My eldest son, who is 4, has been struggling with basic routines now that school is over.
Instead of following the normal flow, there has been pretty high resistance for basic things: putting shoes on, washing hands, brushing teeth…
So, my husband and I followed the brilliant Joanna Faber and Julie King's "problem solving method" we learned about it this year when I read their book How To Talk So Little Kids Will Listen.
It has been a saviour when a situation just seems impossible to resolve with our little guy.
The basics? You state what the problem is for your child: “You seem so mad and sad these days when we ask you to do things. We want you to feel happier in our family.”
You then explain the general the problem, or, the challenge YOU are facing: “It is hard for me when you yell so much.”
Then, you problem solve together: “What are some things that might fix this issue?”
Here are a few suggestions we put on the list:
- Get a magic wand to do all the work for us.
- Hold you upside down to wash your hands in the bath.
- Never wear shoes again!
- Whisper secret words that mean each action
- Sing a song about the actions we want you to take
AND, the winner (and the key here was to let HIM choose the solution)? He picked something I recommend to my toddler and older child clients, but, that I’ve never used at home: make pictures of all of the scheduled tasks and put them up as reminders. Our son can just look at them and know what to do next!�
If he gets stuck, needs help, or doesn’t want to be alone, he’s going to yell: “PICKLE!”
The good news? If it doesn’t work, it just means it wasn’t the right solution. We then go back to the drawing board!
Will keep you posted on how it goes!