Mommy’s Little Creative Story Teller or Pinocchio?

Pinocchio-wallpapers

“Are you sure Daddy said you can have another treat” I asked my daughter, and she responded, “Yes!” I then raised my eyebrow looking at her intently. She nervously asked, “Why are you looking at me like that, Mommy?” With a frantic voice, I said, “Oh my goodness! Your nose! It’s growing!” I chuckled to myself as she recanted her statement claiming, “No, Daddy didn’t say I could have another treat. Then, she quickly touched her nose, her eyes welled up wth tears and her voice began to waver as she inquired, “Mommy, is my nose still growing? I don’t want to be like Pinocchio!”

My four year old looked so concerned and weary, and I actually felt bad when I saw her ready to cry because I was just playing around and did not anticipate that response from her. Also, I try my best to use positive reinforcement rather than focus on the negative. We actually did have a conversation about the importance of telling the truth, and she usually does. But on an occasion or two when I know she may be “fudging” the truth a little, I just scratch the tip of my nose as I ask her again, and she’ll tell the truth without me uttering a word. I definitely don’t want to stifle her creativity and do encourage her to share stories, but I’m hoping we can use those “tall tales” to promote her cognitive development and  imaginative play.

Does your child like to tell “stories?” What techniques do you use to keep them from being little Pinocchios?

All the best,

Tanya

 

Proud Parents, Praise and Positive Reinforcement

“Are you so proud of me for putting my clothes on all by myself?” My little girl inquires with a smile on her face and my reflection in her brown eyes. If she displays a unbecoming behavior, she may ask, “Are you disappointed in me?” I remember when I was younger and how I lived for the praise of my parents and was so disappointed in myself if I disappointed them. I was such a sensitive child and wanted nothing more than to please my parents and can see that same sensitivity and desire to please when I look at my daughter and listen to the inflection in her voice.

There’s such a thin line between overly doting over a child and giving him or her the praise necessary to thrive, feel loved, reinforce positive behaviors and be successful. With this in mind, I often wonder if I’m on target with my daughter and if she knows how proud I am of her. Even as an adult, I often look for the approval of my parents, and while I seldom receive that phrase, “I’m proud of you!” from my father, I’m blessed that my mother has always demonstrated it because her praise and support has helped to shape me into who I am today.

Gratefully, Quinn has a father and mother who acknowledge her efforts and offer her positive reinforcement. Though there may be times when she may do something that upsets us or that we do not agree with, I hope she always knows how proud of her we are and how much we love her. I pray that as she gets older she will also be proud of herself and who she becomes in life.

All the best,

Tanya

What Would We Do Without It Wednesday!: I Can Do It Reward Chart

Regardless of age, we all occasionally need some type of incentive or positive reinforcement to keep us motivated and on track with our goals. This is certainly the case with most two and a half year olds, including my little girl, who are testing the boundaries while trying to find their way as individuals. Sometimes, it’s a struggle to get them to listen, follow routines and put those “temper tantrums” aside, but there are many resources out there to help establish those boundaries and to promote positive behavior.

A few months ago, I purchased the, “I Can Do It Reward Chart” for my daughter from Amazon. Of course, I could have made up a chart myself, but having something already constructed with actual reusable stars and pre-made labels made the process easy for getting started. I did, however, add a nice border and frame to display it. I know some people are against star charts, and that is fine because everything is not for everybody. But my husband and I love this chart, and my daughter loves it too and will remind us if we do not review her behavior/tasks at the end of the day. Some of the labels we have chosen to use are no whining, clean up your mess, no yelling, eat your veggies and fruits and a few others. Something I do, however, is use more positive phrasing. For instance, instead of focusing on “no yelling,” I’ll ask her did she use an indoor voice? Each task has a picture along with the words, so Quinn is able to point to them as will say what she is supposed to do, “I cleaned up my mess today, Mommy!” she excitedly informs me.

This chart does a wonderful job at holding her accountable as long as we are consistent with going over what stars she has earned and where she may need to do better the next day. Every once in a while, she may be in a bad mood or may struggle to control her emotions, which is a struggle adults even have. Since we started using the chart, when she doesn’t earn a star, My husband and I will let her know that sometimes we all have rough days. She then informs us, “I can start over again tomorrow, and I will have a better day.” Yes, I would be kidding myself if I didn’t think that she is partially on her best behavior and completing tasks all day in hopes of earning a star and then getting a special reward, but I also believe that the chart helps to develop good habits and behaviors, and that she also does the tasks and behaves as she should because she knows what is right. What would we do without this chart!

All the best,

Tanya