Friday, September 10, 2010

Behavior Update and the Grocery Store

The past few weeks have been a little stressful in our household. Our big girl has had some moments of being a little too big for her britches! It's dropped me to my knees more than just a few times. One moment she wants to be fiercely independent and the next she wants to hang on my leg (literally) because she's scared to be left alone in a room. Her attitude has needed some adjustments and we've had to do some remedial lessons on obeying and honoring your parents. To say it's been the "trying threes" is really an understatement.

But let's be honest - she's a sweet and delightful little girl... One who is still learning about boundaries, rules, the "chain of command", and how to deal with disappointment. After all, do any of us really like hearing "No!"? So after 2 weeks of really being extremely consistent and very very very firm, we are starting to see some of our sweet and caring little girl returning. The all out screaming fits have gone from 10-15 a day to 1 every other day. The yelling NO at us has decreased significantly! Her bad attitude has mostly been replaced with a happy and joyful heart.

We've always tried to be consistant and firm with Megan. She's a strong willed little girl who will take your inch and turn it into 2 miles (like most 3 year olds). But this latest battle of wills threw me for a loop. Many many tears were shed over how to deal with this disobedience and how to get to the heart issue of what was going on. About 4 days into it we realized the discipline we had been using (time outs and spanking) were just NOT working this go around. So we implemented the "Rosemond tantrum technique" - which for Megan was basically exile to her room. The worst day started with 5 spankings before 10am... then we got home from breakfast :^) and she was sent to her room. She couldn't get herself in control so she ended up in there through lunch and into the afternoon. That was the turning point. She knew we were serious and started working a little on controling her anger. Now... upon really disecting the situation, I realized that her behavior really went haywire the very day that Nicole started crawling. Perhaps it was a coincidence, perhaps not. At any rate, once we had the majority of the "bad" behavior under control - we started on some positive reinforcements of her good behavior. Now all this said - the premise behind all this is that Jesus helps us to choose how to react. Today we had a HUGE moment when Megan walked over to me and said, "mommy can I have some time with you, I'm feeling really disappointed." I about cried. It was so wonderful to hear her voice a need for a little extra mommy time verses stomping, screaming and exile to her room.

One of the other things that has really helped is keeping her focused and busy. So our special adventure today was to go grocery shopping..... Megan was the shopper!She was all prepared with her little grocery list!And as we found the items on her list, she marked them off. What a diligent little shopper she was!!! So serious and making sure we had everything we needed.
And when the list was complete - she did a happy dance!
Ok, so the dance was really because she knew that we were making cookies after naptime.
Not that preschool has started back, we've been able to work on our schedule. On non-school days, we have special "mommy school" during Nicole's first nap. This has been great this week and it gives her special one on one learning time. She begs for it throughout the day - mostly because we have games and learning toys that ONLY come out during mommy school. On school days, we have mommmy school time before she leaves (we are up at 7am most days) for school or right after she gets home. It's nice to be able to have that time with her every day during Nicole's nap. She has a new chore chart and some positive behavior charts - we are still working on making them more "doable" with our normal day.
But I'm thrilled to say that we've had a few good days. Megan finally earned a video today (we've been tv free for 2 weeks). It's nice to see hard work pay off with a happy child.

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