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The Crabbies

Here’s a CrabbieMaster Riddle

Get-Along Crabbie is holding the beach ball up high away from Jay and Kay fighting in the background with a skunk in the foreground.

Believe it or not the Get-Along Crabbie and the skunk have something in common!

They both have the power to cross your path and leave a stink you have to deal with.

In my experience, the Get-Along Crabbie is often the culprit when it comes to those days that something happens in the morning and then it’s hard to let go of it for the entire day. And more extreme –  I have even heard of cases where elementary children, after a year of daily conflict, are split up in school so that they won’t be in the same class the next year.

Many times, throughout my education, I’ve heard that there is a ‘magic ratio’ when it comes to relationships. The ratio they are referring to is the number of positive interactions it takes to make up for those inevitable negative interactions. Early on I heard the ratio as, ‘It takes three positive interactions to every negative one to even things out.’ Just now I did a little Google search and found a source that claims the ratio to be five to one in order to maintain positive long last relationships.

About twenty years ago, after hearing that one of my former preschoolers was being bullied in school, I declared that the number one preschool rule was “Be Nice!” That has turned out to be one of the best things I ever did in creating the main tenets for being CrabbieMasters in my preschool. It was amazing how being intentional and how instructing kids on ways to work out problems made a such difference on a daily basis and long term. The simple rule to ‘Be Nice’ often triggered me to find ways to give kids opportunities to be kind to each other in ways that consistently changed our daily dynamics for the positive.

There are still times when a child may be impulsive (most often when they are tired) and may say or do something to another child that is not kind. The big difference is that when the mindset is “Be Nice,” such incidents are more likely to be isolated versus chronic. The child who was mistreated understands that it was a mistake on the part of his or her friend and they are less likely to retaliate because in talking about how to beat Get-Along we have already frequently talked about the best ways to ‘work things out.’

As I said above, teaching kids to beat Get-Along does require intentionality. For more on how (and why J ) to beat Get-Along, check out www.crabbiemasters.com/get-along.

Make it a great day!

Becky 🙂

Use Too-Tired to Beat Too-Tired

Too-Tired truly is the Worst Crabbie in the Universe, but with good tricks to beat him he can be brought under control like any other Crabbie. 🙂

The good news is we can actually use the Too-Tired Crabbie himself to motivate your child to want to sleep!

Too-Tired Crabbie holding brown bear in his left arm.

 

Here’s how it works:

Generally speaking, the way we teach kids to beat the Crabbies is to learn what they like and then do just the opposite. “We know what they like! We just don’t do it!”

Over the years I have figured out how to approach this. Rather than focusing on the need for sleep directly, I focus on one of the consequences of not sleeping.

The key reality for Too-Tired is that he does not like to have fun!

He is simply Too-Tired.

Too-Tired Crabbie with giant hand to mouth closed eyes yawn

As CrabbieMasters Jay and Kay point out in a few excerpts from Here Comes Too-Tired:

Too-Tired Crabbie riding a trike, going on a hike, singing, and not liking it.

 

And as Too-Tired confirms:

Too-Tired Crabbie swimming, lifting weights, playing ball and not liking it.

But kids DO love to have fun!

So, what I focus on is the fact that by not sleeping, napping, resting, or having any quiet time,

Too-Tired doesn’t have any energy and he misses out on all the fun!

If you don’t want to miss out on fun, “Beat Too-Tired!”

 

Our goal in writing the CrabbieMasters Beat the Crabbies series of books is to model real-life experiences where Crabbies sneak into the day and model what CrabbieMasters do to take charge.

In the same way the book is a model for the consequences of Too-Tired, there will be times when your child lives these consequences. You will be getting ready to go to the park and he will have a meltdown because you asked him to put on his shoes by himself or you will be at the beach and she will start screaming because she wanted the blue sand shovel, not the red one! These are times to be the CrabbieMaster leader and point out that the fun is being spoiled by the Too-Tired Crabbie.

I stress that you should only point it out in the moment if you can manage to do it in a non-emotional supportive way. Otherwise, recognize it yourself, get past the situation, and then bring it up after the child has had some sleep. It does not feel good to your child when they lose control. A well-rested child will see the relationship between the meltdown and being tired. Now you will be able to talk about sleep being the way to beat the Too-Tired Crabbie so that he does not spoil the fun. In fact, it was after one of those meltdowns that a five -year old child woke up from the nap she had fought and announced, “Too-Tired is the Worst Crabbie in the Universe!”

 

Make it a great day!

Becky 🙂

Identify the Culprit

The first step in beating the Crabbies is determining which Crabbie or Crabbies are responsible for the problem.

Jay and Kay juggling all eight Crabbies.

Let’s look at a few scenarios:

Scenario 1: Your child is having a meltdown when he or she is learning to tie their shoes, ride a bike, or jump into a swimming pool. They say, “I can’t do it.” Or, “I am scared!” or, “It’s too hard!”

These words are most definitely associated with Can’t-Do.

Can't-Do Crabbie looking up.

 

Scenario 2: A child yells, “Give me that!” and hits a sibling or peer because, “She took my toy!”

This behavior is definitely an indicator of Get-Along.

CrabbieMasters Jay and Kay arguing with Get-Along in foreground

“You have to share! I’m telling!”

 

Scenario 3: You have asked your children to get ready, so they won’t be late for school, but they continue to dawdle.

These are behaviors associated with Hurry-Up.

Mom in car waiting for Jay and Kay walking to car, but slowed down by Hurry-Up sitting in grass by the garage door.

 

Scenario 4: Your children are being generally wild and ignore your pleas to settle down, so they don’t get hurt.

This are behaviors associated with Junk-Food and the King.

Jay jumping on couch with Kay standing in front with arms folded.

 

The truth is that the Crabbies we have called out in each of the scenarios are problems.

However, another truth is that it is highly likely that these Crabbies are not the primary problem.

We break the Crabbies into two groups:

The Primary Crabbies – Too-Tired, Hungry, Junk-Food and Achy

Too-Tired Crabbie cradling little bear in his arm.Hungry Crabbie holding fork and spoon looking dizzy from hunger.

Junk-Food Crabbie holding chocolate donut and strawberry ice cream cone in his pincers.Achy Crabbie with thermometer in his mouth and a hot water bottle on his head.

The Secondary Crabbies – Can’t-Do, Get-Along, Hurry-Up and King

Can't-Do Crabbie with wild eyes and pincers to mouth looking afraid.Get-Along Crabbie with his red boxing gloves on and his tongue sticking out.

Hurry-Up Crabbie wearing inline skates running wild with legs scrambling, pincers up in the air and dust trailing behind.King Crabbie with gold crown looking up and raising his scepter high in the air.

 

The Primary Crabbies are associated with our physical well-being. When any of these Crabbies are on the scene, we are more vulnerable to the other Crabbies. Likewise, if we have the primary Crabbies in check, the secondary Crabbies are much more manageable.

When determining which Crabbie or Crabbies are interfering with the day, mentally run through the list of primary Crabbies and ask yourself these questions:

  • Is the child lacking sleep? Maybe still tired from the weekend even though they were in bed early on Sunday night?
    • Preschoolers (3-6 years) – 12 hours
    • School-age (6-12 years) – 10-11 hours
  • Is the child possibly hungry? (When did they last eat and how much did they eat?)
  • Did the child possibly eat high carbohydrate or sugary food that gave them a burst of energy, but it was not long-lasting like something higher in protein would have been?
  • Is the child possibly getting ill, or are they struggling with seasonal allergies?

If any of the above is an issue, you will need to call out the Primary Crabbie as the main culprit knowing that he brought the Secondary Crabbie along. Sending in more than one Crabbie is one of the King’s favorite tricks – and we CrabbieMasters are onto it!

 

Make it a good day!

Becky 🙂

 

 

 

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 🙂

Boo!

We here at Team CrabbieMasters want to wish all of you a Boo-t-ful and safe Halloween!

Remember… this is one of Junk-Food’s favorite days so be on the lookout for him!

 

 

Trick or Treat!

It’s one week until Halloween, and the Crabbies are practicing going door to door.

They love Halloween, especially Junk-Food and Achy.  Do you know why?

You guessed it! Candy. Lots and lots of candy. Nothing makes Junk-Food happier than kids overeating sweet treats, and gooey ones too! The Crabbies are so excited, they can hardly contain themselves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

King is excited too! All those kids waking up the day after with tummy aches.

We know all CrabbieMasters know how to beat the Crabbies, and that means not overeating. A little candy is okay, but eating say… the whole bucketful in one night… is an invitation for Achy to come for a visit.

You don’t want that and neither do we, so POWER-UP and be ready for TRICK OR TREATING.

Don’t let the Crabbies ruin the day!

Can’t-Do has a meltdown

Sometimes, the Crabbies aren’t as tough as they think they are.

Can’t-Do is happy to be home after all the traveling the Crabbies did. But, getting Can’t-Do home wasn’t easy.

He was afraid to take a plane.

 

 

 

 

 

He was afraid to take a train.

 

 

 

 

 

And there was no way he was getting on the subway!

 

 

 

 

He wouldn’t get on a boat

 

 

 

 

 

And he wouldn’t ride a goat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He refused to get in a car.

 

 

 

 

 

And so, he walked.

That’s why the Crabbies took so long to get home. Too bad they don’t know how to POWER-UP! Tee hee. It’s a secret. We won’t tell them how to do it.

Shhhhhhhh! Let’s keep it our secret!

The Crabbies are back!

The Crabbies have returned from their vacation. They are late getting back because Get-Along couldn’t get along with the other when it came to how to get home–he didn’t want to take the train, or a bus, so he made a fuss.

King finally convinced Get-Along to get on a bus and they took a brief stop-over at Virginia Beach. They saw so many of their relatives! They were so happy to spend time with them and romp in the sand and play in the water. They were so busy they forgot to ruin anyone’s day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

No worries! It didn’t take them long to get right back to it as soon as they returned.

It all started with a group meeting. King was determined to ruin Jay and Kay’s day. After all, they had a vacation too with no Crabbies around.

King instructed Too-Tired to make a lot of noise to wake Jay and Kay really early–like four o’clock in the morning early. They’d be too tired to get ready for school and they’d miss the bus. Teehee! Hurry-Up sure loved riding the bus home. Maybe he’ll hop on the school bus and sit in Jay and Kay’s seat!

Poor Jay and Kay would fall asleep at their school desks. The Crabbies cheered and cheered! They loved the plan.

But wait…

After waking Jay and Kay, Too-Tired taunted and teased Kay as she sat in her front yard yawning. Then…

“Kay, what are you doing up so early?” Mrs. Gray called out from the doorway. “Come inside and go back to sleep. There’s no school today! It’s Saturday!”

And so… the joke is on the Crabbies. Jay and Kay slept in and the Crabbies… well, they took a nice long nap.

 

On the road again…

                                                                           The Crabbies continue on their vacation and today they visited Moosehead Lake, Maine.

 

They decided to go moose watching. Achy and Too-Tired were very excited to see a real moose. Can’t-Do and Get-Along were kind of scared because of the size of a moose, and Hurry-Up was in no hurry to go moose watching.

Their moose-watching guide told them some fun facts about moose:

• The flap of skin under the moose’s throat is called a BELL.

• Moose have no top front teeth.

• After the first calf, moose quite often have twins.

• Moose can only see about 25 feet.

• In the Moosehead Lake Region, moose out number people 3 to 1.

• The first law to protect Moose was passed in 1930.

• Only male moose grow antlers, which they shed in early winter and re-grow during the year. The main function of antlers is for display during the mating season (source: mooseheadlake.org).

The guide took the Crabbies to moose “hangouts.” It wasn’t long before one came along.

“Would you look at that!” said Hungry. “He’s HUGE!”

“Oh, wow, wow, wow,” said King. “He looks even more powerful than me.”

“I can’t look,” said Can’t-Do. “He could crush me.”

The guide assured the Crabbies that they weren’t going to get close enough to get crushed. That made everyone feel better.

They watched moose come and go, and decided it was a nice vacation spot. They will be spending the weekend, and King wanted to be sure Miss Becky got a postcard from Maine. Have a great weekend to all of you from the traveling Crabbies! See you when we get back Monday!

The Crabbies return from the Big Apple

The Crabbies decided to take a train home from the Big Apple, also known as New York City. It was easier than walking. Claws don’t make good time.

They were so excited when they finally arrived, they went to Jay and Kay Gray’s house and held a meeting across the street. Yes, the Crabbies are home and back to their old tricks.

Since they had been to the Big Apple, King brought back a bag of apples. When he realized they were healthy, he didn’t know what to do with them. There was no way he was going to eat anything healthy, especially when Junk-Food was nearby. 

What to do with a bag of healthy apples?

King wasn’t quite sure. He loved the look of them and the smell. He knew they were full of juicy goodness… but the king of the Crabbies, the leader of the pack, the head honcho… knew he would ruin his reputation if he ate something HEALTHY.

There was only one thing left to do…

 

We’ll let you finish the story. What do you think King did with his bag of apples?

Let us know in the comments below.