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It is time that I seriously start cracking the whip around here before this little monster boy drives me out of my mind.  I love his precious little teenager-stuck-in-a-four-year-old-body personality but, sometimes I have to remind myself who I am talking to.  I catch myself reasoning with him as I would his older brother or sister and quite frankly, sometimes when we finally come to an understanding, I want to say, “ok, now go explain that to your brother.”  But, the truth of the matter is that there have to be some rules put into place immediately or….as, I write this I remember his “or what, mommy.”  So, fine….or nothing.  There just need to be some rules that we BOTH know.

So, this past weekend, I started the conditioning.  I called him into my room to “tell him something”.  Well, I called him and after a “just a minute, mom” and an “I’m coming” when he actually wasn’t coming, and counting to ten before I kill the boy for trying my patience, I resorted to “come here so I can tell you something.”  It never fails, he will ignore me completely, playing or being silly, until I say, “I have to tell you something.”  And then, as if I am revealing an eighth wonder of the world, he comes running so eager to hear the something.

Me:  Mommy has four rules that are very important for you to follow.  Do you want to know what they are?

Him: What are they?

Me:

Rule #1 – Be a good listener

Rule #2 – Be respectful

Rule #3 – Be kind

Rule #4 – Stand up straight

We discussed each rule and its importance with examples of how he can show that he is following the rules:  come when mommy calls, stand still when mommy says stand still, don’t say rude things to mommy or your siblings, and never let the world know your frustrations by slumping your shoulders and pouting when things don’t go your way.

He got it.  He gave his own examples.  He understood that mommy won’t get upset over a broken dish or a misplaced toy but mommy would be very disappointed and even angry if one of the four rules were broken.

Now, I know that he is only four and remembering rules that are spelled out this way may be a bit difficult.  I expect that he will forget or that despite remembering, he will break the rules because he is my monster boy and rules are “boring”.  But, he can’t learn something that I don’t endeavor to teach and repeat.  So, in an effort to make sure that we were getting off to a good start, before I released him from the hold of our conversation, I asked, “Can you remember mommy’s rules?”  He said yes and repeated the rules.

Him:

Rule #1 – Always listen to mommy

Rule #2 – Be restdis….Be respull….Be dis-res-pesful

Rule #3 – Be kind

Rule #4 – Stand up straight.

The order is not really important but, I am worried about his Rule #2.

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