Saturday, May 4, 2013

Parenting Battle Royale!!! Tag-Team Champions (totally a dad blog title)

RIP Razor Headphones
Well, my kids just tore up my favorite set of headphones...sigh. Kids got up at the crack of dawn, while I was trying to get up at the crack of 10 (and nothing good comes of this combination). Although the "headphone incident" did result in the loss of property, some REALLY GREAT things came out of it! We've had a string of unfortunate events happen with things "breaking" because of carelessness, so this time I had to turn it up a notch.


You see, I'm a pretty loving and even keeled parent. I can keep my parental poker face going while disaster erupts around me. I really do prefer to talk through a lot of things with my kids, trying my best to serve as their "external" brain. On a serious learning note,"Modeling" is one of the powerful tools in the arsenal of parents and teachers. A lecture can often go in one ear and straight out the other (with BLINDING speed), especially when you're trying to get kids to keep their act together. But modeling some problem solving can really go a long way, and thinking out loud about what they could have done right should never be underestimated.

But this was not a time for talk...it was a time for ACTION!!! Sometimes talking, like any strategy, can fall on deaf ears, so this time I decided to be theatrical! It was a split second decision. If their path of destruction is not halted, summer was going to leave our house devastated! It was time...time for me to put on my CRAZY FACE! Being so calm and patient 95% of the time really punctuates those occasions when you decide to "go bananas"  in order to send a message.

1st great thing that happened:
My wife IMMEDIATELY picked up on it...and we were in complete harmony!! I'd stop a rant, and she'd tag in and start cleaning house with hers. She'd take a breath, and I'd come flying off the top rope with a parental elbow! We had the whole telepathic communication down pat! During this exchange, I even causally thought we should have pancakes and sausage for breakfast...guess what we are having for breakfast? Seriously...no joke....THAT HAPPENED!!! This lady has my back! I love this woman! She is my parental tag-team partner (and breakfast was delish)!!!


2nd great thing that happened:
Once hurricane Papi and tropical storm Mom rolled out to sea, my kids took some time to reflect and survey the wreckage (my awesome headphones...) and then quietly went up stairs on their own own . My wife and I using our telepathic communication confirmed with each other that they really were sorry for what happened. NOW it was time to talk, and a private moment with each of them drove the lesson home. =) Will something similar likely happen again? Sure, but at this moment, we wanted a small victory because these can add up to big things.

I can always find other headphones. Sure, they won't be as comfy (gosh I'll miss those...), but I am sure I've got something in a closet (circa 1980s) that I can use until Christmas rolls around. But that sincere apology meant the world to me. Our kids (due to their FASD disability) have trouble connecting some of the dots others take for granted. FASD doesn't excuse behavior, it just helps us understand the cause. My kiddos knew they did something wrong (after the fact), but I also wanted them to realize that their actions affected others and understand the responsibility of setting things right again. FASD and impulse control issues go hand in hand.  Every lesson won't be a homerun, but that doesn't matter. As parents, Tracy and I never want to let opportunities like this slip by without trying to get something positive out of it. Watching and listening to them each, in their own way, practice empathy...to consider the feelings (and property) of others...this was a great thing.

No matter what breaks, every moment is an opportunity to learn, and it was neat noting how we immediately got our parental mojo working. This wasn't a post about strategies (I do plenty of those), rather instead it was about my better half and I forming a whole. We celebrate the growth and development of our kids, but we should also take note of our growth and development as parents. It is just cool knowing that during those moments, I've got a KICK ASS tag-team partner backing me up!!!