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Monday, May 16, 2011

Scheduling Toddlers/Toddler Tips

Disciplining the 3 year old.  I don't like the term "spirited" because it means bad.  My 3 year old isn't bad, she is just different. She is wired differently than the rest of us.  For the most part she needs things explained differently for things to work for her. She is less obedient then my 4 year old and 2 year old. But---she is starting to make the change.

What works for me is the fuzzy ball system.
Every time she does something good or something without asking she gets a ball in her box.  Once she gets 10 balls she gets to pick a piece of paper from the bag.  I don't believe she should get a toy or something like that EVERY TIME she is good. She has to earn her special reward for the day.

Some examples of the paper rewards are stay up 10 minutes past bedtime, or a special treat.  I have 15 different things to choose from. Each day is different. She doesn't always get 10 balls and sometimes when she is sooooo close she will ask if there is something SHE can do to earn more balls.

Instead of focusing on her bad behavior I have rewarded good behavior.  She gets a ball for sharing or playing nicely etc.  Chores completed without help or reminder get balls too.  I have seen such a change in her behavior because she is getting MORE attention because she is good.

If she is not being good or is having a hard day she loses balls.  At the end of the day when we count them she will tell her daddy what she got them for.  "I got the red one for following directions the first time" etc.

It is so easy and fun for her and I don't have to fight her anymore.  The other kids cheer her on...its pretty funny.

13 comments:

  1. HAHA - "Spirited" does NOT mean "bad". It means what it means. That's sad you have to see it that way... it's almost as if you're trying to offend someone who's used that term to describe their own kids, before. Spirited means "Full of energy, enthusiasm, and determination". I consider my very own SELF to be spirited. I see spirited to be the opposite of mellow. Never bad. From what I've read about your 3 year old, she sounds like she fits the very definition of "spirited", which, if she were my child, I would strive to embrace and even cultivate. ;)

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  2. I am not trying to offend anyone. BUT - I feel that when others refer to someone elses kid as "spirited" it is like a "kind" way of saying bad. I love my 3 year old. I do embrace her wild ways but I have to discipline her totally different than my other children and because of that I have come up with a way that works for us to wrangle all that energy into positive and good behaviors.

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  3. I guess we all see things differently. Were your kids called spirited once, that's why it's such a touchy word for you? That would make sense... I would love to meet your 3 year old, someday, she sounds like my kinda girl. ;)

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  4. Really? Why is it such a big deal that we all have different definitions of the word 'spirited'? But enough of that...Valerie, thanks for this post. I have been trying to come up with a better way of disciplining Boyd knowing I need to focus more on the positive but not really knowing of a good way to make it effective. Hope you have a great day!

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  5. LOL I think it's funny that YOU thought it WAS such a big deal. I didn't think it was... ;) Val's good at what she does, she knows I think so. She also knows I'm a very opinionated person. I was just saying she needs to give her girl more credit than I (I'd capitalize "I" twice if I could...) thought she was. She loves her girl, the world knows she loves her girl. What I have to say about it is simply that and nothing more. Val knows that. She's secure enough in herself TO know that. And, just an FYI, I took that out of an online dictionary, so I wasn't coming up with my OWN definition. :)

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  6. Question - Do your others get jealous because she's getting rewards? Our elementary school does something like this, and I have a hard time with it, because my oldest is ALWAYS good, so since the teachers are used to it she doesn't get as many "Gator Gotchas" as the kids who are bad. The bad kids only have to be "better" then usual and they get rewarded for it. I know that this works for the "bad" kids, but it makes my daughter feel like she's being left out. Do you have something like this for your other kiddos so they don't feel left out?

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  7. Well - my other kids feed off of verbal praise. I don't do toys or rewards with the 3 year old she gets another form of quality time.

    If I notice jealousy I usually let the others pick a slip too. Like announce that they have been doing an extra great job that day what would they like to do special...pick a slip or special time?

    It helps balance things out because everyone roots the 3 year old on and the others try and behave for the praise or the special opportunity to do something special.

    She doesn't ALWAYS get the special reward slips she has to earn them. So the other kids if they are doing something well or extra "good" they have earned the opportunity too.

    Hope that helps!

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  8. Love this! My son's kindergarden teacher actually had something like this in the classroom so I implemented this at home and it has been lots of fun! We refer to it as "filling our buckets" (based from a book that talks about how we can fill each other's buckets as we are kind to them, but I don't actually have the book). So I keep a jar on my kitchen counter and every time I see one of my kids doing something nice or being kind in any way, I thank them and tell them they are "filling my bucket" because it makes me so happy when they are nice and kind. We work for however long it takes to fill up my jar and then we get some kind of reward as a family...our first time was an ice cream party, second time was a trip to the movies, and we are working on filling up for the third time. It's fun because the kids love to catch themselves or each other doing kind things to fill our jar! I do like your idea to make it personal as needed, so I'll keep that in mind.

    Can you email me a list of "rewards" your daughter earns or gets to choose from? chilena59@gmail.com
    Thanks!

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  9. "Mike and Ashley" I LOVE that idea! I'm going to try that, too, as my two older kids are at the lovely age where rivalry is at it's best. (Haven't hit the teenage years, so I hope I didn't just jinx myself! lol) Thanks for sharing!

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  10. Is there any way you would send me your list of "paper rewards?" Thanks! chilena59@gmail.com

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  11. I'd like a list too. amindamcgarry@yahoo.com

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  12. I'd love that list, too. marcwithac@hotmail.com
    Thanks!

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