Friday, October 06, 2006

Small rituals

Those of you who are parents or are around children, know how important a routine is to a child. Kids need to know what to expect throughout their days; their level of comfort depends on how consistent we, as parents and caregivers, are with our activities, our love, as well as our discipline.

Our boys have a routine that we are not to veer from on any night. After their evening baths, and often while still quite damp (notice their dripping wet heads), they each head to the cereal cabinet and begin the long process of choosing a cereal for their before-bed snack. If one brother chooses the same cereal as the other, Jimmy and I must then find another box for the second-choice-boy to "read" that is similar to the original box...they can tell the difference and don't hesitate to complain.

Mind you, they have each had a very substantial evening meal and usually a dessert of some kind. Yet, they feel the need to fill their already bulging tummies to the brink by slurping down two, sometimes three, bowls of cereal.

Once when I was having trouble getting Hayden to follow directions, I threatened and then was forced to follow through with the "No cereal for you tonight. You will just go to bed after your bath."

You would have thought I had just thrown away his favorite bear. He cried and sobbed and attempted to negotiate after the fact, but to no avail. I stood my ground. He went to bed without his cereal and we haven't had a problem in that particular area since.

Do notice how both boys sit there side-by-side and without speaking, just digesting the same old cereal box information for the hundredth time. Hmmm, now that I think about it, if they aren't speaking, then they aren't arguing, and it actually is a quiet time in the house.

Maybe I need to offer them cereal as a snack all throughout the day!

No comments: