Friday, December 12, 2008

Parenting pop quiz

Parenting is just one test after another. It really isn't fair. Once you feel like you finally figured it all out, something happens and you realize you know nothing.

This week's test? How to get a 2-year-old to stop hanging out with the wrong crowd.

It sounds a lot funnier than it is.

It seems that at the tender age of 2, Sophia has fallen in with the wrong crowd at school. She’s picked an extremely strong-willed counterpart to spend her days with at daycare. This little girl and Sophia are trouble together. Sophia has started pushing the other kids, ripping apart books and hiding the pieces and talking back to the teachers. In a matter of one week, Sophia has gone from a bright shining bundle of joy to a screaming bundle of something that is definitely not joy.

Yikes. I guess the terrible 2's have hit full force.

So, we are starting behavior modification training. Yes, that’s right, on a 2-year-old. I don’t know what else to do. She’s hitting, screaming and now getting in trouble at school, I have to do something because, you know, doing something is better than doing nothing.

We have a chart that looks a little like this …

Once it’s properly filled out, it will have a list of goals for her to do each day. They way it’s supposed to work is for every goal she completes, she gets a token and at the end of the day she can use the tokens to purchase a reward from a “treasure box.” At the end of the week, if she does so much, she will get a reward. Being that she’s 2, we had to modified the program a little to make it (hopefully) easier for her to understand. Her not having a real concept of time kind of makes this a little unfair, so our modifications started with making it a daily reward system and removing the token-purchasing power.

Sophia’s goals include staying in her own bed all night, eating all her breakfast, keeping her shoes and socks on in the car (don’t ask) and getting fishes (rewards for good behavior) at daycare. She will put a sticker next to each goal she accomplished every day. At the end of the day, if she has more stickers than not (we have yet to determine the exact number needed), she will get a special treat from her own “treasure box.”

In keeping with the spirit of fairness, Ryan will have his own chart so he can feel like he’s part of the process. Of course, his goals will be tailored to what he can actually do at 15 months. By including him, we’re also hoping to encourage a little competition in Sophia so she wants to do meet her goals every day.

Honestly, I have no idea if it will work or not, but it’s worth a shot, right?

I hope so.


Bernadette said...

good luck! sounds like alot of work for you guys! and, not to upset you....i'm finding that the terrible 3s is WAY worse than 2s. Let me know how it works.....maybe we'll have to set something up to get Savannah motivated.

James Austin said...

Sounds like a lot of work, yes, but worth it if you can get the result you are hoping for. Good luck and I will be waiting to see how it works since Luke is not far off.


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Autumn's Mom said...

That sounds like a great plan. We had a family meeting this past Friday, and one of the kids suggested we do this. What we've been doing so far doesn't seem to be working.

Laural Out Loud said...

Gabi's considered the wrong crowd at preschool because she's so darn bossy. It's been quite embarrassing, lol. But at least the other kids are learning to be more assertive around her (she gets her way a lot less now, which is good). I say definitely try the chart and see what happens. If it works, then great! If not, then maybe try to have the teachers keep her separated from the bad influence?

Scary Mommy said...

I'm terribly lazy and that sounds like a ton of effort, but if it works it'll be worth it. Good luck!!!