Star Charts

We have a few things that we're trying to work with the kiddo on these days - leaving the dog alone (she's old and cranky and basically we're just hoping for some kind of detante), eating without it being a battle royal, and actually sleeping through the night (well, staying in bed through the night, if he wakes up and goes back to sleep, I don't really mind, just as long as I don't also have to wake up 2 and 3 times every night, which is our current MO). Then there's the whole just behaving, in general thing (he's 3, time outs are our friends, but I'd really like the number of time outs a day to start decreasing). And then there's the whole we're thinking of getting a new puppy thing so we'd really like him to learn to treat the dog nicer.

And so, after a little discussion betwixt Tim and myself, we decided to give the motivational chart a try. The child is really gung ho about the new puppy idea, so that's the carrot at the end of the stick. And, in general, (after two days) it seems to be really working.

We split the possible stars into 3 categories:

  • Sleeping and eating
  • Leaving the dog alone
  • No more than 2 time outs a day
At the end of the day, just before bed, we do a little review and he gets to slide the star magnets up to their proper place on the little whiteboard chart we found at Staples (he picked it out) and he's really stoked about doing so. The past two days he has gotten all 3 stars (though yesterday it was a near thing and probably only by virtue of it being bedtime that he squeaked by). Today he's lost one (he didn't eat his breakfast and he got up once last night), but that's been enough of a reminder that he's really toeing the line with the other two thus far.

I'm hopeful.

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