Friday, July 24, 2009

How to manage a testing 4 year old?

We are 3 weeks out from the end of summer holidays. I am very much looking forward to the routine of back to school, and with two kids at playgroup/pre kindergarten twice a week I am going to have 2 days to myself. I will miss the school holidays though - it has been fun not having to be somewhere at a certain time on most days. But routine really suits my kids. Alexandra has been a little testing over the past weeks. Not sure what it is exactly but something needed to be done and I think we have found the answer:

The flower!

Inspired by watching the Super Nanny one night on TV, I made this flower with Petals. I used a large sheet of black cardstock as the background. Cut out green cardstock for the stem. White for the pot, where i stapled a cut up page protector to be used as a pocket to store the petals. I drew a petal template and traced around it on pink cardstock. A yellow circle out of felt for the center and here is my good behaviour chart.

Everytime Alexandra is a good girl she gets a petal. To be more specific, We have divided the day up into 3 sections: Morning, Lunchtime/Quiet Time, late afternoon/evening. So she knows that around 11.30am, 3pm and 8pm we will discuss how she has been behaving over the past couple of hours. If she has been good she gets to add a petal, if she hasnt then she has to take one off. If she has though been really naughty (like running off in a car park or a huge tantrum for no good reason) she has to take one off there and then.

So far it is working well. She is really proud of getting petals and hates having the petals taken away. We have gotten up to 6 petals at one stage but a testing morning today means we are back down to 4. I must admit I am yelling less, trying to take deep breathes when she is testing me and try to get down on her level and explain why it is why it is. Hopefully by the time school starts we will be through the worst of it!

Got to love parenting dont you. You think you have it all under control and then they go through another phase. I am really learning what works for other kids doesnt always work for Alexandra. Every kid is different.

Any one have any other sort of bahaviour charts or systems that work for you and your kids? Would love to hear them!