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The Crabbies

Crabbie Alert! It’s Daylight Savings Time!

Too-Tired has brought in his auxiliary Crabbies!

A scowling Kay is surrounded by all eight Crabbies.

Being a CrabbieMaster is often a simple matter of recognizing when the Crabbies are going to come and preparing for them. Moving the clocks ahead for daylight savings time is going to be one of those times.

Here’s what I’ve seen happen time and time again:

Obviously, we are going to be struggling with Too-Tired until our bodies get used to the time change. What is not quite so obvious is what I like to call the supportive auxiliary crew that we end up dealing with along with Too-Tired.

I saw immediate evidence of the auxiliary team in preschool yesterday. The first one we kicked out before he had a chance to create any issue was Hungry! One of the girls said she was feeling hungry because she did not have time for breakfast! I gave her some yogurt and cereal, and before I knew it, I had the whole group lined up saying they were hungry too.

That’s the issue with the time change right there. Everyone’s sleep/wake schedule is off and Hurry-Up is right on the scene running interference with breakfast. So Hungry comes right in and then very likely, Junk-Food as everyone grabs something quick to eat.

This is where as a CrabbieMaster adult you need to be willing to be flexible. I was not anticipating the Hungry Crabbie yesterday, but you can bet today I will be. This time change is going to be an influencer for at least the week.

Next, I heard someone say, “I had that truck first.” Evidence of Get-Along! All it took was for me to remind them of the time change and how they were probably just a little tired and that we all know that Get-Along likes to be in our business when we are tired. This is where it works great to have a little fun! We went to the wall where we have pictures of all of the Crabbies and said, “Get-Along, stay out of our business!” That was all it took to make everyone laugh and start our day on a positive note! Get-Along was out of here for the whole day!

A smiling Kay has sent all eight Crabbies scurrying away.

The key really is to call out the Crabbies as soon as you see evidence that they are around. The challenge for the adult is to recognize which Crabbies are behind the behaviors!

Make it a great day!

Becky 🙂

It’s a Can’t-Do Crabbie ‘Twofer’

First, Can’t-Do Goes Solo…
and then, Can’t-Do Teams Up with Too-Tired.

Kay standing at edge of pool afraid as Can't-Do Crabbie tells her it's too scary to jump.

One of the most rewarding experiences I have in working with children is having a child join me in the fall and hearing from a parent in a very short time that their ‘timid child’ or their ‘negative’ child or their ‘defiant’ child has become so positive and self-confident.

Strong as it sounds, the reality is that the Can’t-Do Crabbie can really do a number on children. It impacts both how they think of themselves AND how others view them.

Beating Can’t-Do is very rewarding because of the confidence we gain in being able to do something we first see as difficult or something that we are afraid to even try. This is true for adults as much as it is for children. Teaching kids at a young age how to beat Can’t-Do gives them an incredible gift: Confidence! Confidence that sticks with them into their adult life.

For more basic Can’t-Do info, visit our website under Crabbies. We talk about the multiple faces of Can’t-Do. For the purposes of this post I will first address how to manage Can’t-Do when your child is faced with something they really cannot yet do and then second, when Too-Tired is – an often ‘hidden’ – part of the problem.

Setting your child up for success when they are faced with something completely new that they really won’t be able to do at first.

Sometimes your child may state, “I can’t” because they legitimately do not know how to do what is being asked of them. In these cases, it is important to teach them and to help them. This often requires breaking things down step-by-step or helping them master an easier task first. Another good strategy is to offer to do things together, with them taking on more responsibility than before at the same time that you help do things that are beyond their current ability level. Think of first time bowling (or anything else new). To start, use guard rails. At first the ball bounces off them a lot. They keep your child from getting frustrated and giving up because the ball hits some pins. Fun! So confidence grows. And with time, practice, feedback and funBye-Bye Guard Rails!

~~~~~~~

Whether your child is going to do something completely new or something they have done many times before, if they are tired, the chances of Can’t-Do being an issue is very close to 100%.

Kay has fallen off her bike while Can't-Do Crabbie tells her to not even try.

Fact #1: It does not matter how justifiable the reason for your child being tired is, the truth is that it is highly likely that being tired will come back to bite you when it comes to Can’t-Do.

Fact #2: It comes back to bite you because when they go to try something familiar or something new, even if they are not dealing with Too-Tired in that moment, the memory of the struggles of the previous attempts that didn’t work because of Too-Tired kicks in so that Can’t-Do still gets his foothold even without Too-Tired being right there.

I cannot stress enough how vital it is to recognize when Too-Tired is behind Can’t-Do when it comes to turning things around and changing your child’s ability to tackle those hopeless feelings that are behind Can’t-Do.

The good news is that as complicated as this sometimes seems, the amazing reality is that once you recognize when Too-Tired is the issue it is no longer complicated.

The first step is explaining calmly and kindly to the child that you know the real issue is that Too-Tired is teaming up with Can’t-Do.

Note: If you are in the early stages of being a CrabbieMaster yourself, recognize that over time your child will trust what you are saying in these situations. Adult/Child relationships are built over time. It is about intentionally creating positive interactions. Little by little. This is what CrabbieMasters is about.

The second step is to work with the child to first beat Too-Tired and then tackle something that they will be able to have success with to rebuild some ‘can-do’ confidence. And then move on again to try whatever’s harder!

Please feel free to comment here or private message me with your struggles or successes when it comes to beating Can’t-Do. The goal of CrabbieMasters is to build a supportive community.

Make it a good day.

Becky 🙂

 

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.