I’ve dedicated a lot of time and energy to being disappointed when my toddler acts like a toddler. I’m not talking about the normal silliness that comes with being 18 months and onward. I’m talking about the behavioral challenges that come with a little boy who is rambunctious, precocious, and doesn’t handle change well at all!
I think it was an ongoing battle between the way he handled situations, the way I responded and the feelings of dismay over not being able to properly control my child. This teetering of emotions, at times, handicapped me from enjoying these days. I spent my energy either battling a circumstance, trying to avoid a situation or recovering from surviving an episode.
Maybe he has matured, or maybe we have finally learned to properly communicate with each other. With the help of friends, family and educators, we have successfully implemented a positive reinforcement program. When people suggested programs like this, I was very reluctant that it would work. When you are treading water and running out of steam, you have no choice but to sink or swim. So I decided to swim.
It was a vague sticker system based on “Safe Body,” “Safe Words.” and “Good Listening.” School devised a similar chart specifically based on the behaviors at school. It started out that Drew needed to be reminded to stay focused on earning his stickers. Two months later and he’s telling me that he had such good behavior a sticker is warranted.
We are rounding the corner to the last quarter of the school year. The progress he has had is unbelievable! Don’t get me wrong, he’s still a three and a half year old that needs reminders. But he seems to understand what behaviors are acceptable and what are not.
I’m not sure he is completely the only one who has had success with this outlook. Focusing me on his positive actions, has changed the way I look at our interactions. Even the teachers seem to be reporting the positive things, versus the negative ones. Adding a positive perspective has made things better for all of us.
Change is especially a hot spot for Drew. Change is inevitable and in the years to come there will be many more changes that may be tough to weather. I have so much more confidence in him being able to step up to the plate, although he may need some extra guidance through it all. And I now have confidence in myself that I’ll be able to help him. So I guess we’ve both grown this year 🙂
I’m hoping that my experience using positive reinforcement in the classroom will help me when it’s time to use it on my son! 😉
Lisa @bitesforbabies recently posted..Mommy Deserves a Treat!!
I really didn’t see how it could when his behavior was so bad. But it really turned things around for all of us! Lots of luck to you! Thanks for contributing!
P.S. I really like your website, I may be trying some of your recipes 🙂