And anyway, we need a way to deal with those trying moments.
A way that's not time out. And a way that isn't taking a toy away, because the time we tried taking his bike away and "giving it to a nice boy" he told us he hoped the nice boy really liked his new bike. (Huh?) And a way that's not yelling, because that just makes me feel like an asshole. And a way that's not boarding school. Googled it, doesn't exist for four year olds. (I kid. I didn't Google it. It may exist? Not that desperate.) (Yet?!?) And a way that's not lock myself in the pantry and grind my teeth and eat wafer cookies because I'm Shredding way too hard for that and I don't need the dental bills for all that grinding and sugaring, either. And it really needs to be more on the positive side and less on the negative, because I'm seeing more and more how sensitive this child of mine really is. I want good behavior, but without risk of breaking his burgeoning little spirit. You know?
Enter, behavior chart. It's the one thing we really haven't given a good try, and the one thing friends (especially teacher friends) and my poor mom who I text at least once a week going "MOM OMGWTF" have encouraged. He's definitely old enough now to clearly understand such a process, which I didn't think he really was a year ago when the topic first came up. So, here goes:
|please excuse the crap iPhone photo.|
thank you kindly.
On Sunday, they're each starting the week with 10 points. Each point is a circular magnet, seen in the crap iPhone photo. They'll lose a point for misbehavior, and can gain back a point if I catch an unprompted good deed. If they have five* points on the board come Saturday, we'll do a special thing or get a special treat. The fast food joint with the playscape (::shudder::), a DQ blizzard date, a special movie and popcorn night, the like. (*I chose five points out of thin air. Does that sound fair and sensible? Too many? Too few? Your input is more than welcome, people! Particularly if you've ever actually Googled 'four year old boarding school' and lived to tell about the fours.)
So. Wish us luck. And please, do share your input if you've tried something similar and have tips or tricks or think I'm going about this all wrong. I'll report back, I promise. Just hope it's not from the pantry with a mouthful of wafer cookies clutching 10 "points" I had to take away before noon tomorrow, mmkay?