Monday, September 20, 2010

A Change of Behavior

I've never been much a reward chart kind of mumma, we have a pretty relaxed and easy going household or maybe I should say we 'used' to have that kind of household.

Lately I feel as though I am butting my head against a brick wall with Charlie. People keep telling me its because of the new baby, but me, (being his mumma after all) I feel like he is slowly growing out of his 'little boy' persona and is testing the waters of life as a 'big kid'. 

Charlie has never really been a child to misbehave, and I'm not just saying that because I am his mumma, but seriously with this child I have been blessed with a very well behaved little boy.

Over the past few weeks though, times are a changing. While I wouldn't call it 'naughty behavior', he is certainly testing the limits. Ignoring people, when asked a simple question like 'could you pass me those socks' he launches into a completely different conversation and then laughs at the end of it and tells me that he was playing the 'ignoring game' with me (and still doesn't pass the socks, he just repeats the 'game'). That and his tea time habits (in the past few weeks I've gone from a near perfect eater, to tea time horror stories) are frustrating me the most.

I have tried my normal approach to helping him understand that sometimes his behavior is just not nice, call me soft but I am just not the growling type, I try to focus more on the positive behavior. But its just not working.

So I thought I would give a simple reward chart a go. I've only focused on four things that I feel are completely manageable for him, one being brushing his teeth which is a given anyway, just something included that he knows he can accomplish with limited fuss. Then there is listening, packing toys away and last but not least, eat dinner. I don't except him to be perfect in each area, but just done with a lot less fuss than is currently happening.

We have the local show coming up in two weeks, so I have made that the reward, first week he will get the show tickets, second week I will let him pick a show bag to buy. He doesn't have to fill all the areas up with stickers, he just has to have more stickers than white spaces by the end of the week, do you think that is a reasonable ask of a 4 year old?

A 'time out' area has been suggested by many of my friends, but this is just something that I don't feel will work with my parenting style. Since he was old enough our 'time out' has involved grabbing a book and jumping into bed to have some 'relax' or 'chill out' time (yes, exactly what I call them). Sometimes that involves me reading, sometimes it just involves Charlie by himself, it just depends what he wants. People tell me that I am spoiling him doing this, that he is not learning anything. I feel as though I am teaching him by doing this is that there are others ways than yelling/screaming or doing what ever to calm down, reading is relaxing for him and certainly calms him down and improves behavior. What do you think? What do you do in your own household?

Who knows if this will help us out or not, but at the moment I think its worth giving it a try. 


Eme Creations said...

I totally agree with the way you are doing things. We have a pretty easy going household, and yes my 2 test my limits all the time, we are currently going through this stage with Elsie who is going on 4. She won't clean up her toys etc... But I have found that they grow out of it, we also went through this stage with Em and she has now grown out of it, I find if you just keep plodding along they get the idea. Eventually. Time out never worked for me, I tried it with Emeline and she used to go into time out even if she wasn't naughty, I tried everything. You put Elsie into time out and she just laughs at you. Yes she is that kind of girl. I think everyone is an individual and you just have to decide on what works best for you. Good Luck.

PS.. Your prize will be in the post this week, we had rain and can't get out. Fingers crossed I will get out tomorrow. I must aplogise my email is currently out of order. Have a great day.
Lisa xx

MultipleMum said...

Funny that you posted this today. I think I will be doing something similar tomorrow! Like you I haven't really been into this kind of thing, but I have started this morning schedule with my 5 year old and it has taken the 'banchee' out of my day! I like your chart!

Ellie Tat said...

all. My son still won't do what he doesn't want to do, but then he will want to reward anyway. So from being rewarded for positive behaviour it turns into something totally negative: 'You can't have this, because you didn't do what you were supposed to do'. But maybe it will work for you, all kids are different and lots of parents swear by rewards charts.

drx said...

The reward chart's an excellent idea. Kids get a real kick out of it upon completion, and more than the reward - knowing how proud you are of them when they do =)


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