It's All About YP and MP...

It's close to 8 am and Mason and I are in the car going to school. He tells me that my clock on the dashboard is wrong because his watch says 8am. This launches a conversation about am and pm. He knows when am is and when it changes over to pm. Okay, that's great he is not only getting better at telling time but the whole concept of morning and afternoon is becoming clear. But, then he starts talking about YP and MP and wants to know if I know what that is. No, I in his usual fashion he starts telling me that YP means 'your problem' and MP means 'my problem'.

Now, just an aside...those two ideas are part of the positive discipline system of helping parents detemine when to stay out of their kids problems and allow them to experience learning how to deal with them.

For instance the technique is as follows. When you as a parent face a dilemma of whether to intervene in an upset or problem you child has, first stop and ask yourself is this my problem or my child's problem. If it's yours then you can make some choices of how to solve it. If you determine it's your child's problem you might want to hold back and give them an opportunity to solve it without you jumping in with advice or offering 'your' solution.

Now at 6, Mason seems to have an accurate understanding of what YP and MP mean. After his tutorial about it, he says do you get it Grammy? Of course I get it but let's do a test to see if he does.

So, at the several red lights we always seem to hit on the way to school I come up with some scenarios to see if he really grasps what he claims to know.

Okay, Mason...If you take too long to get ready for bed and now there is no time for a story and you are upset, is that a YP or an MP? He responds 'correctly'...Grammy that is an MP, my problem. Solutions? Well he says tentatively, if I want a story I need to be ready before my bedtime of 8pm...nice.

Now...Mason, We are on the way to school and you realize you gave me a note the day before that you need to bring money for a field trip today and I forgot to give it to you...MP or YP...Grammy that is a YP. Solution...guess you will have to go home and get the money and bring it to school. Yep!

Okay a few more examples and the light bulb starts to go on. Mason realizes that much of what he gets upset about is within his power to change.

And, what a fun game to diffuse tense situations. Just by asking is this a YP or an MP it can change the entire dynamic of what is going on.

It's 8am and time for school...

If you think this approach would work for you, take a look at our parenting classes.

Author: Phyllis Grannis