Wednesday, January 30, 2008

baby steps

This month is my "catch her doing something right" full court press. And not like that is rocket science and good parents do that unconsciously, they don't have to keep a running self-talk dialog turned on in their heads, but I need to work at that kind of thing because my expectations are rigid and high and I need to dole out praise a lot more liberally. I'm kind of in the "well, isn't that the least I can expect" camp so I'm joining a new tribe. But, kid, let me tell you, that praise for every little thing, no matter how minor stuff is working like magic beans for Nora.

This morning, Ellie asked Nora to put a pencil away while we were getting breakfast on the table. Nora jumped up and said, "right away." I pulled her aside gave her a big squeeze and told her how great it was to watch her be so helpful. A few seconds later, I asked Nora to fill the dog's dish, a request usually met with resistance, flopping and evil eye throwing, and she said, "Shore." She was johnny-on-the-spot for every other morning task and we all left the house in a much, much, much better frame of mind.

Ahh, basic kid psychology, where have I been?


Eliza2006 said...

For what it's worth, I think you are doing a great job. It's not easy to be positive with someone who isn't always receptive. You haven't given up and that should count for something huge! As always I love reading your updates. Thanks for sharing.


Ladybug Hugs 4 U said...

I am just going to give you one big fat DITTo to what Tiffany said :D

Ladybug hugs,

Anonymous said...

Yay! Yay! It *does* work! Love it, Marji!

Sometimes, we even fill our pockets with poker chips (I work with early childhood and special needs kids) and then make a very visual game out of the "catch 'em being good" school of thought.

When we "catch 'em" we make a big honkin' deal out of things (just like you did) and then we put a chip into a clear container of some sort.

End of the day? Count 'em up and dole out the prize! Can be that Nora picks the movie or the bedtime book. Could be a cheap-o trinket from Oriental Trading Company. Could be stickers or extra time with mom.

Keep it up, Marji! You are no quitter. You are so hanging in there!

(from Iowa)

Anonymous said...

To this day - any my kids are 37 and 34! - I "practice" what kinds of things will be helpful to them when they need me in any way. Each is so different that what works with one seems just utterly stupid to the other! I have to think about it. Not all the time, like I did when they were little and at home, but I *still* think about it.

Go figure...

I am so very, very, very proud of you for not giving up. I can't promise that Nora will thank you one day, so I will do so now:


Sarah, Eleanor and Gen's gamma