Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Detachment Parenting

Another week and more progress is being made. All the baby steps seem to be adding up. The key to our success is ignoring our son for most of the day. If Colin needs something, he will ask, otherwise we are best served to avoid eye contact and uninitiated conversation. I call this method of parenting, "Detachment Parenting".


Last Sunday, my eldest took his brother to Freshman Orientation at their High School. The other 9th graders were accompanied by their parents.My eldest, who is a senior,  offered to bring his brother as knows his way around the school and has a much better relationship with Colin than with me and my husband. This worked like a charm.

Colin was not only able to meet his teachers, he decided he wanted to participate in several activities. In the course of an hour or so, he made mention of wanting to join Jazz Band, try Cross Country, Swim Team (for the exercise, and only at school, not the Y team), and maybe even Ultimate Frisbee.
These are all the activities his big brother is in.

During the week, Colin went to Cross Country practice with his brother and has since joined the team. So much for the kid who was not going to do any extra-curricular activities.

Chalk one up for "Detachment" and  letting Big Brother be the parent.

It's All on How You Ask The Question

Friday Night, I had made plans to visit a friend who I haven't seen for a while. My husband needed to go out of town to visit his parents and the older boys were scheduled to work. I thought Colin might want to come along with his puppy as my friend is a photographer who lives on a "farmette" with alpacas.

I called home to see if hubs would ask our son if he'd like to go. This was met with a "STFU". I decided to try my hand at this when I got home.

Instead of asking Colin, I told Sumter that I was taking him to meet another dog to play with. As I was talking with our puppy while my son was within earshot, Colin chimed in. "If my dog is going, then so am I!"

Mission accomplished. We had a nice visit, Sumter had a chance to burn some excess energy, and Colin was able to get off his computer and out of the house for a bit.


Saturday Night Fire Pit

I promised my middle son that he could build a fire pit in our backyard and invite some friends over for a Smores and Game Night at our house. This is how I get our house cleaned up. All three boys pitched in and created a respectable fire circle that even Dad was impressed with!

After chores were done, we went to the grocery store and picked up pizzas, snacks and all the fixin's for Smores. Colin helped with the cleaning and later hung out back for a bit with the teens.

The laughter and social activity was just what the doctor ordered!

Sunday Visit at Aunt "P"s

It had been two weeks since we visited with my sister and her family. They had just gotten back from vacation on Saturday. Colin, Sumter and I went out for a visit on Sunday afternoon. The dogs ran wild and we lounged poolside for a bit. My sister had commented how Colin seemed to be much more relaxed around me and that there was a noticeable improvement made over the last few weeks.

Another point for "Detachment Parenting"!

Quiz Bowl Boot Camp & Shopping for School

Monday and Tuesday, in addition to morning cross country practice with his oldest brother, Colin decided to partake in yet another activity in the evenings with his 16 year old brother. There is a team for "In The Know" which is a competition similar to Jeopardy, only with teams.

I acted as a chauffeur, and pretended to have little interest other than getting the boys to and from. We also were able to stop for school supplies on the way home. I made a point to stay 20 paces behind the boys and let them fill the cart. Unlike past years, price was no object.

Tuesday night we went to Macy's and then Target. Colin needed dress pants and dress shoes for school. Nothing like "just-in-time" shopping. I started with the boys department at Macy's. I instructed my 16 year old that his brother needed to find pants and dress shirts first before we went down to the men's department for a few items my middle-son wanted. I said I'd be waiting at the counter to pay.

This "detachment" thing seems to be working. Colin found two pairs of pants and four dress shirts. We then were able to have just enough time before closing for my 16 year old to find a pair of pants and two polo shirts.

We then went on to Target and Colin found a pair of dress shoes and another pair of pants. I took the boys to Wendy's on the way home.

Once back home, I quietly celebrated and gave my husband a look at our successful trip. No idea of what I spent and neither of us cared. This is priceless!
New School Clothes for Colin

Today was the first day of school, which seems to have gone off without a hitch!

We are a work-in-progress!

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