We have wiggly people in our house. They are full of life and ideas and busyness and curiosity. One of somebody's favorite place to wiggle (and often fall out of) is at his (oops! I just told you who!) dining room table chair. One night, I found that I had told my son 17 times to have all 4 legs on the ground. The 18th, he toppled the chair. Big surprise.
I calmly got up from my own chair (no wiggles here!) and walked over to my pen and paper and drew 3 chairs. And quickly came up with 3 cards for me. They really were for me, and a little bit for my son. Warning Chair. Chore after Dinner Chair. Upstairs Chair. In that order. I found that my fuse was burning slowly at his wiggles and I was tired of giving him warnings that interrupted our dinner table sharing and family time.
It has been day 4. I don't say a word anymore about legs on floors and wiggles in bodies. As I bring dinner to the table I also set out the 3 chair cards. I just quietly flip one over when I see the offense. Robby has not gotten past the first one: Warning Chair. He straighten's right up and takes it very seriously. And our conversation continues on all around the table.
I think I may just make generic cards for the day. Warning. Chore. Room. And when he is not getting the job done that I have asked the first time, I could just set out a card and go on with my day. I'll let you know if we get there.
Something that has also helped is our prayer together before our day starts. He comes down and joins me at my morning time snuggly spot. And we pray 2 basic things: That Momma would obey the Lord. That Robby would obey Momma today. Amen.
We talk about obeying today: Right Away, All the Way. Not in a few minutes....and half heartedly. But all the way, right away. Danger doesn't stop for dawdlers. Neither does Main St. traffic. It's important to me that my children do what I ask quickly.
Obedience for all 'round here. Every one of us.