If you are new here, read my first What’s for Dinner post to get filled in on what the heck’s going on around here. If you have been to this rodeo before, let’s get to business.
(And, remember the crazy allergies, they are still pretty bad, but I finally got some eye drops that are helping me not scratch my eyeballs out….but to use them I have to wear my glasses, which I kind of hate!)
Sim and I try to do a little one on one date with our older kids once a month. Tonight I had a date with our seven year old, Conner. It was a bit of a spontaneous date, not planned in advance like usual. There is a bit of a back story….
Yesterday we had two missionaries from our church over for dinner. They come at 5:00, which is pretty early and my husband barely gets home a few minutes before 5:00. So, since I was busy finishing up the meal, that left the kids in-charge of a quick clean-up job after they finished their homework.
They were so good to help. I feel bad for being so shocked, but you know, those moments when you are expecting a fight on something and they are so compliant…it’s a little scary. I was trying to figure out who they were and what they had done with my children. They did such a great job and worked so fast that they had a little time to spare. I let them play together on the iPad for a few minutes while we waited for the missionaries. This is when the real children showed up.
I like to make them play the iPad together. We have two, but I want them to learn how to share and take turns. Sometimes it bites me in the butt!
One minute into playing together Conner was yelling at Thatcher about something. He was upset that Thatcher didn’t know how to use some important power he had earned on his level and he was going to waste it. (Have I mentioned I have like zero patience for fights over technology devices.) “Conner, talk kindly or you will loose your iPad privileges for today.” “But mom, he is going to ruin in it, he doesn’t know how to use it right.” “Talk nice or put it away.”
Well, not thirty seconds later, Conner is freaking out again. (Remember zero patience) I walk in the living room yank it out of his hands and say. “I am so sorry Conner, you have lost your iPad privileges for the rest of the day.” (Which is like the worst possible thing that can happen to him in his life…) He stomps off upstairs crying and I return to the kitchen to finish dinner. Good Times.
I went up to his room a couple minutes later. We had a talk about why I had taken it away. I told him that when he acts like that over a game his actions tell me that he cares more about a game then he does about being kind to his brother. Games are fun but they are not as important as people, especially our family member’s….yada yada.” He said he understood and apologized and then apologized to Thatcher, so at least the tears had stopped by the time the dinner guests arrived.
I had Back to School Night right after Dinner and the whole time I was there, I was thinking about what a great boy Conner is and that he didn’t complain once when I asked for help to clean up before the missionaries came, and I hadn’t even taken the time to tell him thank you or how much that helped me or that I was glad he was such a good example of being a helper for his younger siblings. Maybe I had been a tad harsh about the getting frustrated with his brother over the iPad business.
I decided I would tell him all those things when I got home and tell him that I wanted to give him 15 extra minutes on the iPad tomorrow because I appreciated those good choices he had made.
He was still awake tossing around on his bed when I got home so I went up and laid by him. We had a nice little chat and then I told him about the extra iPad time reward. He said, “Oh, thanks mom, but isn’t there something that just me and you could do together.” (I am realizing more and more that Conner’s love language is quality time.) So I said, “How about this, you can choose 15 minutes of iPad time or a special date with mom.”
It did take him a few minutes to weigh his options, but in the end, time with me won out over Minecraft. That feels like a major victory!
and well, there just so happens to be a frozen yogurt joint next to Ross, so of course we had to stop in.
It was a great night with my favorite seven year old. He was so engaged and happy to be with me, he opened all the doors for me, and held my hand and kept the conversation going telling me all the ideas he has for creating games and inventions. He will be a great date when he is older. 🙂 I cherish nights like tonight! It’s amazing what a little one on one time can do for any relationship!
Keep it Real!