Saturday, March 13, 2010

Like a script from The Twilight Zone, what happened to my child?

The last couple weeks Asa went from being my mild mannered child to- well, there's no polite way to say it. It was horrible and stressful for everyone. He was yelling and telling us "NO!" He was being completely defiant and doing things he clearly new he shouldn't(even tore up the border wall paper in his room, 3 different times- I cried. LOL) Not only was he having tantrums, he was freaking out at nap time and he had total potty regression. Until this point he was just wearing pull-ups at night and very rarely had any accidents, so we were so frustrated with him.

  • Sunday we re-evaluated how we discipline.
  • Monday Asa and I made a new reward/discipline chart.
  • Tuesday there were many timeouts as we got used to this new system and he saw the "naughty" progression, which he clearly didn't like. But he did like getting pee stickers for using the potty.
  • Wednesday it all seemed to click and he even took it upon himself to mark a "good boy" square...hahaha. He reached his first pee goal square and was rewarded with a trip to the park! That night he had his first self initiated poo in the potty in almost two weeks! Down to 3 time outs.
  • Thursday his good boy squares jumped into the lead. More pee success with one small leak in his pants that he stopped and then finished on the potty. Had his second self initiated potty poo and only ONE time out!
  • Friday, Asa was once again down to one time out just before bedtime and was clearly tired. As for the potty- ZERO accidents in his pants! And lastly, his tantrums and "no's" are few and far between. The only time they seem to surface is right before nap or bedtime and they don't last but 30 seconds or so.

A quick shot of the chart we made. This was taken on Wednesday about 20min after telling him that his good and bad columns were tied and he needed some more goods to pull into the lead. I walked by and saw this. I cracked up, he's no dummy!

When he reaches the "Yay" column he gets a special treat. If his good column reaches the end before the bad then he will get a prize. When he is naughty we turn the happy faces over to sad faces. He does NOT like the sad faces and will turn them back when I am not looking...haha.

So there you have it, in five days my child returned to his sweet self. He did not like the idea of being a bad boy, and I personally believe he is very sensitive to stress. The more he acted up the more frustrated I became. I'll admit I was yelling more and started to back away from him a bit emotionally and I believe he was picking up on it. It was a never ending cycle. I'm not a perfect parent by far and didn't know how to handle this extreme behavior change in him. We still don't know why it progressed so quickly- within a few days span. At the same time his vocabulary exploded and he started speaking in full sentences. Of course that only made it easier for him to express his displeasure in us. Haha. It was like everything was happening with him at once and it was scary and overwhelming to see this change in him.

We calmed down and took a step back. I reassured him that he was a good boy who sometimes did bad things, and that's ok. That seemed to help. I kept my cool, and tried my best not to get angry with him or yell -much. He still fights time out's but I just leave him be and after a few minutes he will get on the time out mat by himself and get it over with.

So there ya have it. Sanity and calm is back in the Burleson house. - For now... Insert Twilight Zone music here.


Miss M! said...

I'm impressed that it worked that fast, and also that he even was able to catch on to it to that degree at his age. I've seriously seen twice as old not "get" it. Good for Asa and his mudder.

Susanne P. said...

so glad it worked! you are now mother of the year. LOL the improvements are awesome. go asa!