Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I'd be embarrassed, but I'm too tired.

Scrolling through the blog to share pictures with the kids today I had several revelations. Not that I have neglected the blog, I blush whenever I think of it. But first was a revisiting of the fact that I cannot remember anything unless I have written it down, and sometimes not even then. Which is more motivation to blog.

Second, I found entries from when Q had just turned three. He was pushing my buttons constantly. I'd totally forgotten. He's become such a reasonable and easy going child, that I lost all recollection of previous behaviors. As I type this, he's scolding Noodle, "It's not funny! Go to sleep!" She's giggling hysterically at him.

I find this terribly reassuring. While we've recently turned a corner with Noodle, I was beside myself with impatience recently, trying to deal with her behaviors, whining, demanding, etc. In three years, she could be a mellow easy going child too.

Or not. But still, she's three (tomorrow) and I need to remember that threes are just a handful. On the grand scale, she's actually pretty cooperative and has surprising self control.

I'm actually feeling very clever right now. My boss (I have a new job working in a preschool) was giving some instructions for dealing with inappropriate behaviors from one of our kids at school. I realized I could use the same drilling technique with Noodle to avert bad behaviors. So when I really want to make my point with her, we repeat the desired language (eg: "Can I play with that please?") over and over and over. Followed with praise. I modified this with another technique recommended for use with the kids: physical prompts rather than verbal prompts. I'm tired, really really tired, of asking Noodle to say something nicely, or say please. So now, if she forgets, I hold up one finger. She often stops, mid-sentence, calms her voice out of a whine, adds please. If she simply says, "Please" I rotate my finger in a circle to indicate I want the whole sentence.

And it's working. No really. It's working.

I've also gone back to quick implementation of time-outs with the 1-2-3 warning. Usually she just needs a "One" to modify her behavior. She's such a good girl.

Of course, since hitting gets her an automatic time-out, it's hard to warn her ahead of time with that behavior. But I can only be so much of a genius at a time.

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