Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Divide and Conquer

Each Tuesday night is date night with Ben. It's been part of our summer strategy to work on discipline by giving him one on one time. Our ground rules are: that we alternate weeks with the other parent at home with baby, try to do something different each week, and that bad behavior cannot take this night away. Date night happens even if he's acting like a total tool.

In the rotation are: Chick Filet Kids night, 1.50 theater kids movies, picnic at the park and feeding ducks, and the ice cream parlor. Last night I took him to our local kids museum's $2.00 family kids night. We got there only for the last hour, but it was just enough time to play together and talk in the car. Last night's topic was about bad dreams and Mr. Steve at daycamp.

We checked out the outside exhibits including this awesome sustainable garden. Inside we did the items he typically gravitates towards car building, giant block room, driving the bus, and the balls that dump from a giant pig into a pit.

He also loves to role play so we spent some serious time making lemonade and then selling it to other kids and then played Vet and brushed fake dogs. Note, this last activity we can do for free at home.

This is a great museum and if it was closer I would consider a membership. But since we already have ones to Durham Science and Life and the NC Zoo, it's worth it to check this out on occasion for our date night. Total cost for dinner and admission was $10.

On the discipline front as a whole the last few weeks have been MAJOR improvement from earlier in the summer. Ben has had several great weeks of daily good reports at camp and aside from some pent up weekend crazies, he has made great strides.

We have been talking to him about the move to the new school. Part of me wants to just let him go back to the familiar even if it's a long drive each day. I fear that moving to a new place, new teachers, and friends we are going to regress back to early summer behavior. So, much to think about, visit the new school again, and believe it or not let him be part of this decision.

Is that crazy to ask your 4 year old their opinion and actually take it into consideration?


LauraC said...

Kids are so adaptable! I'm sure he will do great at a new school if you pitch it as making new friends and doing exciting things. Plus you would waste an hour a day in the car, NOT worth it when you could be spending that hour with him doing something quality instead.

Check out the Notes from a Mom in Chapel Hill website, great ideas for date nights there!

Beth said...

So glad things have improved. As for new school versus old, how much weight are you going to give Ben's opinion? If you get his opinion, and then decide otherwise, what is that going to mean? Is that really a road you want to go down? Just some food for thought. Maybe a new school would actually be a lot better for him in continuing the progress you've made this summer. Old school might also mean reversion to old ways. Ugh--tough decision. Good luck! And hope the remaining weeks of summer continue to be great!