On Saturday I took Makenna to the park for a bit and she got to ride her tricycle. She’s definitely getting the hang of it more. Now if she could just figure out the pedaling while steering part, but she’s getting there.
Later, I went to help my mom pick out a new computer. After helping her, I turned to her for help on how to better handle Makenna. She informed me of something I already knew but didn’t fully realize how it truly impacted the behavior we’re now getting from Makenna, and that’s – we give her too many chances.
She says we have to tell her one time what’s appropriate or not appropriate behavior and then follow-up immediately with consequences. Not after the count of three, not after chance after chance, but immediately.
She said one of us should’ve taken her out immediately from Sam’s Club yesterday and let her fight it out in the car seat and then when she calmed down, we could’ve taken her back in and if she acted up again, take her back out to the car and repeat this process until she learned that what she wasn’t doing was going to pass for acceptable behavior.
I went home with this information and told Chris. We put this into practice later at night when we went to the Kirkwood Fair Days. We told her before getting out of the car that in no uncertain terms she was to listen to us, and stay with us. No yelling, talking back, hitting or other bad behaviors. She followed it to a tee. But then again, she was getting to do things that she really wanted – ride on carnival rides.
I went up on the Ferris wheel with her and boy was that nerve wracking! I haven’t been on one of those in a very long time. As we were going up, I had my arm around Makenna and at one point she said, ‘oh mom, you’re hurting me!” I guess I was squeezing a bit too tight. I was laughing with nervous laughter to show her how fun it was – and she was having a blast. She really enjoyed it.
I was nervous because even though there was a line for the ride, the guy was only letting two sets of seats be filled at a time – on opposite ends. Makes you wonder if it was unsafe for more? I was telling myself that it was because he had to count how many times someone went around to be fair and he could only keep track of two sets of people.
She also enjoyed a roller-coaster for little kids. She got right on, in the front and screamed with joy the whole time. Since she was the only one on it and no one else was in line, she got to stay on that for a longer time. Plus the big grin she kept giving the operator of the roller coaster probably helped.
Sunday is when I really got to put the new discipline into action. I told her ahead of time that during the first hour of church that I expected her to talk by whispering and to be well-behaved. The whispering was the hard part. When she broke the first infraction, I reminded her one time and then when she did it again, I took her out to a separate room and made her sit and told her she needs to be quiet. In this room I took her to, she could yell all she wanted – and boy did she – right at me.
“You don’t talk to me that way!” and “I’ll tell your mother and grandmother on you.” Those were just a couple of the things I heard her yell at me. The first one is understandable but the last comment, I have no idea how she came up with that one. I can only recall once threatening to tell her father on her – ever.
She went back in and came back out a total of three times but by the third time she had gotten it and was good for the remaining 5-10 minutes. But the real charm was that I wasn’t so exasperated and frustrated and a point of wanting to throttle her. That was the true trick. I could just calmly pick her up, take her out, have her do the time and go back in and still be calm, cool, and collected. Plus not feeling guilt-ridden was the best bonus.
On the way home from church she was singing/yelling a song as we sometimes do for fun. She yelled it so loud I said, “Me oh my!” She responded with, “who’s Oh My?” I laughed at that.
This past Monday (Aug 15th) I decided to take her to the park again and let her ride her bike around some more. She did well and was able to go longer without stopping; still working on perfecting the steering but still showing signs of improvement. We didn’t run into too many people or get into the paths of other people too many times.
Plus, she had a really good day at pre-school and at home so my spirits and mood was on a definite up.
Then on Tuesday we had another really good day at home and pre-school and after I picked her up, we had to meet “sister Smith” at the church to go over party plans. I told this to Makenna as we were driving there and she said, “Who’s mister Smith?” I corrected her and then when we got to the church parking lot and she saw no one else was there but us she said, “Where’s Joseph Smith?” This had me laughing and she said, “What’s so funny?” Which made me laugh even more.
While waiting for the elusive “Joseph” I mean sister Smith, I let her ride her bike around the parking lot. She actually wanted it up on the sidewalk area and she was able to really get the turning down some more.
After meeting with Sister Smith, we were getting ready to go and she grabbed my cell phone to call daddy. On the phone I overheard her say, as she was pretending to talk to him, “What? You can smell me?” I don’t know why this came out but I again laughed and she immediately asked, “What’s so funny?” I just hugged her and said, “You—you’re too cute and funny some times.” To which she replied, “No I’m not.”
Well, I’m not under the false impression that this disciplining was going to be easy – as I’ve already slipped up a small bit and I’ve had to use it three times yesterday morning in just getting ready for the day but I can see how if I do use it, it’s better for me as I stay calmer and for her as I stay calmer and it doesn’t get out of hand.
It’s hard not to keep giving chances to improve but I have to recognize she’s learning boundaries by pushing them, along with all my buttons!~