Boy, oh boy...I think I may have found the ticket for getting along better with my oldest son. Some days I feel like all I'm doing is saying things like:
"Pick that up!"
"Put that away!"
"All I said was to turn on the hose for the garden a little, not play with it!"
"Put your bottom in your chair!"
"Clean up your room!"
"Stop touching your brother!"
I was listening to a podcast on http://thatmom.wordpress.com on Saturday night as hubby was over at the church working late on his sermon. It was an interview with a homeschool mom in the trenches who has had similiar problems with her oldest son as I have had with mine and one of things she discovered was that her learning style was profoundly different from her son's. They spent a little time discussing the book "The Way They Learn" by Cynthia Tobias. I thought to myself I needed to get that book...
Well, I'm sitting in the youth room downstairs at church yesterday feeding baby girl while hubby's teaching on Sunday night, and I see the book setting on the table! I started reading it after the kids went to bed, and my husband I were laughing out loud at how it described us.
It turns out, without going into a lot of detail, that each one of us are different and that my son and I are basically opposites. I'm very linear, just do it, dependable, stable, rigid...He's strong willed and likes to find things out for himself. The best example she gives fits us perfectly: I tell my son, if you stand on that coffee table I'm going to spank you. For someone like me, the threat of the discipline was enough to deter me when I was a child. But not for my son. He feels like the excitement of standing on the coffee table is worth the spanking so he does it anyway.
I'm hoping that I can start choosing my battles and stop micromanaging him. I'm anxious to pick up the book again today--but first, housework and a crying baby calls!