Good Girl Marks

17 02 2007

Eliana has become very mature over the last couple of weeks.  Two weeks ago, both my wife and I came down with some type of cold, and we were both having a hard time just to play with the kids and get everything else done that needed to be done. Eliana was very helpful during this time by listening to our requests, and not pushing our limits while we were sick. She helped with the little things she could help with, and thing went well.  She is still almost 3, so there were a couple of tense moments.  However, the whole time I was sick, I just kept thinking “We have the most awesome kids in the world”.

Now that Eliana is able to comprehend the whole idea of Good Girl vs. Bad Girl, and the consequences that come with each, I have decided to follow a slightly modified reqeard strategy.  I want Eliana to know that I keep track of how often she is a Good Girl, as opposed to a Bad Girl.  So, to do this in an easy to see way, I simply started a little chart on a white board with her name, and two sections: Good and Bad.  When I started this today, she seemed to pick up on it immediately.  I guess it helped that I told her that if she got enough good girl marks, she would get a prize.  What the prize is, I haven’t figured out yet.  I’m not sure if ice cream will cut it, but that’ll be the first try.  If not, I’ll have to start getting a little more creative.  But so far, it has done the job it was meant to do: remind her that we are keeping track of when she is good or bad.  All I’ve had to do is remind her that the actions she is taking will get her a bad girl mark, and she stops her tantrum.  Sometimes I can see that she really wants to be a good girl, so I give her the opportunity by giving her an option.  For example, she has always asked me to help her go to the bathroom.  I told her that she can get a good girl mark if she can go by herself, without my help.  Today, she chose to do just that. 

I’ve seen this technique on the various nanny and parenting shows, and was curious to see if it would work.  So far, it does, but like any power, you must use it wisely. Over use it, and it will lose its meaning. If you don’t use it enough, then it will also lose its effectiveness.  And, if you don’t have some reward, then you will also lose your child’s trust.  I aim never to lose her trust.

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