Friday, June 3, 2011

Mario Party is bringing back my sanity

Dealing with 3 year old demands, his no to many things, and general resistance to discipline have really sent me packing. I have been searching for something to get his attention and persuade him to be kind, stop yelling and stopping hitting an kicking things. When discipline lasts for more than 3/4ths of the day you know something has definitely broken down. I don't like discipline and definitely not the kind that makes us all grumpy all day long.

So...... how to help Hyrum stay out of timeout. My first attempt at making Mario Party DS (his new birthday game) the prize for no timeouts failed miserably. There were not enough chances for success. This failed attempt went as follows. Mommy says, "Hyrum if you do not get anymore timeouts until _____ time of day then you can play some Mario Party DS." Hyrum was really excited and really wanted to play, so it was not the motivation that failed. It was the fact that he only had one chance to succeed. Within 15 minutes he was in timeout and had lost the opportunity to play the DS and was even more miserable about loosing the prize than being in timeout. But mommy doesn't lie, so there was no going back on the deal, and all the build up of the deal had deflated in 15 minutes, no more chance no more motivation.

I thought and prayed about it some more feeling that there had to be another way. I came up with a DS chart with 5 spaces for Xs. We drew a picture of the DS and I explained that every time he earned an X he would be closer to getting time on the DS with mommy. He has a chance every hour to get an X. If he doesn't go to timeout once in a whole hour then he gets to draw the X (plan B would be to shorten the time for each X if we could not achieve success). It took a few explanations of what he needed to do and what he would get for him to begin to understand and get excited about it.

So, our first afternoon (yesterday), I felt like was a success. Hyrum earned two Xs which means we had two beautiful hours without timeouts and we were all happier too. I am perfectly willing to start the hour time all over after a timeout has happened, there just needs to be an hour before the next one. I remind him if he is starting to act up what will happen if he gets a timeout and it helps him remember often why he is going to choose to listen or be kind to me. Today he earned two more Xs, therefore with any luck he will earn the other one tomorrow and we will play the Mario Party DS game together for 10 minutes. Having some hours without timeouts has been so wonderful to me and sanity and the spirit are returning to our home. I am so grateful for Heavenly Father's help.

Written by Joy

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