I dont know about anyone else but i am finding my little 3 very nearly 4 yr old hard work!!
Wow! Every single thing i ask her to do has to be negotiated or is just point blank refused! Why why why, why mummy, why do i have to do that, why doesn't Tate have to to that, why do i have to get dressed, where are we going, who is coming, why are we going there, why do i have to get dressed, i don't want to wear blue trousers i want to wear pink trousers, i don't want them pink trousers they don't make me beautiful, cry cry meltdown! *repeat cycle over and over and over!
I find it so hard to even remember the answers to her questions sometimes or my own name somedays! Especially with a 20 month old emptying all the cupboards and climbing any piece of furniture he can whilst i'm trying to answer my little temperamental quizmaster!
Its super hard trying to split yourself in two and give both your children your time and attention and i always feel like one of them is suffering if i'm doing something with the other one.
I'll be the first to hold my hands up and say a lot of the time i give in to Sienna for an easy life or to make a sometimes chaotic situation easier to deal with. When she creeps into our bed in the middle of the night i know i should put her back in her own bed but i'm so exhausted from being up with her brother i let her stay because its easier! I know i'm not doing either of us any favours giving in all the time so i need to make a change!
I've been noticing Sienna has been getting very frustrated recently and this will result in her hitting her brother or sometimes me! So i saw an idea whilst browsing the web for a calm down jar. you can find out how to make one here.
Its basically some glitter in a jar and the point is that when she's angry or frustrated or is behaving in a way thats not acceptable she has to sit down at the kitchen table shake the jar and when all the glitter falls to the bottom she can come and talk to me about what just happened. Its trying to get her to think about her actions whilst calming herself down. I found that 'time out' or 'the naughty step' technique seems to enrage her more and the screaming and shouting just isn't nice for her or the rest of us.
The next thing i have done is printed off a reward chart. I sat down with Sienna and asked her what behaviours she thought she could improve on and i told her what mummy thought and she agreed to all the things on her chart. The next thing i did was i did a chart for myself too! Its on the same chart as Siennas and i asked Sienna to make the rules for mummy. At the end of the day i can tick if Sienna has been a good girl and Sienna can tick if mummy has been a good girl too! I thought this would help her to feel less singled out and i can lead by example. I wrote every rule she suggested so she felt like she was totally involved in the rule making too! I downloaded the free chart from here.
As a reward at the end of every day if she has more ticks then crosses she can choose a fun reward from the jar and these are just silly things like 2 bedtime stories instead of one and choose a song for a family dance off. Just simple little things that will end our day on a high and hopefully send her to bed remembering if she's a good girl her days will be more fun!
So we started this on Monday so its been more or less a week now and its really working! The calm down jar in particular is really good. I can calm down a situation without the kicking and screaming of going into time out and making her think about her actions and understanding how her actions make others feel is really working to help improve her behaviour. Its also good as i can take the jar anywhere with us and its slightly less embarrassing than having to put your child in time out in public!
Big thumbs up here, i hope it continues to work!
Have a lovely Sunday everyone, we are off to enjoy lots of cake at Honey and Rocco's birthday party!