Saturday, December 3, 2011

Proud (or not so) Parenting Moments

Hmm.  For those of you who don't have kids, they call it the "terrible twos".  I think most would agree that it really isn't the terrible twos so much as what I call the "tantrum threes" which has crossed into four for us.

The Munchkin is four.  She has a type a personality.  Maybe a bit too much type a.  This past year has been a challenge with her.  The Tank was born a month before her 3rd birthday.  He spent a few weeks in the hospital.  And then he came home and life was different.  The Munchkin started throwing huge temper tantrums.  Luckily (or not so) she only has them in front of us.  Never at school or in public.  But dang it takes a toll on us.  She usually gets set off by being tired and frustrated.  She has it in her type a mind that things have to be just so.  And when they aren't, watch out world.  In her four year old mind, things can only be just one way.

We tried different methods to curb these tantrums.  Not much worked.  And then she decided that she didn't need to nap anymore.  One word.  Disaster.  She would start to fall asleep at school, and then would wake herself up saying that her body wasn't tired.  Yeah right.  We tried everything to get her to take naps.  Nothing worked.  Until I came up with the most brilliant idea.  Money.  Yep.  I pay her to take naps.  Proud parenting moment.  She doesn't have much concept of money, but just likes putting it in her piggy bank.  So she'll get a penny or whatever change I have if her daycare sheet says she took a nap.  And guess what.  It has worked.  She usually takes a nap most days at school, and even is taking longer naps.  My coin purse no longer weighs a ton.  It is a win win.

The other method that has helped - happy face chart.  There was a recent weekend that she was in time out at least once/hour.  Not a good situation.  I made a smiley face chart.  So for every hour she went with out whining or screaming at us, then she got a stamp/sticker on the chart.  The next day - she got a stamp every hour she was awake.  There is no end to the chart.  She hasn't asked what she gets.  But the type a in her just wants to have as many stamps on the chart that she can get.  And it has been 3 weeks.  She is having maybe 1 tantrum a week instead of several/day.

Life is better.  I may not have a quarter to feed the meter anymore, but I have my sanity.

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