So like I’ve said, Sara’s attitude just stinks these days. She turns every little thing into the Titanic! Lately, she’s been sassy, ugly, back –talking, whining, loud, you name it. So I decided to try a different approach since the overused “go to your room” obviously wasn’t working.
Scott is going to a b-day party this weekend at a pottery place. Sara really wants to go too so I plan to take her and let her do her own project while Scott does the party thing. So I thought this would be a good way to teach her something. So I told her that Scott was going to the party but if she wanted to come along, she’d have to earn it by behaving—no whining, no back-talking, no defiance and treat me with respect. It started as an ultimatum. One infraction and she’s done. That didn’t seem quite fair for a child this young so I changed it to three strikes.
She was doing fairly well until yesterday when she stared fussing with Scott over a spot to sit on the couch (oh, to have such “weighty” issues!). She hit him, yelled at him and actually told him she HATED him. I was totally shocked! Such talk is taboo in our house and I’d NEVER heard her say it about another person. I wanted to pull her privileges then and there (and I probably should have), but I wanted to stay consistent with the program she and I had agreed to. So she got her first strike—a big red “X” on her section of the calendar yesterday. A good visual for her so she can’t forget. She also got a good lecture on how words can hurt more than hits and then she apologized to Scott. Two more strikes and no party. It seems to be working.
Now, for the future, I wanted a different approach. This may work for those special events but what about the times in between? So, I have one of those magnetic responsibility/rewards charts that we’ve not been using because I’ve not taken the time to hang it on the wall. (I know, poor excuse!) I’m going to use that for the future. The children will each have some responsibilities specific to them and also some that they share. The shared responsibilities must be achieved by BOTH children to earn the magnet and will include: no whining, play nice, etc. I’ll give them a goal for a certain number of magnets to earn. When the goal is reached they can draw a paperslips from the “Family Fun Bucket” which will have things like bowling, mini golf, museum, dollar store, and so on and so forth.
Hopefully this will help them earn a sense of responsibility and achievement and learn that good behavior leads to good things!