Tuesday, September 18, 2007


My son was with his dad this past weekend, which means that I dropped him off at preschool Friday morning and saw him again yesterday when I picked him up in the same spot. For a while after his father and I separated, our son had a very difficult time transitioning after the weekends.

It seemed as though it took a whole 12 hours before he adjusted to calling me Mom instead of Dad and remembering what the rules in my house are and dropping the volume of his voice a few decibels.

Now that I have the lessons I've learned through the RCB course in the front of my mind, it seems as though things have been going much smoother between my son and I. Tantrums don't even exist anymore and when I ask my son to do something, he still sometimes says, "No," at first, but then I just stand in front of him or kneel by his side and wait for him to look me in the eye.

When he finally does he usually says, "OK, Mom" or, "I will put my toys away," instead of, "You do it," like he had been saying in the past. Often times he'll ask me to help him and he's definitely picked up on the fact that if someone makes a mess, whether on purpose or not, that someone must clean it up.

Just the other day his friend came over to play and the two of them dumped out a big bucket of Legos before running into the other room to find other ways to make a mess.


I let the Legos sit there until it was time for his friend to go home. I asked my son if he would start picking up his toys and he looked at his friend and says, "You have to help me because you helped make the mess." And the two of them put each and every one of the Legos away without complaining.

I also had the opportunity that day to use the techniques I learned from the Sibling Rivalry workshop with regards to their fighting over a toy. It seems that my son doesn't want to play with a certain toy until someone else decides to pick it up. The struggle is more of the play that they enjoy rather than being the one to end up with whatever it is they're fighting over. As soon as one of them either gives in or decides to take turns, the fun is over, no more fighting and for that reason, the particular toy gets ignored and they move on to something else.

At dinner last night and before bed, we shared plenty of G.E.M.s which are Genuine Encounter Moments, situations where we bond and enjoy being in the same room with one another and focus our attention on each other. At dinner we held hands (I ate with my left hand which wasn't easy) and at bedtime he sat on my lap as I read him stories and I held his hand again as he laid down to fall asleep.

It's these G.E.M.s that make up the time when he's away and strengthens the bond between us. In the morning, he usually wants to sit on my lap or have me hold him for a while before he officially wakes up.

This reminds me of a recent article I discovered that, although published in 2006, is still relevant information and confirms why these G.E.M.s are so important to families and loved ones.

In the article published in The New York Times, Tiffany Field, the director of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine states,
Based on what we’ve seen, when we get more physical intimacy we get better relationships, whether a mother and an infant or a couple.
Share a G.E.M. with someone you care about and see what difference it makes in your day. No talking is required. Holding hands is the easiest way to do this, or rubbing their back, or placing your arm around them. You'll find yourself more relaxed, more in the moment, and more willing to hear what the other person has to say.

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