This is the story of a recent P.E.T. graduate, who has three boys - aged 6, 4 and 1. Before attending the course, bath times at her place were a real issue, causing tension and arguments. This is her story:
“During the weeks of the P.E.T. course, I used the Method III approach to solve my ‘bath time’ problem with the boys.
I sat down with my older boys (while the little one was playing around us) and explained the Method III approach to solving problems. The boys were quite enthusiastic to try this approach.
We used the Method III template in the workbook and followed it step-by-step. Defining the problem was easy, and so was coming up with solutions.
My needs were 'getting the boys clean, in a reasonable amount of time, which
then allowed mummy to get dinner ready'. My children’s needs were to play and relax after school.
Brainstormed solutions from my boys included:
• Take a toy into the bath (acceptable by all)
• Play for half an hour before bath time (not acceptable by mum)
• Have a bath, then a shower, then a bath (suggested by Mr 4)
• Have a shower one day, then a bath the next day
The final solutions agreed were:
• Boys get to take a toy into the bath (not a wooden toy)
• Timer would be set for bath time, so that bath time would last for 11 minutes (yes this was negotiated back and forth a few times)
This worked very well for a few weeks, but then stopped working - the novelty must have worn off. So we revisited the problem (Step 6), and sat down again to do Method III. I must admit that Mr 4 was delighted to watch his suggestions being written down.
This time, the new agreed solutions were:
• Play for 11 minutes after afternoon tea, and before bath. Timer is set
for 11 minutes, then boys go straight to the bathroom
• All boys to have a shower in mummy's rather large shower, together.
• Plug up drain with face-washers and fill up base of shower until full.
• Face-washers get pulled from drain when alarm goes off at 11 minutes.
This is currently working very well. Mr 1 gets taken out first (he usually doesn't last 11 minutes) and the older boys come out fairly happy at the 11 minute mark.
Bath (shower) time is a now largely a happy time in our household rather than being filled with stress and shouting. I am confident that when these solutions stop working, I can revisit it again using Method III, and the boys will be happy to be involved in solving our problem together.”
This article was shared by Larissa Dann, our P.E.T. Representative in Australia