I saw a sign at my local gym the other day for a new class. It’s called “Chaos Training.” Basically you pay money to show up and be put through any type of training your instructor decides they want to do for the day. Some days it’s kettle bells and ropes. Other days you’re doing Tabata and sprints. It’s unpredictable. The ultimate outcome is to trick your body into new ways of building muscle and burning fat.
I came home and told Matt, “I’ve got it! We are going to do Chaos parenting with Desta.”
This child does not do well with routine and predictability, particularly when it comes to chores and expectations.
Matt and I have tried everything. Charts with stickers–um, that lasted 3 days. Desta didn’t get the whole “earn stickers” thing. I found her plastered in stickers one day. She had found my stash and the reward system went bust.
We tried time ins–for some families, this is a brilliant plan. The child sits by your side for their “time out” rather than being placed elsewhere in the home. Time ins didn’t work out so great when the volume of screaming reached such a feverish pitch that I think I lost significant hearing that day!
We’ve tried “positive rewards” aka, bribes. Our street smart girl figured this one out quickly! She’d brilliantly perform until the reward arrived and then right back to “not briber-able behavior.”
Enter CHAOS parenting. We have become unpredictable. We don’t do the same thing every time. Each interaction is met with a different response.
C: Change the approach
H: Have a plan before you engage
A: Always be loving.
O: Options are good.
Okay, so the last one is a bit of a stretch. My point is this. Some kids do really, really well with routine. Our son thrives on a very specific plan spelled out every morning. Changing things throws him into unhealthy Chaos.
BUT some kids, our youngest especially, need to have things shaken up often.
I’m not advocating this is approved by adoption specialists or parenting experts. What I am saying is that for this season in our family’s life, CHAOS parenting is working well for Desta.