This is really the beginning of my family's success story, but I felt I had to share this right away. My family has been in crisis for the past two weeks. It is getting very close to the holidays, and my preparations took my attention away from my children more than usual. The oldest, 3, decided to start letting me know he needed me with very negative behavior. He was quickly loosing control, and every day just got worse. Even though many moms might say his behavior is normal for his age, I don't accept that I have to live with a raging child if I had the skills to teach him how to be calm and talk to me appropriately. I also needed to change and learn these skills as well. I had already purchased the "House United..." book but urgently read the "crisis" series of chapters and started implementing as I read. It was a lot for my 3 year old to take in, I didn't know if we'd be successful making the changes so suddenly in our home and the way I parented.
For 3 days he pushed against the change in my expectation of him, the calmness I had when I was teaching him, and did his darndest to discourage me from being consistent. He did everything he knew to push my anger buttons and then started swinging to extremes in his behavior to manipulate me. He was kicking and hitting me at times. He would search for things around him to make a mess or throw when he became uncomfortable and didn't want to try to look at me, have a calm body, etc. At one point he yelled at me, through tears, "You don't love me anymore." The next hour he was calmly telling me how much he loved me and liked me just before acting out again when I asked him if he was ready to follow instructions. He spent almost an entire day in his room as I went back to him every 10 minutes. I wondered if he would really respond to what I was doing and to what the book was saying would work within a short amount of time. There were a lot of tears, and not just from my son. I had my 20 year vision taped to my wall by my bed to look at every morning and a will of iron and was still uncertain of what the outcome would actually be of all this. I didn't know my 3 year old would also have a will of iron of his own.
Finally - I know it was only three days, but I feel like a finally should go there because I didn't know how long things would take before my son would decide to choose happiness - he turned a corner. After the last time of screaming in his room that it wasn't fair and he "couldn't do this and stay calm...", I love that he was using the language from the steps as he was yelling his complaints, something clicked in his mind. He understood that he had to change if he was going to be happy and have the freedom he thought he could get by running, literally, amuck in our home. A miracle has happened in three days of implementation and consistency.
It was not a perfect implementation, but I kept going and kept reading. Thank you for my family's miracle, and the miracles will keep coming because we still have more to improve and implement with our family government, etc. My 3 year old is now a wonderful, happy, obedient (I still can't believe his improvement. He's even better than his best behaved days before "A House United...") and at ease child. He is doing beautifully now and is ready to move forward and learn with my husband and I as we undertake this new journey in clamness, respect, and love as a family. Thank you really doesn't describe what this means to me. Gratitude fills me for your work and sacrifice to bring these life skills to families.