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Try a little carrot…

March 6, 2012

My daughter turned five a few weeks ago. I naively felt that she would act better when she was five… Yeah, keep laughing, I’ll wait…. Ok better? 🙂

Yup, silly me. I really don’t know what I was thinking. If anything she has gotten worse: talking back, arguing, ignoring, dawdling…

The worst is at bedtime. She can take upwards of 30 minutes to go potty, wash her hands, brush her teeth, put on pjs and pick out stories… . (and me getting more and more irritated!). Clearly that wasn’t working. Failed techniques:

  • constant supervision and reminders to stay on task… Can we say serious frustration?
  • losing books if she didn’t respond “we are a one request household!”. … More frustration. Tears…”give me one more chance, mama… Just one more chance”
  • time outs… Tears or worse major meltdown tantrums…. Just what I need after a long day…!?!?
  • discussions. Daughter, if you just behave then mama will not have to nag you, get angry,take away your stories, etc.

Nothing worked. 😦

Over the weekend, I have been reading about family and one on one time with your kids. I realized that now most of my interactions with her are negative! Not at all the parent I want to be.

So I decided to try a little more carrot (and less stick). I told her that she has 30 minutes – as soon as she finished getting ready for bed I would spend the remaining time of the 30 playing quietly with her – her choice: games, drawing, crafts, or extra books. I would spend the first part putting her little brother to bed rather than supervising her.

Tonight was the first night…. Let’s just say it was great! I am sure that she will lose her mama playing time some nights, but it was light years different than even the best nights under the old techniques. Yeah me! (and yeah to us both!)

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One Comment leave one →
  1. March 6, 2012 3:20 am

    That’s what I’ve been doing for the past 5 years and it’s still working. I found too that after snack a reminder chant of “(meds), teeth, drink, bathroom, bed” helps keep my kids focused on what needs to be done and how far they’ve progressed on the getting ready for bed track. Having the consistent routine took bedtime prep from about 45 mins to less than 15!

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