Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Leave it at the Door

In an effort to deal with Micah's behavior, I grabbed my copy of "Creative Correction" by Lisa Welchel and came across this idea. She suggested when a child says something that hurts another sibling, send them outside to hammer a nail in the fence post. Do this for about a week, and then the next week send them out each time to remove a nail. After so long, you may make the point that when we say something hurtful, we may not see the wound, but it does leave a wound. And even though we may apologize, the damage is done and the "scar" will remain. Well, we only have a chain link fence, so I had to compromise with boards to be found in the garage. I didn't bother to take time to look for decent nails, so the kids ended up with bendable galvanized nails. But the effort was there. It hasn't exactly turned out like I thought. I figured it would be fun at first but grow old quickly. It hasn't. In fact, the kids beg to have a break to go hammer some nails, lol. So I can't make Lisa's analogy, but we are making one of our own. Yesterday I stepped outside onto the porch where the kids had been "working." I had previously been oblivious to the mess they were making. You could barely find a place to stand among all the boards and bent nails!! What is so cool is it represents a place where they can beat out their frustrations (when they are not having fun). So I thought, yeah, we want this to be a safe house, so when you come to our house, please "leave it at the door." Get rid of your anger and frustration out there, and be peaceful in here.

So they are working out a little frustration, getting exercise, and possibly even getting some experience hammering nails...though Papa (Mitch's dad) doubts that since we are using the bad nails. =) A collaboration of ideas led to the making of a cross, though Eden tries to claim full ownership. Caleb brought me a board that had about 20 nails in it and he wanted to tell me what each one was for as if each was a gear on a dashboard. I had to wave him off on that one, lol. Eden smashed her knuckle on her left hand and didn't even cry...Micah told her too bad it was not her writing hand so that she could get out of writing. (Which tells you that his critical thinking wasn't working so well or he would have realized most people use their writing hand to hold the hammer). E's knuckle had a nice purple bruise when she showed me. Mostly I just get a kick out of looking at the piles of bent nails among the boards, contrasted with all the dead box elder bugs (yuck). I'm probably letting them use the wrong boards (hopefully Mitch doesn't have some project planned), but oh well! Here are some pictures...

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