Thursday, November 29, 2007

Oh, happy day!!!

The constant crying. The on-going whining. The arguing between each other. It is all too much. I have been slacking in the discipline/confrontation area mainly because I am tired from the lack of sleep and because the cold weather has forced us inside. It is hard to assimilate into the next season, especially if the next season is Winter and you LOVE the outdoors. Bah Humbug. This alone, has caused me to be a mean mommy and use my mean voice a lot, lately.

What's a mommy supposed to do about the behavior of her preschoolers?

Start a simple behavior chart. My kids are ultra competitive. They will love it. Right?

The first square on the behavior chart was Monday. On Monday, Jay cried twice and Lola whined fifteen times in the first hour and that night they both earned a sad face.

On Tuesday the kids were angels for most of the day. "Wow, I am a genius. I have figured it out, yet again!" Every ten minutes or so, they would ask me if it was a happy day or a sad face day. I told them, "I don't know yet, we haven't even had breakfast." They were more interested in happy or sad faces then maintaining their behavior.

So.... they took matters into their own hands while I prepared some winter stew for dinner.

Lola first started making some revisions on her Monday face (see pictures below). She used her favorite purple marker to change the direction of the face's smile. She tried to give the face three happy smiles to over ride the one sad smile.

Lola then moved onto Tuesday's square and was quickly discouraged by her lack of drawing smiley faces inside of small squares. She started whining, "I. DON'T. KNOW. HOW. TO doooooooooooo this! I don't! Maaaaaammmmmmaaaaa!" She's getting angrier by the minute. I ignore her behavior and add some carrots to the beef stew. "But, mmmmmaaammmmmmmmmaaaaaa, help me."

What's a mommy supposed to do if her preschooler can not draw a smiley face?
Teach her how, of course.

We threw out the behavior charts on Wednesday and we had a terrific day. Today we are chartless and have 5 months left of our winter. Last year we had 20 inches of snow in April. Any recommendations on how to discipline hibernating, outdoor-loving, whiny preschoolers?

7classy comments:

Melissa said...

Bwwhhaa! Some things work for some other things for others. A chart didn't work for us either. Hope you continue with the happy days.

Crystal said...

I love love that they were making revisions to the chart on there own. We did a chart with Madeline when she was 3. It had things like breakfast, lunch and dinner, bedtime, and potty time. We did stars or black Xs. It only lasted about 2 months. But she will still comment sometimes about getting a black X.
I think I could do it with Amelia soon, but I have a feeling she might think a black X is funny. ugh.

Kellan said...

What a cute post! I don't know what to tell you about the long hybernation - go to the library, go to the movies, play lots of games (glad that's you and not me), do lots of crafts ... It's hard and that is a loooooong winter - I hope you work it out - I do. Kellan

Stella said...

Duct tape and the wonder pets...I hear they work WONDERS!

Cecily R said...

I've said it before and I'll say it are so cool. Love that she was trying to modify her chart!!

And no, I have no idea how to discipline a preschooler. Or a kindergartener for that matter. When you figure it out you'll let me know, right? We're blog pals so you have to share!

chichimama said...

We never had luck with the charts. I've gotten to the point that I ust bundle them up and send them outside to run in the backyard no matter what the weather.

I also instigated quiet time in our rooms last year during the snowy months, which involved them being really loud in the respective rooms and me sitting in the hallway reading to keep them from visiting each other. But it did solve a lot of problems...

Good luck!

Oh, and we do timeouts in the bathroom. Because it is soooo boring in there. Now just the threat of a time out in the bathroom is generally enough to alter their behavior...

Amy said...

I love this! You are a great teacher! Look at the improvement in her smiley faces.

I totally relate to being an outdoors family stuck inside all winter. Some days my kids CRY ALL DAY, for no apparent reason. Arts, Crafts and Play Doh are life savers.

P.S. I just found you, but your blog is what I have been looking for, so I added you to my Google Reader.


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