That achievable goals thing I blogged about a few weeks back has been good by the way. It’s such a cheesy but brilliant idea. Choose something easy enough to become a habit. Once it’s a habit, choose a new thing to add in. So – new goals to add:
For me and Mr Daddy: eat our dinner before the kids go to bed. When we do this, it is soooooo much better, ’cause if one of them is difficult to get down, at least we’ve had sustenance already. Also means we get to bed earlier ourselves.
For bub: spend at least 10 minutes in each of his wake up periods playing with him. Just ’cause he’s immobile doesn’t mean we should ignore him!
For the little dude: I’ve been reading about positive discipline stuff, and one thing I read sounded pretty sensible and I want to try and make it a habit. It goes like this: when they are about to engage in problematic behaviours, or while they’re already doing it, use a four step response:
- Reminder with explanation and suggested alternative (“we don’t throw library books, that might break the book and might hit someone! Let’s sit here and read them instead, you choose which one you want to read”).
- Reminder with communication of consequence (“those books are meant to be for reading, if you keep throwing the books we have to leave”).
- Reminder with encouragement of alternative AND communication of consequence (“that’s a book, not a ball! Do you want to read these stories with Mummy or do we need to go home?”).
- Finally if they persist, the consequence (“ok, we’re going home now”).
I like it because it means they know what to expect, and also it gives the adult enough time to get things ready to execute the consequence, and you don’t get stuck in that pattern of trying to get them to comply ineffectively and finally imposing a poorly-thought-out consequence after a long battle. And lots of the positive/gentle discipline stuff doesn’t give any info about what to do with a kid who seems to have an impressive resistance to being thwarted in his fun attempt to destroy things. As you do the first step, you can think of the consequence, so that you can choose one which you’re happy to impose. For example today at Capital E, I used this approach and chose the consequence of stopping playing with the thing he was playing with, and going to a different thing a couple of metres away.
First reminder – explain and redirect
Second reminder – present consequence
Third reminder – reiterate
Final step – execute consequence
Yep so that’s my list.