Thursday, December 11, 2008


The kid has actually been pretty darn delightful for the past few days. We kinda hit rock bottom on Monday, as far as the Terrible Twos go. Book study was a nightmare. Daddy ended up missing the last 10 or 15 minutes of it because Allen was so naughty. He screamed randomly; ran away from Nana -- and when she caught him screamed (during book study) "LET GO!"; and blatantly tested both Daddy and me. This was in spite of numerous rounds of discipline (by both parents). I was utterly exhausted and distraught by Tuesday morning. I really just didn't know what to do. I prayed about it, and did some research, and came up with a new idea ...

Bribery. OK, well maybe not blatant, outright bribery. To be proper, I should probably call it positive reinforcement or something like that. But basically, for those times when we know he could be challenging (diaper changing, tubby time, meetings, dinner) we tell him that if he is a good boy and does such and such, he will get a surprise. The surprise is a combination of candy gummy bears and these:

Allen calls them teddy bears, and he LOVES them. It's actually been working so far this week. Unfortunately, since we were under the weather tonight, we didn't get to try it for meeting tonight. But we will definitely be trying it out on Sunday.

Call it what you will ... but this approach really seems to be working. He's been changing his attitude much more quickly, and we're having fewer actual meltdowns. Of course, we're also trying to talk him through his frustrations and to comfort him as much as we can as well. Maybe I'm naive, but I think it could be working.



KMag said...

I'm a big believer in PRT (we had something called Positive Reinforcement Time when I was in 6th grade), and, after all, I was potty trained with stickers on a chart.

Gummy bears to you,

PWNort64 said...

Yes, even at 5, positive reinforcement is the best type of discipline with Henry. Another thing that works extremely well that goes along with this, is the constant effort of setting expectations. Even though you go to bookstudy every week, try having a conversation every week on the way to explain exactly what behavior you expect. He'll be so proud when he meets your expectations and is rewarded for it.

Jenn said...

Im all about whatever works!