Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Rewarding the good!

I try to focus on the positive and the good in every part of my life. I feel like I give my kids some praise but I know I could be doing more. I say this because I am in a pretty tough stage of discipline. 3 1/2 year old girl and 20 month little boy. My little girl has a daily dose of meltdown and my little boy likes to hit, kick and bite. I feel like I spend 90% of my day focusing on disciplining the bad as opposed to praising the good. And they are good kids.

Lately, I am exhausted at the end of the day. Don't get me wrong, it is not just my kids but when you are tired, it makes parenting even more difficult. Often times the easy thing to do is ignore bad behavior but I have made "nipping things in the bud" a priority. The things to "nip" are manipulation and all the kicking, hitting and biting. I think I spend a good half hour sitting in time out with my son. And I am constantly negotiating with my daughter...I feel like I am Brad Pitt's agent.

When the air is cleared and they are done with their punishment, they know that I love them and we always hug and kiss but I feel I need to try a change in tactic. I want to focus a bit more on the positive. For instance, my son crawled out of his crib all by himself the other day. I was right there watching him do it. He was throwing a fit a few seconds before because he didn't want me to get him out. So I watched him struggle and struggle until finally, he was on the ground safe and sound. I was so excited for him. I clapped and cheered and all of a sudden, his grumpy face turned to complete pride. He was so proud of himself for doing it. And he changed his mood into a happy guy.

I will still discipline. I have to...it is my job. But I will, for the next while, try to focus more on giving my kids praise for even the smallest things, like eating their cereal or opening the door for our dog. They do a ton of wonderful things each day and they should hear positive words more, especially from their biggest fan.

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