Recently my friend, David Perry, the renown film maker, invited me to his home to teach his family self-government. The Perrys have two active young boys ages five and three. They are quickly becoming self-government experts.
This is a recent video of Hudson, age three, explaining the steps to following instructions. Just look at the light in Hudson's eyes as he talks to his dad about the steps. He loves connecting with his dad like this and really looks like he is proud of the skills he knows. Great confidence for a little three year old.
I begged for this footage because Hudson used to with-draw from the family and it shows a different little boy than the boy I first met.
Parenting Quotes - Bed Time Routine
David sent me his feelings about my visit in their home. He said:
“You should have seen him tonight as we went out for dinner. He was just talking and laughing like you wouldn't believe :) I have to say that your visit was seriously life changing. I view my family in a whole new light because I feel that we now have a system in place for us to not only grow together but also to enjoy the journey together. Parenting has turned from a struggle to more of a joyful experience.
“For example, bed time use to be a dreaded time of day where we spent a whole hour trying to get the boys to go to sleep. From whining about being hungry to running away from me when I'm trying to get them to put on their pajamas to wanting one more hug before I go (and another... and another). Now I love bed time because I use pre teaching to let them know exactly the schedule for bedtime that night and then they follow instructions with the schedule because they know the steps to following instructions.
“It sounds so simple but it really does work. Ever since you stayed, over a week ago, the boys have gone to bed right when we have planned except for one small incident where Drew had a question and then went straight to back to bed. Miracles are happening at the Perry house! If anyone would have told me that this could happen in only a few days, I would have laughed. Well, I actually am laughing now.. laughing with my family because life is so great :) An increase of peace and respect has come into our home as we are truly a team working together. Thank you, thank you, thank you!”
3 Year Old Tantrums
When I first met Hudson, he didn't want to look at mom and dad. He didn't want to eat his breakfast. He whined a lot. And, when he wasn't whining he was wondering off by himself to play alone.
I explained to the Perrys that Hudson needed to be invited back into family life. We also learned some communication skills for the boys and practiced what to do if the children didn't do the skills or were disobedient.
The family consistently used time-out as a change of heart spot (as described in my Implementation Course) and then did a regular correction. Even little three year old Hudson does extra chores when he doesn't follow instructions.
Go Hudson! He truly is Hudson the Great! I am so excited to see what Hudson is like when he is 15 years old. His course has changed this month. He will never remember not following instructions and respecting Mom and Dad. Great Job Perry Family!
*We will probably have a video of teaching small children self-government soon, starring the Perry family. Watch for that. See other Teaching Self-Government products here!