…and the difference is me! Yes I am humming this to the tune of ‘what a difference a day makes, 24 little hours…
What else has she been up to? Oh yes, she has painted her nails green with a felt tip pen, tattooed her body with a black marker, cut some of her hair as she did not realise the scissors would really cut if she was just playing! How about the air freshener incident, spray the whole can down the toilet as it was a bit smelly and then sit in the small toilet and eat Easter egg that you have climbed up the 6ft cabinet to reach off its top. Do you think she was trying to get high?
Water fights in the bathroom, hosing the garden and her sister when I am not looking, emptying every board game in the playroom. Have you ever tried to find the missing parts for operation? Yes she really is a minx!
However, as I started off by saying things have shifted in the last week. Hooray, thank heavens for that. Do you know what has changed? Well the start of it all was the realisation that discipline just does not work for Miss M, you can talk to her, shout at her, sit her on the step, send her to her bedroom, take away her toys and even give her a tap and it has no effect at all. You know that child that just gives you a bored face, that’s her. If she was a few years older I fear she may put her hand up and say ‘whatever Mum!’.
As for the sticker charts we use, I draw them on a big piece of paper, dead simple. The kids tell me which design they want and I use my terrible art skills and we buy the cheapest stickers possible and then I shower them with stickers for all their good behaviour and reinforce that they are all well behaved children! Children learn what they live.
When there have been bigger incidences of naughtiness and there has, Miss E’s porcelain tea pot got smashed on purpose, Miss M decided to take Mummy’s nail polish and do her nails (and fingers too!) then I have had to acknowledge these. But instead of punishment I have withheld stickers and strangely this has worked, the lure of extra stickers tomorrow when she has not misbehaved is a carrot that she wants to get. We have had a special focus on telling the truth and owning up when she does something naughty and this has worked a treat. She gets a massive amount of praise and hugs for being good and telling the truth and then we have to address that the incident that caused her to lie was not good behaviour and must not happen again.
Let me just tell you what the biggest difference has been though. It has been me and my attitude. I had got to a point where I viewed Miss M as the naughty one, I may never have said it outright but in calling her Minxy I may have promoted it inadvertently. What a realisation! With this in mind, I am just about to go and make her a little certificate now - Mummy’s star of the week is what she is!
Anyone else make their own sticker motivation charts? I have a friend who used peebles in a jar which I liked. Tell me about your good ideas for motivating little ones and I may just adopt them in the coming weeks.
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