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crabbiemasters

BREAKING NEWS: Crabbies Busted!
King Crabbie warns his Crabbies that CrabbieMasters know their secret weapon.

What is the Crabbies’ secret weapon? Adults who get stuck on negative and inappropriate behaviors without looking for the underlying causes of those behaviors!

King Crabbie is right! They are busted!

As CrabbieMasters, we can see beyond the behavior and figure out which Crabbies are the ones causing the behaviors.

 

The Hurry-Up Crabbie has mom frustrated with her child.

Frustrated because your child doesn’t hurry-up when you call him or her to get moving?

Think about this possibility. What if last night was a super late night because of a sibling’s activities and then everyone had to get up early anyway to go to school.

 

Maybe the only thing really going on is that the Too-Tired Crabbie is naturally ‘in charge’ until everyone can Power-Up with a good nap or night of sleep.

CrabbieMaster mom flips out and yells at Jay.

Arrgghh!

Do not take this to mean that adult CrabbieMasters ignore the behavior. You can identify the behavior as being a problem – even if we are tired we still need to get ready and go to schoolAND add some reasonable understanding along with a quick talk about how to watch out for this in the future. Wise adult CrabbieMasters recognize this as being a better approach than totally ‘losing it’ given there’s actually a good explanation for the nerve-wracking dawdling.

Make it a good day!

Becky 🙂

Imaginary Fun – Real Results – Behavior Management

In addition to being lots of fun, the CrabbieMasters is a great tool that can be used for behavioral management. First there are a few basic principles:

Keep the mindset of a CrabbieMaster.

  • We don’t think of ourselves as being crabby.
  • The Crabbies are trying to sneak in and mess with our day.
  • We have the power to take charge and “Beat the Crabbies!”

The adult role is to help the child ‘Beat the Crabbies!’

  • Behaviors are indicators that Crabbies are at work.

Recognize that the behaviors are associated with Crabbies, but don’t make the mistake of putting all your focus on the behavior.

  • Negative attitudes and behaviors are indicators that there is a Crabbie trying to mess with the day. Too often we make the mistake of focusing on the behavior and not the real underlying cause of the behavior.

    CrabbieMaster Jay is juggling the Too-Tired Crabbie.

    Bye, bye Too-Tired!

Since Too-Tired is “The Worst Crabbie in the Universe!” let’s use Too-Tired as an example. The reason Too-Tired is the worst is because when we are tired it is harder for us to beat any of the other Crabbies! There are a whole range of behaviors associated with Too-Tired. Off the top of my head:

  • Generally disagreeable
  • Overly reactive
  • Won’t eat breakfast you made
  • Prefers to eat something that is junk
  • Whiny
  • Says, “I Can’t.”
  • Says, “Don’t look at me!” “You are not my boss!”  “Stop It!”
  • Cries.
  • Won’t do what is asked of them.
  • Pushes, hits, bites
  • Falls down.
  • Does not act like they hear you
  • Can’t focus at school: does not recall things that he or she knew yesterday.

I could go on, but I think I made my point.    🙂

 

As adults we have 3 options:

  • We can flip out at the inappropriate behavior.
CrabbieMaster mom flips out and yells at Jay.

Arrgghh!

  • We can excuse the behavior because we know the child ‘is a good kid.’
CrabbieMaster mom pats Jay on the head to console him.

Ohhh… it’s okay.

  • We can acknowledge the behavior, recognize that the child does not feel good when they lose control, and help the child see what Crabbie is at work so that he or she can do what it takes to beat that Crabbie.
CrabbieMasters Jay and Kay stand proudly on the front steps.

We did it!
We Beat the Crabbies!

 

I have done all of the above. The third one is the one that gets results.

 

Make it a good day!

Becky 🙂

Imaginary Fun – Real Results – Positive Outcomes

Children relate to the Crabbies on a fun and playful level. At the same time, adults appreciate knowing that the skills and values children develop make a difference at home, on the playground, in the classroom, and beyond. It’s a good foundation for lifelong skills.

CrabbieMaster Jay juggling all eight Crabbies.

Beating the Crabbies is fun!

 

CrabbieMasters is Imaginary Fun with Real Results

The following list of real results is compiled from what I have seen over the years in my own preschool and through feedback from a variety of professionals who work with children, parents of children I have had in preschool, and former preschoolers who are now adults.

  • Emotional regulation
  • Positive relationships
  • Empowerment and self-care
  • Initiative
  • Self-management
  • Cooperation over power-struggles
  • Self-awareness
  • Positive self-esteem
  • Empathy for self and others
  • Academic success
  • Spirit of cooperation
  • Positive attitude
  • Teamwork

As one former preschool mom put it, the whole CrabbieMasters idea is beneficial for adults and children alike:

When I’m aware of my thoughts and emotions, I have a choice about what to do with them. I’m less reactive, more thoughtful, and more patient with myself. Of course, sometimes the emotions kick in before I have a chance to pay attention, but I nearly always take stock later to figure them out. It takes practice and conscious attention. The Crabbies program is a non-threatening, deceptively simple way to learn self-awareness for adults and children alike.”

A more detailed discussion of these benefits can be found at CrabbieMasters.

CrabbieMasters Jay and Kay and their friends celebrate.

We’ve got the Crabbies on the run!

 

Make it a good day!

Becky 🙂

Imaginary Fun – Real Results – Positive Relationships

Unless I am talking to someone in the world of social work or psychology, the most common initial reaction to the Crabbies and CrabbieMasters concept is, “Oh, that is so cute!”

Believe me when I say that being fun and cute was really all I was going for the first day I went to the door and pretended to be ‘blowing out my Crabbies.’

It had been one of those mornings where things were just off. I was trying my level best to get the attention of my preschool group during circle time. I was getting more and more frustrated because they were goofing around and not listening to me. I just happened to take a deep breath. Wow! I felt better. That’s when I just got up and went to the door and started blowing. I turned around and said, “I think I just blew out my Crabbies.” Spontaneously, the kids all got up, ran over, and gave me a big group hug.

CrabbieMaster mom opens the front door and blows out her Crabbies.

Wow! I just blew out my Crabbies!

Simply talking about the concept of beating the Crabbies each day changed the dynamic. I was able to get everyone’s attention and the impact this had on my ability to teach was quite dramatic. Little by little we built on the concept. Over time we named the Crabbies and figured out ways to beat them. We became CrabbieMasters!

I knew I had hit on something that worked for me in my setting. It was roughly ten years before I knew why it worked. One of our daughters was working on her PhD at the University of Minnesota studying counseling psychology. She was taking a course and learned about what is called the ‘narrative approach’. This approach uses ‘externalization’ where the principle is that the problem is the problem, the person is not the problem.

If you are interested in more details on the psychology behind CrabbieMasters, Jenna created a few videos that describe Why It Works.

The bottom line is that, out of what I consider dumb luck, I just happened to have hit on a means to address issues in a fun and effective way that stays away from blaming and shaming. This causes children (and adults) to not get defensive, while still taking on the responsibility to do what is needed to beat the Crabbies. The result is that we are all on the same team, working together to make each day a good day. These daily positive interactions between the children and me, and the children and each other, adds up to positive relationships!

Furthermore, because it is grounded in something research has proven to be an effective approach in general, CrabbieMasters is not something that only works for me in my setting. This is the reason I have such a passion in sharing it with others.

 

CrabbieMaster Jay sits on the couch with mom and dad smiling.

Crabby Crackdown: children and adults bond when they work together to Beat the Crabbies.

 

Make it a good day!

Becky 🙂

Watch out for Junk-Food!

Junk-Food has been busy gearing up for  the holidays.

Jay and Kay Gray have been finding notes all over their house.

 

Eat Cookies!

Donuts are good for you! Eat lots of them!

Candy?! Did I hear someone say candy?!

Nothing beats having fast food for breakfast, lunch and dinner! Oh, and don’t forget to snack on chocolate and caramel and butterscotch. 

Jay and Kay know that Junk-Food wants nothing more than to ruin their day… and maybe even their week… if they eat too much junk food.

And they know that Junk-Food will call for Achy to move in.

No way will Jay and Kay fall for Junk-Food’s tricks.

 

Weekend fun!

YAY! It’s the weekend.

Jay and Kay are so excited. They have lots of fun things planned.

Saturday morning, they are going to breakfast. They’ve been saving their change for a rainy day. It’s not raining but they are looking forward to eating out at a restaurant so their mom can have a break for cooking.

Jay wants pancakes with a side of fruit.

Kay will order scrambled eggs.

When they’ve finished eating, they are going shopping to buy their mom a birthday present. Mrs. Gray is having a birthday Sunday.

The best part of the weekend is knowing the Crabbies won’t ruin the day! That’s right! No Crabbies because Jay and Kay aren’t going to eat any junk food, they will eat when they are supposed to and not be too busy to stop to eat, they are going to get a good night’s sleep and they will be on time.

That means NO CRABBIES. Jay and Kay will have birthday cake but they will have one piece with strawberries and they won’t overeat.

Sweets are okay to have in moderation. One piece of cake is fine. Eating the whole cake isn’t fine! Always share with your guests!

When the party is over, Jay and Kay are going to turn off their electronics and read a book.

We here at  Team Crabbies hope your weekend is just as much fun!

YAY! December is here!

Hi everyone!

Kay here. Are you as excited about December as I am?

I love December. Where I live, it means snow! Lot’s of snow for sledding and for making a snowman.

My brother Jay and I love playing in the snow. We also love the snow because… well… the Crabbies can’t get around as easily. They slip and slide and PLOP!  They’re flat on their stomachs!

Last December, King got this silly idea to make a snowman and he had Too-Tired, Achy and Can’t-Do help. How funny is that?

Of course, Too-Tired was too tired to do anything and Achy was too sick to help. Can’t-Do didn’t even want to try. King called to Hurry-Up to help, but he learned fast that he was wearing the wrong kind of skates!

Finally, King built a snowman all by himself. Miss Becky snapped a picture when he finished.

When Miss Becky takes the CrabbieMasters out to build a snowman, we will be sure she takes a picture. We think… no, we know… we can do better than King!

Happy December, everyone!

 

Group hug time!

Hi! Kay here!

I was once a student in Miss Becky’s preschool. That’s where I learned to beat the Crabbies.

Miss Becky makes beating the Crabbies lots of fun. There are so many former students who wish they could be back in her class, even if only for one day.

Miss Becky is the creator of the Crabbies, and she’s the author of all the books about them. My brother Jay and I are going to convince Miss Becky to make a short video explaining how the Crabbies were created. Won’t that be fun to learn!

I’ll give you a hint… there might be something about a group hug!

Today, all us CrabbieMasters had a big group hug! We called it Group Hug Day and we think every day should be Group Hug Day.

Whenever you have a hug day, we hope it’s a happy one!

Movie Time!

Sometimes… not too often, but sometimes… the Crabbies aren’t all that bad. Like last night. They went to the movies. Yes, crabs can get into the movie theater. Best of all for them, they only have to pay half-price.

It wasn’t all smooth sailing, though. Get-Along wouldn’t agree with what movie to see. No matter what movie King suggested, Get-Along didn’t want to see it.

After a lot of bickering, the Crabbies agreed to go see Finding Nemo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

They had a good time. Not only did they enjoy the movie, but they discovered that one of their relatives made a brief guest appearance!

Well, that did it! The Crabbies want to be movie stars. The last we saw them, they were headed to Disney to try out for the leading role in a new movie.

We didn’t tell them that all the movie studios are closed for the Thanksgiving holiday.

See you next time!

Three cheers for CrabbieMasters!

Hip Hip Hooray!

This has been a challenging week for the CrabbieMasters, but we BEAT THOSE CRABBIES!

It all started yesterday. Jay was running late and Mom was worried that he’d be late for school and she’d be late for work.

He stayed up late playing a game on his iPad, and he was too tired to get up. He knew he wasn’t supposed to be up past his bedtime, but he did.

“You need to get up, get dressed and come eat,” Mom called to him.

“I’m too tired,” Jay said. “Can’t I just go back to sleep? I don’t feel like going to school today.”

“Jay, you hurry up and get down here.” Mom was not happy.

Jay rolled out of bed and went into the bathroom. That’s when he saw them.

Too-tired, Hungry and Hurry-Up! 

They were looking at Jay, laughing.

That’s all Jay needed to see.

He knew he was wrong to stay up past his bedtime, and he knew he had to beat the Crabbies.

He dressed, went to the kitchen, told Mom he was sorry he was late and he sat at the table and ate the cereal Mom had prepared for him.

As we left the house, we all turned and waved at the Crabbies!

“Nice try, guys! Maybe next time– NOT!

Have a happy weekend!