Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Positive Behavior Techniques & Webinar Announcement

Does this sound familiar (based on a true story):

It's the end of the day and mother is picking up 3 1/2 year old "Janey" from her daycare home. Now lately "Janey" has been refusing to pick up toys, put her coat & shoes on and mother has been having to get sterner and sterner right to the point of threatening with a spanking. Janey doesn't want that of course - but she also doesn't want to do what Mother is asking her to do either. She whines, ignores Mother's requests and does the "limp noodle" dance. Unfortunately Mother doesn't follow through with discipline but instead keeps asking her "Do you want a..... (fill in the blank)."

This behavior hasn't been limited to acting up for Mother. When the daycare provider asks her to put her shoes on Janey will get up and wander around, go lay down on her tummy by another child or go look at the toys - this has gotten to the point of causing the older children to be almost late for school or Janey losing privileges. Lately the daycare provider has been having her put her shoes on at 5:15 so she's ready when mother comes and and putting on her coat, gloves and hat 5 minutes before any of the other children are asked to.

Now, let's make it clear -
Janey is only 3 1/2, has known how to dress herself since she was 2, could put on her own shoes, boots, gloves, coat, put said gloves & hat in the sleeves of her coat, etc etc etc...(and did so willingly when asked) and ever since returning from Christmas vacation suddenly she exclaims "I CANT... (fill in the blank)."

So, what's to be done to NIP this in the BUD?
(Now for ease of typing this post I admit it - Janey is one of my little daycare gals. So, now I can switch to "I".)

One of my pet peeve's with kids is parents NAGGING their kids instead of being decisive and firm so kids know that they need to do what they were asked - the first time - not the 10th. I can see asking a second time if they are upstairs and you are yelling up the stairs - but if you are in the room and you KNOW that the child should of heard you there is no reason for them to not do as asked - the first time.

Just so you know... I used to be one of those NAGGING adults (I was a nanny at the time) and how I hated it. I also hated how stressed I felt and how frustrated I was feeling. I decided that I was going to change MY behavior first and then the child's would follow. Here is what I did....

Pick a CALM, Relaxed Time to chat...
I found a calm, unstressful time when "Alice" and I were alone. We were in the car and I was driving. I told her that I didn't like having to NAG her to ask her to do something and that I didn't like being ignored when I was talking to her. So we were going to have some new rules:

1) From now on if I ask her (Alice) to do something she needed to do it right away. I would ONLY ask one time and if she didn't hop right to it she would have a time out (or lose privileges - whatever had been decided for this behavior).
2) When I ask her to do something she is to "OBEY with a SMILE". (You will hear this phrase A LOT at my daycare.) If she didn't she was to return to me and try it again. (Ex: Alice would stomp up the stairs to do something I asked her - I would call her back and tell her to try it again until she walked up normally.)
3) When someone spoke to her she was to answer them - no more ignoring people just because she didn't want to answer.

Now, can this same technique work with a 3 1/2 year old? I used the above rules with Alice who was 4 1/2 when I started using them & they worked like a charm. But will Janey be able to do it? I don't know - but I'm going to give it a try. Currently I have her stop playing or watching the movie 5 minutes before the other kids when we have to go somewhere (school runs, switching activities, etc) and get ready (putting on shoes, coat, etc).

She's asked me why we aren't leaving right away or why she can't play and I tell her it's because she hasn't been LISTENING and OBEYING with a smile so she has to stop having FUN before the other kids. So far it seems to be working - she has gotten quicker about staying on task and finishing it so she can return to playing.

To help her visualize how she is doing I created a calendar with 2 goals:
1) I Will LISTEN with TWO EARS
2) I Will OBEY with a SMILE (hopefully this will cure the whinies as well)

Each day she gets to glue a SMILEY SUN square on that days square. If they get 5 SUNS that week they get a Glitter Sticker to put in that week's I DID IT box. ("Tom" my other dcb was thrilled with that). Keep your fingers crossed that it works!

Dr Sears has written a great article that I found very interesting - I thought I'd share the link with you: 10 Techniques to Shape Children's Behavior

Webinar Announcement:
Get Kids to Listen without Nagging, Reminding or Yelling:
March 19th 1 pm EST
March 19th 9 pm EST 

We are linked up this weekend at:

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