Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Positive Reinforcement

So Little Man has been, well, a two year old I guess.  He can be the sweetest most loving thing on Earth one minute and the next you would swear he is the devil's spawn. 

Little Man tantrums don't mix well with Mommy's patience, or I should say lack of patience. 

I can tell myself things like... he is two, this is normal, yelling won't work, be positive, don't argue, it's just a stage, blah, blah, blah. 

But at that very moment when Little Man is kicking, hitting and screaming uncontrollably because he wants to wear the brown vest instead of his nice warm winter coat when it is friggen freezing outside I LOSE IT!

Most times I scream my head off and he ends up upstairs in his crib for a few minutes.  I know this is bad.  I can scream until my head pops off of my shoulders but it does NOTHING.  And the time out in bed is going to bite me in the ass one day.

But time outs in bed keep me sane!  Being a little shit on different level than me with the door shut  is much easier to handle than being a little shit 10 feet away from me!  I know, I know he is going to start associating bed with punishment.  Awesome.

So the point of this whole post is that I have turned a new leaf (on some days) and have decided to use positive reinforcement with him. 

Example -

Little Man: (really fresh voice) "BABY, DONT DO THAT! THAT IS MY TOY, NOT YOURS! NO, NO, NO!"

Pushes Baby to the floor.

Me: "Little Man, do nice boys talk like that and push?"

Little Man: "Yes"

Me: "No they don't.  And you are a nice boy so you should be nice to your brother."


Me: Deep breath.... 

"Ok, it sounds like you are tired so lets go upstairs to think or go to sleep for a while."

Little Man: "No sleep."

Me: "Ok, then do nice boys talk like that?"

Little Man: "Noooo".  Smile.

Me: "What do nice boys say to their brothers?"

Little Man: "Baby, I am gonna hug you and kiss you and cuddle with you!!!"

Me: "See!!!!  I knew you were such a good boy.  I am SO PROUD of you!!!!  YAY!!!!!!"

This takes a hell of a lot of patience on my end but it seems to be more productive than aruing with a two year old.

Now I just have to be consistent and stick with it!! 

I have to take lots of deep breaths in the moment because those 'moments' are the hardest part.  To be cool, calm and collected when someone knows how to push every button you have is pretty challenging. 

I want to be the best mom I can be.  I want my boys to grow up to be happy, healthy, smart and respectful people.  That is a lot of responsibility.  It has taken and will take A LOT of really really hard work. 

How to handle a tantrum is one of many things that I know I can improve on.  Sometimes it gets overwhelming thinking about everything that I can do to be a better mom.  I try to concentrate on one or two at a time. 

Hopefully one day I will be the epitome of the PERFECT MOM. Or something that somewhat resembles it :)


Mama said...

We started with time out in the crib and then to his room when he got a big boy was the only way to keep him in there and our pediatrician said she does the same thing and they will never fear their room its a myth.... she also taught me to say to E when he is screaming at me..."I dont want you to scream at me so I am going to walk away you let me know when you are ready to be nice" and then I walk away..... all he wants is the attention so he usually stops as soon as I walk away. Sometimes ill just say," do you want to go scream like that in your room cause you can't do it here" and then ill put him in his room he'll throw his fit and then ask to come out when he is done! Two year olds are such a pain in the ass!

The Mommy said...

Thanks Mama! I like the idea of saying you can do it in your room cause you can't do it here. I've used it several times already! Great idea!