I've got a longer essay in here somewhere, but for now a few new techniques i've introduced this week that i think are going to work quite nicely.
Anyone that has spent time with Silas at home knows that his favorite place is in his own house. Even when he eventually has a great time outside the home, getting him to leave can be hell. On the whole he had been okay getting ready for school but last week even this deteriorated and we had a few terrible mornings (lots of shouting, tears, inane attempts to reason-- when will i learn!) I decided we had to figure something else out. Two things, JT is now getting up at 7 so that the kids will get up (they had been laying around in their beds/rooms until 7:30 or even 7:45 some mornings) and have more time to eat breakfast, play, get dressed, play, brush teeth, coats, etc. This i think is crucial and definitely helped.
The second thing we did at the end of last week was to have Silas pick out his coat and shoes and put them on the chair by the door so everything is ready in the morning. We did this again tonight and i intend to continue doing it. I don't expect him to make a beeline for the chair, put on his coat and shoes and declare he's ready for school, but if we could avoid tantrums about wearing a coat i'd call it a victory. I'll keep you updated.
The last thing we did is institute a "ticket" system for screen time. A big portion of me wants to outlaw "screen time" almost entirely and i can attest to it being a slippery slope if you aren't on top of it. In my experience, you all agree to 30 minutes, or no tv on weeknights or whatever, then the next thing you know the little ones are whining for more, or melting down because they can't watch George or other types of behavior that i'm keen on avoiding. So, we're in the pilot stages, but each boy gets a specified # of tickets for 15 min. increments that they keep in special coin purses. They can watch 15 mins at a time and spend their tickets. They get more each Friday.
Generally the bulk of their screen time happens on the weekend (an hour to an hour and a half) but if they want, they have the opportunity to watch a show or two during the week-- which is a nice tool for both the boys and Mom if we're having a rough day.