Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Happy Tracker

The wall entering our kitchen now looks like this:

Our calendar, and birthdays/anniversaries.

But on the wall are also our Franklin Family Rules chart, and something new.

You see, Sariah has become a pill lately. A Pill with a capital "P"! She's mouthy (like...really mouthy), not sharing, taking toys, and is entering a stage that I know will make or break my parenting skills. I know that this is a stage. But how I deal with it is what will shape her into the young adult she will become. The problem is, I'm AT MY WITS END!

I was laying in bed one night just praying and praying and praying about what to do with this girl. Lots of thoughts came to my mind, but one in particular really stuck. And it was, "Catch her doing good, and recognize it." Wow. Alright. If you say so!

So one morning, Sariah and I had a talk. We talked about these things:

Saying please and thank you
Being patient with her younger brother
Being kind
And doing things the first time I ask (rather than looking at me and giving me the stink eye as I ask her 3, 4 times to do something)

We talked about each one on the list while she colored them and decorated the paper. We called it "Sariah's Happy Tracker."

So for the last 2 days, we've made a big deal out of each one of these things when done without reminding.

Now, don't misread this. It's NOT A REWARD CHART. I'm not a fan of those. She doesn't get something at the end of the day, or week, or the like, for getting a certain number of checks/dots. But what she does get is the biggest smile on her face, at the end of the day, when she celebrates her amazing day by looking at her chart and seeing how many dots she has!

The last 2 days have been amazing. So for Sariah - recognizing the good is going to be the key. Of course, she still has time outs when I've asked her for the 3rd time of anything: snatching something out of Emerson's hands, being snotty, etc. That's normal. She gets 3 "tries" and on the 3rd, she's out. But what's changed is her attitude about being nice. Amazing, smart girl!

Hopefully, it will last. And let's face it - it's a good reminder for me to not let the attitude get to me, but celebrate the good that's in her.


Gooch Family said...

I hear ya! Bella has been demanding things, like, "Get me that!" "No you do it!" etc. So I explained to her that we don't ever talk to people like that and she always needs to say, "Mommy, can I please have that?" That has totally worked. So the second she demands something, I say, "Start over and try again asking nicely and I will do it." So then she starts over and with a smile on her face asks me just how I had explained to her. So that has been working and now she has been doing that a lot more without the whining first. And I always said "Thanks for asking nicely" so that she would get the point that I liked how she did that. So now, if I forget to say it after she asks nice she says to me, "Mommy, you have to say 'thanks for asking nicely.'" Too funny. Hopefully our kiddos shape up soon before we ship them off ;)

Jasmine said...

Yes, I know EXACTLY what you mean by the stink eye and having to ask several times while she just stares you down. Not my favorite stage either!

Karen said...

You have found a great key to parenting that will help you your through the whole parenting life (your whole life) - to look for the good. It never ceases to amaze me that Heavenly Father is waiting to give us help with His children if we will ask.