So then J came home, and it was one of those homecomings that no husband dreams of ever. "Hi, here's your kids, BYE." RUN RUN RUN. And I locked myself in our room and was Shredding (day 10, baby) and it just sort of hit me between sets of squat rows: POSITIVITY. Focus more on getting points, less on losing points, hope the positive reinforcement of good behavior builds him up and makes him motivated and the negative moments become fewer and farther between. Because my kid? When confronted with something negative like losing 9 points before noon? Is just like "I don't want any of those points things, anyway." (For real.) So, a half hour later, I emerged sweaty and with jello muscles, but motivated with a tweaked plan of action. My boy was in his bed, and clearly not feeling any better than I was about how the day had gone. There was an actual apology for the naughtiness. And after we read and snuggled, I broke the exciting news: if he stayed in his bed, without getting up even ONCE, he'd get two points. Bam, done. The kid who usually gets out of bed 5+ times to eek out a tiny pee or beg for a tiny drink of water or tiptoe down the hall and smear my best hand lotion on my bedside stand .... he just stayed in his bed. And woke up VERY excited to watch his two points hit the board. I wasn't even allowed to put on PANTS first, yall. POINTS. And knock on wood, today was so much better. I mean, he was only home four hours total, what with preschool .... but still. He got dressed this morning before I even asked once, gladly picked up Mabel's toys from the living room floor when he got home from school, helped clear the table after dinner, was quick to put all the shoes in the shoe closet, even the PINK shoes. He was clearly motivated by the garnering of the points. And I hope I can keep him that way because a kind and happy Bug equals a happy mama equals a happy everyone. A house with more peace than pinot, you might say. I mean, there's still pinot. Obvi. But it's happier!
A big huge thank you to my friends, here and on FB and by text message, who offered up support or tips about what has worked at your house with your wily preschool-aged children. So appreciated! Yall (namely, Anne & Lauren & Mary) drove home the positive reinforcement theme and also brought to my attention that smaller daily rewards might be necessary to keep him motivated. And yes! Seven points on the board when daddy gets home = a treat. You're looking at kids who insisted on perching on the front porch to watch for daddy, because daddy = OMG POINTS FRUIT SNACKS!
|someone's always blurry.|
and someone's always in pajamas.
But baby sister don't need no stinkin' points. She's just happy to be here. And all like "hey, anyone going to get me out of my pajamas today? Oh, it's 6:30pm now? So no then? A'ight. I'll just sit here and look cute."
*And Julie, thanks for the ice cream idea, too! I love that! We may do something similar one of these weeks. Thanks for coming out of Lurkerville to share that. :)