I know that I am a New Englander; however, I am seriously over the polar vortex. It’s putting a major crimp in my family style and causing momentary lapses in my sanity! You can only stay inside for so long before it really starts to drive you crazy. Friends that live in ridiculously cold places, I have no idea how you do it! My hat is truly off to you, because I think I would never hack it. 😉
I like to get outside at least once every day, to run or whatever, and with the kids being at home and the serious wind chill, it hasn’t been happening. I can hear my Canadian friends chuckling as they read this–they are die-hard and even run in this weather!
I think what has made it a bit harder was the almost two-week long holiday break that preceded the arrival of the polar vortex. I am ready for the return of semi-seasonal temperatures, so my youngest and I can head to Beebe Woods to take a walk or to the bike path. I am also happy with the return to school, simply because there is a sense of return to normalcy/routines.
Something else we have been struggling with is the long kindergarten day and the simply exhausted, crabby five-year old that gets returned to me at the end of the school day. I know that he is doing a wonderful job at school: listening, participating, having fun; it just seems when he gets home all we get is a bad attitude, no listening skills, and rude behavior.
I have discussed the issue with said five-year old. I have eve explained that I understand that 9-3:30 is a long day and that he has to follow rules the whole time and listen to whatever the teacher tells him. I have tried to empathize, while at the same time explaining that this doesn’t mean that he can come home and not listen at all and be rude to me, his dad, and his brother.
While wracking my brain for some behavior modification tools–I’m grasping at straws here, because time outs have not worked, neither have taking away things or privileges–I decided to create a coupon book. His kindergarten teacher made each of the kids a coupon book for school, and he thought it was literally the coolest thing ever. I decided to create my own, with non-material rewards for good behavior. We are trying to move away from giving “things” as rewards. I would much rather give experiences that he will remember.
He was really excited about the coupon book, and fingers crossed, it seems to be working. If you are interested in doing one for your own kids, this is the template I used.