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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Mommy-Holden Date

Well, if I am being completely honest then I will share that the last month has been pretty rough with Mister Holden. Goodness, he is a strong personality. And I've said in the past, that pendullum swings both ways. We see some great qualities in our boy. I just want to be able to guide him so these qualities (such as leadership) are used in a positive way. And I want to see his little personality blossom in a healthy way. Unfortunately, I was making mistakes without even realizing it. And eventually, I was so worn down and completely knocked off my game. To the point that I felt like I had no clue as to what I was doing in this parenting gig. Yes, this all happened in a matter of 3+ weeks. And then a few nights ago, an angel called me on the phone. Well, not really an angel, but I know God used her to speak to me. My friend Andrea called. We talked and my voice quivered as I vented and shared my frustration with how poorly things had been going. And she gently reminded me of some things that I had forgotten and that I hadn't been putting into practice daily. Giving choices, trying to stay positive in my responses, redirecting. I know this stuff, people! I promise. But like I said, this had been going on for over 3 weeks. I had been outdone by my 2-year old. And honestly, it was my own fault. Andrea also suggested making an incentive chart for him, with stickers and a prize at the end. So the next morning, he chose his sippy cup. He chose his breakfast bowl. He chose his breakfast. He chose his beverage. He chose his shirt. Each time, I gave 2 options and he happily chose 1. It was a fabulous morning! I dropped him off at MDO, went to the store for some items (including stickers for the chart) and came home and did some research on this incentive chart for my 2-year old. I did decide that our biggest struggle right now involves Pax and being kind to him. That is normally what gets him into trouble. Poor decisions revolving around his little brother. Wednesday, once he was home from school, I explained the chart. Every time he did something sweet, kind or nice for Pax, he earned a sticker. These kind actions ended up being things like: bringing Pax a toy, picking up his paci when he dropped it (he drops it constantly!), getting his sippy cup, hugs, kisses and loving words. When the boxes were filled with stickers, he and I would go and get icecream together. I realize he would have been just as satisfied with a sucker from the pantry. (I have a secret stash!) But after the last 3+ weeks, and myself being the main disciplinarian, I felt like he and I needed the time together. He needed to receive an award and something positive from me. I really had been failing in my job. So yesterday afternoon/evening went well. And today went pretty fabulous. He earned 5 stickers today. Plus the 1 he earned yesterday meant he earned his treat! Tonight after dinner mommy and Holden went out for some frozen yogurt. It was a sweet time as we sat together. Just the 2 of us. I was so proud of him and the change in his behavior over the past 24 hours. And I knew it was just the changes I had made in my parenting. I love this boy more than words could ever say. And I am grateful for my sweet friend who gently reminded me of the things I was forgetting.

Holden showing you his incentive chart. And this is what we get when we say "give daddy a big smile for the camera." He's not angry. Actually pretty excited that he is about to go and get some icecream.

Holden chose chocolate with sprinkles. And he ate every bite. And I had yellow cake with chocolate chips. Hey, after the last month, I deserved the icecream too!

That sweet smile, again. :) Goodness, I love him! How could I even help myself?!


The Skains Family said...

Love that. I may end up copying your idea. See, three years old is kicking my tail, and the two year old is trying! I started doing this bean jar awhile ago, but I kind of dropped the ball on it, mostly because the girls didn't really care about it. BUT they do love their sticker charts for potty training and I have been thinking I should do one for behavior as well. So all that to say I think I am sold! Good job Holden and mommy. This mommy thing is tough work and they ALWAYS keep us on our toes and ALWAYS make us think about what we should try next!

Daysha said...

I'm proud of you both!! You are a wonderful momma!!!!!

adrianne + will said...

A very good lesson for me to remember when we get to this "testing" age! Great work!