Ted had a moment yesterday with his siblings.
Since his bedroom is now in our family room, one of the few rules he has for his sister and brothers is that they are not allowed on his bed unless he says so. It seems they like to use his bed to catapult off of and, if given the freedom to do so, would fling themselves on it and bounce off of it several times a day. So it is the one thing that Ted really doesn't want them to do.
But of course, they do it constantly, and he is reminding them constantly not to do it.
So last night he had just had it and said again to stop getting on his bed to his little brothers. Thankfully Sophia wasn't doing it, but Eli and Philip were. Ted looked at me in exasperation and asked what he could do to stop this. His dad and I said he could take away a favorite toy for a time. He thought this might be a good idea since he had already tried time outs and those clearly were not working.
With Ted in the lead, our two little sons followed him back to their bedroom to retrieve a "favorite toy" to be taken away. I watched from behind and had to stiffle a giggle. Eli and Philip looked, for all the world, like they were marching in a parade, willingly and happily following Ted. Once back in the bedroom, I could hear our littles saying things like, "You can take this toy," or "I don't play with that one. You can have it!" Ted, trying very hard not to laugh, kept reminding them that he would choose, and not them. But after a few minutes of this, he excused himself and came to ask me quietly what he should do since they obviously were not the least bit upset about this supposed punishment! I thought he should go back in and take control and choose what he thought they would not want to do without. He went back in and chose their pumpkin flashlights.
Before he chose those, however, Philip offered to give Ted some money as his punishment. Just a few days before, Elijah had deliberately torn his jeans after I had asked him not to, and so I said he would have to pay for new jeans since he had destroyed his old ones. When Philip offered to give Ted some money (about which both littles have no.idea.whatsoever.about.the.value.of.it!), Elijah happily shared that he couldn't do that because Mommy had already taken his away!
Honestly, it was a hoot listening to both of them and seeing Ted's flustered approach to it all. Ted handles his classrooms and his school kids so well, but two little determined Chinese brothers can bring him to his knees! (And truth be told, they bring their daddy and mommy to their knees as well at times! But, shhhhhh, don't tell them!).
So, if I had to guess about the effectiveness of last night's "re-direction," I would have to say that we need to come up with different techniques. Wouldn't you agree?
And by the way, Elijah asked me yesterday just when it was we were going to go get his new jeans!