Friday, January 31, 2014

Second Anniversary Lists III: Choosing your Battles

Last year’s “Choosing your Battles” post presents ideas around how to navigate complicated situations (a.k.a. “life”) wherein we have to choose between many healing, therapeutic, disciplinary and/or boundary-clarifying options, some of which may be mutually exclusive. It also contains a handy dandy graphic aid, the famous “Choosing Your Battles Flow Chart.” You can access this, and so much more, at:

Gee…I…must’ve had a lot more…time…and energy…a year ago because this year it boils down to this:

Choose One Thing.

try to do better with it.

We chose these battles over the last several months: for Z, the Kindness Battle; for G, the Common Sense Battle. I figure these are the major challenges each is facing right now. I also advise them to learn from each other, as I estimate that Z has about a million common sense points and G a million kindness points.

I try to notice whenever each of them exhibits – or does not exhibit – their desired trait. Some manifestations are obvious: for G, in order to get a point, he needs to zip his pants, not tuck socks or shirts into said pants, close the mailbox cover when he gets the mail, close and lock public bathroom doors, wipe his nose when he sneezes or it is running,* etc. – and if he neglects these, or similar, he loses a point. In Z’s Battle, I need to be mindful to notice and reward her when she does something kind, such as sharing without being told to do so; when I see that she has told another girl her age that she cannot sit at the kids’ table (for instance), well, she loses points.

When we reach 50 points, we get TREATS. That is, each Battler gets to choose a reward that means a lot to him or her once they’ve reached this 50-point target. Having started our Points system in September or October, G is now on his third round of 50, while Z is holding steady at 11. Total. She recently announced a personal goal of 16 points for the New Year.

Mama’s Battle? Relaxation Points. Score? –4.

Next week, the anniversary post you have all been waiting for: THE COMPLAINT DEPARTMENT! I will still accept last minute complaints via email if they are highly acceptable.

Full Spectrum Mama

* My MF (Meeting Friend) says this not-wiping-nose thing has to do with being hypoactive or “under-responsive” to the tactile sensation of boogers on your face. I say that means if you know that you might not know there’s snot running down your philtrum** you wipe. No matter what. (And you get a point!)

** Yesss! That is what that part is called!

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