Monday, September 19, 2011

Jars of Marbles...Before I Lose Mine!

We are big fans of "Love and Logic" in our home. Sometimes we need extra help.

Right now I need help with:
(1) Minding the 1st time asked.
(2) Not talking back /arguing when asked to do something.
(3) No means no. Quit asking 25 times for something.

PLEASE leave a comment or email me ANY and ALL suggestions you have.

To use "Love and Logic" terms, all of the back and forth with Jasper is draining my energy.

I want Jasper to see how much of my energy is "going down the drain" due to his bad choices and his constant attempts to negotiate.  

I realize that Jasper is barely 4 years old, but somehow I want him to visualize how much of my energy he's taking away.  I've heard of people using a jar of marbles as a reward system. We are testing out a hybrid model of this.  

 This morning and decorated our marble jars.  When Jasper makes good choices and minds the first time, he puts a marble in the happy face jar.  He added stickers of the Las Vegas Temple to the happy jar which I thought was sweet.  He and I go there once a month and he loves it.

When he makes a good choice he LOVES to pick the marbles out to place in the jar, and always comments on what color marble he chooses and how beautiful it is.

When Jasper makes a choice that drains my energy, I put a marble in the frowny face jar. 

Jasper's currently working to earn a trip to the park.  When he wants to do things that I don't have time for, I show him the contents of the jars and remind him how much of my energy has been drained.

Since we are upstairs and downstairs all day we have a set of jars upstairs and a set of jars downstairs.  The jars are food storage containers from Wal-Mart.

We are on day 1 of this little plan, so we'll see how it goes.  The worst part of this whole dilemma is knowing that I'm in this pickle to start with because of my not-so-great parenting skills.  I'm trying to do my best, but I obviously need to do better.

Below are ideas people have shared with me so far: (Thank you)

Lisa Nielsen:
Job grounding. That means grounded from everything until they finish. Tell them your job grounded for talking back, and then don’t say anything else. Help them get started on their job. It works great with my kids!  Lisa Nielsen My house stays lots cleaner and I don’t have to do it!

Reina Gamett:
After 14 years of parenting...some days are just better than others :)

Elene Janda:
Don't negotiate. When they start arguing, stop talking or they have control. It is a jungle out there, it is them against us;). Biggest one is say what you mean and mean what you say, no negotiating!!!!!

Carrie Owen Kirk:
Give consequences without warning. You lay down the rules and then follow through. No second chances. For example, if I always got a warning rather than getting a speeding ticket I would speed and maybe slow down if I got a warning.

Lauren Anderson:
Can't help you much with the first one. Just accept that even obedient and well-behaved kids don't always mind the first time. The other two are easy though. Never re-discuss what you've asked them to do unless they just don't understand it. Clarify if necessary, but if you know they got it, don't discuss it again. If they continue to try to negotiate, quietly (with no anger or commentary) just follow through with the consequence (time out, take away toy, etc.). Every time you respond to their wheedling, you're training them to keep pestering you. Same when you say no. If they keep bringing it up and saying please, Please, PLEASE, practice the art of IGNORING. It's one of the most useful tools you will ever develop if you are willing to discipline yourself to not respond. Just ignore. Talk about something else, go to another room and do something else, change the subject, but DO NOT RESPOND to wheedling and pleading because you are simply training your children to wheedle and plead. Feign deafness, or find something else to divert your attention but whatever you do, ignore the repeated pleas. Good luck. Ignoring can be very hard, but it works.

Joanne Manning:
Remember that they are not robots, they are children and will never be perfect at minding. :)

Nichole Hjorth:
I talk and make sure they understand, but I don't respond to the incessant whining or repeated questions after an answer is already given. I started that from the time they were very little before they could even talk and were throwing fits on the floor. I never wanted to teach them that that is the way to get my attention. They have learned real early....that's not the way to get what you want.

Tammy Lamm:
I heard Linda and Richard Eyre speak at Education Week. They have many years experience, many books, and many great ideas that have been helping my family the past few weeks!


Erica said...

Very inspired post, Ang! Thank you! How did you know that I am in the middle of figuring out how to parent a toddler?!! I really do appreciate it. Keep me posted on what you learn.

K said...

I've definitely got a lot to work on as a parent, but one thing I think I got right was not buying little trinkets at the store when we go shopping. I don't buy things as rewards for doing things the girls should already be doing, nor do I impulse buy toys or other things at the grocery store because then they expect it. If I find a good deal or something on sale, I'll get it and say, "Oh, this is on sale! Now we can get it and put it away until X". I've never really had trouble with whining at the store. Other issues, I've got plenty! I appreciate the other comments for sure. Thanks for sharing.

1 Busy Mom said...

My 6 yr old has behavior problems and this looks like a great way to show that his poor choices don't just disappear when he does something good. Of course the positive reinforcement of the Happy Jar will help a lot too, but our biggest issue right now is explaining why at the end of the day he doesn't get a reward. Especially when the bad behavior was early in the day. Hopefully it'll encourage him to behave better ALL day long, and not just when I get on to him. (And maybe it can get his sister to stop whining!) Thank you so much for the idea!

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I am full time wife and Mom. Jasper is my busy 3 year old who keeps us on our toes. I like to sew and craft and make our house a home. I love to be outside and play with my boys.