“I’m Gonna Win!”

A Little Friendly Competition Really Works

2016-11-10-19-50-06Getting out of the house on time on school mornings has recently become so very much easier.

Because John wants to win.

I just yell, “I’m gonna win!”, and walk out the door to the car.

Keep in mind, this is a DEFCON-5 intervention.

For those mornings when nothing else works, and Mom is about to make a bad choice.

I get my stuff into the car, sit and calm down.

So far, depending on the morning, I have backed up, driven around the circle cul de sac, and (even) pulled back up into the driveway.

I watch to see him running toward me, some form of emotion on his face.

(Only the second time was sad and worried.  The first time, he didn’t believe me.   Now it has evolved into a laughing game, so not sure who is out-smarting who….)

I say something like, “where were you?”, “oh, I missed you!”, and “I forgot you!”.

With either a sad or happy face.

And please remember:  we had to work up to this level of freedom.gonna-win

When we are (finally) ready, I get out of the car and lock the front door.

And we are gone.

Next thing is to teach him how to close and lock the front door.

I use this process of “I’m gonna win!”  also with piano lessons and any other time my pile of re-directs fail to get “fast” going.

Another thing:  we practice “fast”.   A lot.  Sometimes successfully.

Perhaps this can work at your home?

Peace be with us,



I Lost My Kid

And It's In The Dark of Halloween

lost-dark-halloweenSome kids are runners.   John was more a wanderer.

Once, our neighbors found him several streets away.

So, for years we have practiced skills to help John become a boomerang.

He might go somewhere (independence) and still could find his way back.

So, the other night, we were Trick-or-Treating with little friends in a nearby subdivision.

In the dark.

Mom wasn’t wearing any of her glasses.

And she was distracted taking a video on her camera.

John was roving from house to house with several of his peers.

I blinked, and lost him.

I stayed calm enough, knowing that if there was anywhere in the unfamiliar dark to get lost,

it would be in that area with those friends.

I wandered around, asking.

About 30 minutes later, I found them.

On the front porch of the house where I had lost them.

Perfectly logical:  they had gone inside the boy’s house.

And that’s where I had lost the trail, because I was distracted and all turned around in the dark.

John didn’t act the least bit worried or even glad to see Mom.

I am sure he was loving the independence, never giving me a thought.

So what did I learn?

  1.  I should have discussed a plan with him in case we got separated.
  2. He has good instincts to stay with friends.
  3. Wear my glasses in the dark.

He was exactly where he should have been.

At the last place we were together with his peers.

Mom was messed up, not John.

Maybe this might help in your world.

Peace be with us,






When Birthday Presents Are Too Much

Stretching Kid Engagement

birthday-presents So, we made it through John’s 10th birthday party.

First time in his life that he wanted to blow out the candles at the party.

We had 27+ children at our local Main Event for bowling, pizza, cookie cake and arcade madness.

And then there was the pile of gifts.

One month later, these gifts are still sitting on the table, yet to be opened.

So, I could put them still unopened under the Christmas tree, like previous years.

Or we could have a post-party party.

Have the kids over to the house, to help John open and then play with whatever is there.

So we did.

And the funny thing is, the kids had so much fun in the front yard, the back yard, upstairs, downstairs, swimming and eatingbirthday-presents1

that nobody wanted to stop what they were engaged with, to open his presents.

So, maybe this idea may work for your gift-resistant child.

Invite everyone back for further-connection play.

Maybe the gifts will still end up under the tree.

(Epilogue:  it took a second post-party party to finally get them all opened.   Fun, no matter how you look at it.)

Peace be with us,