbursts and disruption without breaking his spirit? He is in trouble for screaming and yelling songs, teasing and disrupting the other kids. He is ALWAYS in trouble. Its been rough, I feel like he likes getting in trouble.
This week has been particularly bad for Ethan. He was very disruptive and blatantly disobedient. He ran out in the drive-thru at McDonalds, turned around and smiled after being told seconds before to stay on the sidewalk. Stuff like that all the time. So, I made the tough decision to keep him home with Rob and me Friday night instead of letting him go with the others to Grandma and Papaw's house.
We spent the next 24 hours working with him and trying to start a new strategy. We went to Walmart and bought 5 rain gauges. They are the perfect size for pennies. So, now we are earning pennies for any good behavior. We are going to reward pretty much anything good. Once they get pennies up to the 1 they get in a treasure box. Once they fill their gauge up to the 5 they will go to Walmart to pick out a (cheap) toy. Ethan picked up on it right away.
Hopefully this will give him something to work towards. We will see!!