This has been a week of focusing on setting solid habits. Not much "schooly" stuff done but a LOT of life!
This week we've worked hard to drastically cut down on the TV hours in this house. It's so very easy to let the TV keep the kids quiet while I try to get work done or do my own thing. The kids still get 30 min. first thing in the morning (this is so I have 30 min. to wake up!). They also get 30 min. (ok, sometimes it's more, but ideally...) in the evening. I have occasionally put the TV on when I've had to take an important call or during a portion of Adrianna's quiet time when I need to nap (after working late). On no given day should there be more than 2 hrs of TV - and I'd like to see that be only 1 hour max. The kids are adjusting. They are playing together more. Adrianna is getting more creative in her play and learning how to entertain herself. Also, possibly coincidentally, Adrianna is paying attention long enough to begin listening to chapter books! yay!
Instead of letting the TV entertain them while I do household chores, I am also learning to actively involve them as much as possible. This is a big adjustment for me. Sometimes it just takes SO painfully long! Sometimes it makes more of a mess (ie: dishes!). I will keep focusing on this goal though as I see the need to train them in habits of helping with the household chores and teaching them how to do so.
Scott and I have also finally got on the same (or at least a similar) page in terms of discipline. Ask once and expect obedience. Short and simple. No obedience equals a consequence. No more of this warning and cajoling and counting and negotiating. Nate, being 2, is by far the hardest at this stage to teach to obey but he is getting it. Adrianna has her own challenges. She will obey but she will twist it in such a way so that she is not really or fully obeying. We are working to get on top of that as it really is a form of rebellion.
We are also teaching them to work out their squabbles. I keep them close by me so that I can see a fight begin. As it heats up to the point of screaming, hitting or tug of war over a toy, I step in and remove the toy. I sit the kids on the couch and ask each their side of the story ("I had it first", "I want it" etc). Then I have Anna (mostly) think of a way to resolve it and usually they can!
We're also focusing on "use your words" for everything! Ask for a turn with a toy. Ask if the other person wants a hug or a cuddle. Ask if you need help. Tell the other person how their action made you feel. Ask for a hug if you need attention. I find a huge portion of my day is spent on obedience training and teaching boundaries and conflict resolution. The school of a preschooler!