Thursday, February 24, 2005

Allow me....

to toot my own horn for a few minutes. I like to think I work very hard at being a good Mom. In all areas, but I take extra care with the discipline end of things. I aim to be fair, but firm and above all consistant. My biggest fear is Abby will be one of "those" kids. You know the one I'm talking about. We've all seen them at restaurants, grocery stores, sporting events, Christmas dinner, family parties, etc. The one that makes you glad they aren't coming home with you. To protect against that I've borrowed some really great parenting advice from a variety of sources, my mom, friends, Dr. Phil. I love Dr. Phil, I know lots don't but I really like his approach towards parenting. I've heard him remark many times that you need to know your child's currency and once you figure out what that is, you own it.

For example one of Abby's most favourite things to do is to watch movies. So those movies become her currency. We were beginning to have a problem with Abby when it came time to go home from the sitter's or her Grandparents. As soon as she put up a fuss about going home she lost the right to watch her movies. I told her that movies are a special treat and she could watch them as much as she wanted provided she behaved. Now I am realisitic, she is only two and a half. I wasn't 100% how much she was comprehending. I was seeing a slight improvement, but she would still kick up a fuss from time to time.

Cut to Tuesday afternoon. Abby had spent the day playing with her cousin Justin and Grandma Sandi while we were at work. It comes time to go home and Miss Abby throws a temper tantrum to end all temper tantrums. It took us 10 minutes to get her into her car seat to come home. She dozed off briefly on the way home, but woke up madder than she was before she fell asleep. She had already been told that she had lost her movies for the night, but to be honest she was so upset I doubt she even heard me. We get home and she's still raging, so that buys her a trip to her room until she calms down. While incarcerated in her room, she began throwing whatever toys she could get her hands on against her door. Well that was the straw that broke the camel's back. After she had calmed down I explained to her that she had lost the right to her toys for the evening. The door to her toy room remained shut for the night. So we spent a quiet evening together, she asked to watch a movie once and for me to open her door once and I explained to her again why I couldn't and she seemed to accept my answer. Well she didn't scream the house down, so I took that as a good thing.

Wednesday Abby has gymnastics in the afternoon. It's her special time with Grandma Sandi. After class I was telling Grandma Sandi how the temper tantrum had played itself out, since she had witnessed the beginning of it. As I'm talking I realize that Abby's adding her two cents to the conversation. She's saying, "no movies, no toys, no ice cream cones (which was funny because I never said no ice cream cones), no General Lee (yes her father has her addicted to the Dukes), no Shrek." I took the opportunity to reinforce the issue and hoped the idea was starting to stick.

On the way home we stopped at Papa Brian and Grandma Linda's for a visit. Abby repeated to them the "dire" conditions she had lived under the night before. When it came time to go home she intially didn't want to go. Mike said to her what happens if you don't go home nicely? Her immediate response, "get my coat Daddy." Out the door and into the car she got without incident. Today at the sitter's was the same thing. A gentle reminder about what would happen if she didn't co-operate and we were on our way.

So today I'm tooting my own horn and Abby's as well.

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