A few weeks ago, I posted about the realization that Yancy might need to take more of a disciplinary role with Gus. I thought I’d let you know how it’s going.
I can make this story really short. It’s working! I don’t really even know why, but it’s working! Did I mention it’s working?
Basically, we sat down and discussed (I just realized how grown up I sound) how Yancy needed to shift his role from “fun dad” to “you better mind your mom” dad. We decided that whenever Yancy was around, he would be the one to make sure that directions were followed and manage all problematic behavior which in Gus’s case usually boils down to temper tantrum patrol.
We also implemented a system for rewards and consequences for Gus’s behavior choices. We’re both REALLY big on trying to get him to understand that he has choices about how he behaves. We want him to know that he is in control over his behavior. Lately, he’s fallen in love with video games and he gets 20 minutes of video game time each night. It’s given us something that we can remove that he really cares about.
We’ve had similar systems in place before, but I’m always the one who manages the system. It’s made sense because I’m the one who spends the most time with Gus. We’ve had to get creative, but Yancy is now the one who has the discussion with Gus about the decisions he’s made and which privilege he’s lost. We’ve reversed the roles.
It has made a huge difference. It started the very first weekend. I thought maybe it was a fluke, but it’s been two weeks and still going strong. Gus doesn’t like having to talk to his dad about his misbehavior while he was at work. I think it’s just as aversive to him as losing his precious video game time. He also doesn’t like it when Yancy is the one disciplining him.
It’s been weird for me to shift into a more passive role. Let’s just say a few pieces of my tongue may be missing. But it’s getting easier.
I don’t know why it’s working, either. I mean I say the exact same things to Gus. I practically wrote the script for Yancy to follow, but it has a different effect on Gus when it comes from Yancy. I could spend lots of time trying to figure out why, but the truth is that the only thing that really matters to me is effectiveness.
See, can’t you tell how well behaved he looks?