Sunday, November 23, 2008

As Requested...

Amber requested I expand a bit on my previous post in which I said that we are working on planning ahead to behave right now.

Just a bit of background first...
We try to use Love and Logic as our discipline tool. It is, in short, giving your child choices to teach them to make appropriate decisions on their own. There is much more to it but...

Anyway, Joshua's behavior lately has been quite undesirable...to say the least. We pretty much figure it started when I began watching Little C. Sort of the old Only child syndrome. Although it is understandable that he is struggling with sharing Mommy, that does not make his behavior acceptable. We believe that as parents it is our job to teach Josh appropriate ways to behave.

I have pinpointed several times throughout our day in which Joshua has the hardest time choosing to behave. As an example, one such time is when Little C is dropped off. So now, when the time is approaching we talk about what he can plan to do during this time so that he does not make inappropriate choices. The conversation might look like this...

Me~ "Josh it is almost time for Little C to arrive, have you made your plan for what you will be doing?"

Josh~ "I will help you, Mommy."

Me~ "Well, Josh, that does not seem to really work for you right now...have you made your plan for what you will be doing?"
(The repeating is a Love and Logic trick!)

Josh~ (sometimes comes up with a plan but often gets frustrated with me not letting him meet them at the door. If he does not choose something, I might say...)

Me~ "You could build a tall tower for little C to knock over after breakfast or we could get out your Lego's for you to use at the table, which one would you like to choose?"

Josh~ (sometimes chooses, sometimes comes up with his own plan. I allow this most of the time as long as it is appropriate. L & L would suggest making him pick from the choices and in some situations I agree but here I am okay with him planning his own activity!)

When the doorbell rings, I remind him to stick to his plan and most of the time he does. Occasionally, especially if C's mom is taking awhile, chatting etc... he comes in the room. I see how he behaves...keeping a close eye on him and if he gets even a bit silly I remind him by saying something like, "Josh are you following your plan?"

If this is not enough to send him back to his plan it often will lead to a timeout in his room which also accomplishes my immediate goals of showing him his behavior is unacceptable and ensuring that the drop off time is calmish for Little C and his Mom.

We have been pretty successful with this for the past few weeks. Josh is quite an active child and seems to need to think ahead in situations that might excite him. He is very fond of the baby and wants to play with him but is really struggling with a way to play with a 1 year old who is just walking. So for now, we are making many plans throughout our day so that he can be successful and learn what is expected.

I am also going back to a more scheduled day which generally looks like this
8am Drop off
8:30 Breakfast
9am Boys play! With me, right on the floor with them to help with appropriateness!
9:45 C's Bottle and down for nap
10am Preschool
12pm Wake C and begin Lunch
1pm Josh on computer and C and I play
2pm Both boys nap
4pm Josh can come down and little C is generally gone by now.
This is a tough time because Josh wants me to play but I am often exhausted and trying to get dinner started. I would like to find a solution here...any ideas?
5:40 Daddy gets home and I finish making dinner
6pm Dinner and evening activity
7:45 Get Josh ready for bed
8pm Josh in bed, Mommy and Daddy passed out in family room from utter exhaustion!

Hope this is helpful! Please feel free to ask any questions and make any suggestions! I will answer in the comment section if it is a quick answer/comment.

1 comment:

Amber said...

Hey Shannon, thanks *so* much for giving such a great explanation.

We are also getting tricky behaviour at the moment & sometimes it's really helpful to see how other people are doing it. I've reverted to a sticker chart (I usually try to avoid them except on the rare occasion but - maybe, because I do use them sparingly - they do seem to work).

I've called it: "Hug's Chart for Positive Family Energy" Tee-hee. Couldn't think of a better name at the time. I think I was ranting about how we couldn't *make* him improve his behaviour but that it was up to him try to bring good energy to the family (as opposed to not good - mama & dada cranky, children fussing).

I'll let you know how it goes & will def. try to "plan" some times with him too. Cheers :)