Boy Bonding – An Update

October 9th, 2012

I wanted to return to the topic of my carnivorous son, having now spent the last eleven straight evenings engaging in quality time with Sir Buggie.

First, the school report.  Drum roll please….

…no bites!

At all.  Seven days and counting bite-free at school.  Now, I cannot in all fairness posit a direct causal link between our “special play time” and the kindler gentler Buggie who has emerged because there were other variables in there.  Like the fact that he moved to a new room at school.  That was a big deal, but honestly I was certain the situation would get worse after the move because there are more kids and fewer teachers in his new room.

But whether it’s simply system shock at being in a new environment or the impact of positive loving attention at home, Buggie has been doing much better at school.

That alone makes me feel like the experiment was a success, but there’s more.  Buggie loves our evening time together.  When I announce it’s time for his bath, he perks up and says — “Play time?”  I assure him that play time comes after bath and away we go.

He’s also started saying the words to my “affirming mantra” with me.  (Buggie is a good boy.  Buggie is a nice boy.  Mommy/Daddy/MissMouse/Riley/Nana/Papu/Etc. Love Buggie.)

I start it off and then he supplies the name of the next person in the List of People Who Love Buggie.  He giggles and buries his head in my neck throughout and clearly loves it.  I’ve started doing The Mantra when I drop him off at school, too, as we walk in the door, to set a positive tone for the day.

Not to get too psychological about it, but I think there’s something to be said for affirming that your child IS good and nice rather than instructing them to BE good and nice.  I’ve heard many parents leave their kids at school with firm reminders to “be good today” and it struck me that there’s a subtle but important distinction (unintentional, really) in the way I’ve chosen to phrase it.

I’ve made Play Time a priority, even ducking out early of church meetings to be home for my boy.  That has helped him to deal with my occasional evening absences better.  I had a meeting last night but before I left, I assured him that I would be home for play time and he had a less explosive melt down (though he still cried) when I left and while I was gone.

This somewhat rambling post has a point: making quality time with my son a priority has brought many blessings and I’m so glad we’re doing it!

One response to “Boy Bonding – An Update”

  1. G'Mom says:

    What an interesting observation about telling Buggie he is good rather than to be good. I’d never thought about the difference, but I really like that difference now that you’ve brought it up.

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