I thought the idea of the woodpile was quite "interesting" at first. Our therapist, Joe, suggested it. He uses it with his 3 young children. I have to admit that I was a little skeptical about it in the very beginning. I shook my head and asked him, "If I can't get him to do the "Strong Sitting"... how am I ever going to get him to move an entire woodpile?????" I honestly thought that the man was just a little nuts : )
Yet, I went out and bought a huge pile of firewood and stacked it out by my fence on a large piece of plywood. I then put another large piece of plywood on the opposite side of the yard. When my son starts fighting the rules... tantruming... refusing to do what is asked of him... etc... etc... I tell him to give me 10 minutes of "Strong Sitting." This is in the center of my kitchen floor... facing me... legs folded... back straight... hands folded in lap... and being quiet and still for 10 minutes. I set the timer on the stove. If he refuses.... runs away... screams... talks back.... hums... or makes "seal" noises... the time starts over and over. If I have to start the time over three times... he "Moves the Woodpile."
My husband and I hated that woodpile as much as our son did at first. My husband and I even argued about that woodpile. Kind of silly... huh... arguing about a woodpile. : ) But we did! That woodpile made us all miserable at first. I won't even deny it. The first day... my son ran down the street screaming many times. I had to chase him down in the snow... tackle him... and hold him in my neighbor's yards. YIKES! He was just a little furious about this entire woodpile idea. He cursed me for "always listening to Joe"... he cried... ran away... and tried to bite me. He also threatened to run to the fire station and tell them that we were mean.... making him do "hard work".... leaving him out in the cold... and refusing to feed him (he couldn't have supper until he moved the woodpile.) I actually did feel mean at first, and worried about what would happen if he actually did make it to the fire station... but I decided to stick it out... figuring that Joe would defend us if anyone happened to call DSS.
At first, he played every game imaginable to show me how defiant he could be. There was snow on the ground... and instead of stacking the wood on the board like I had instructed him, he just stood there glaring at me, and poking the wood up on end (sticking up out of the snow) ... in a frame that went all the way around the "outside" of the board. : ) Amazing! I honestly went in the house and almost died laughing a few times. I didn't let him know that though.
But... as soon as I was out of view... he took off running... and I had to chase him down the street again. It was getting pretty tiring. Especially when I had a houseful of hungry people depending on me to get supper ready for them, and I had to keep running back out the door every few minutes. I found it almost comical when a car that was passing by our house pulled to the side of the road and watched me chase my son down the street. I wondered what kind of thoughts must have been going through that man's mind as he watched me chase my son down the sidewalk with no shoes or coat on. I wondered if the man had possibly mistaken me for a kidnapper, or if he was just enjoying the show as I grabbed my son by the leg and dumped him into the snow.
Well... after almost four hours of chasing the boy through the neighborhood.... he finally got it figured out. : ) He moved the woodpile!!!!!! Took him an hour! When he was done.... he was "PROUD" of himself... and surprisingly relaxed.
The next few times.... he still fought. But the fighting was taking less and less time. Eventually, he even figured out ways to move the pile faster and faster.