Our toddler has hit a bit of a difficult phase at the minute. He's not really bad, but he has lots of little things he does which we would like to stop. I try to make consequences fit his actions - eg if he throws a toy I take that toy away. But it seems to have evolved into a universal punishment - if he kicks the table at dinnertime, or keeps getting out of bed at night, he loses a toy. This all seems very negative to me, and often not particularly logical and I was thinking about using some kind of reward chart for good behaviour. Has anyone used one at this age with success? I have looked some up online, but they all seem to say to use from age 3. I think he would get it, but I'm just not quite sure. If you have used one, how did you do it? Thanks in advance x
What about making the consequences more logical, e.g messing about at dinner, I would take the food away after a warning. I find that focusses my daughters' mind a bit. Good behaviour brings it own rewards, which I think is a v important lesson to learn.
I'm thinking of introducing a star chart for Tom now at 3yrs 3 months but I don't think it would have worked at 2.5. He just wouldn't have understood waiting for a reward or working towards one at that age. Immediate consequences like taking dinner away for throwing food etc is much more effective, just remember to give him a warning first so it gives him chance to change the behaviour first.
Also 2.5 is a very defiant age - its also worth ignoring some of the low level behaviour and focus on positive reinforcement instead as a lot of the behaviour is just for the sake of being oppositional.
We sometimes use a pen tick on the hand. I read it in happiest toddler on the block. When he shows hood behaviour eg tidies his toys when i ask and without a fuss then I put a little tick on his hand. Or if he let's me get him dressed without kicking off, those sorts of things. He loves it as it goes with him and he can show it to people. When his dad gets home he says what did you get those ticks for and he remembers his good behaviour which encourages him to do it again.
Hmm, perhaps just giving him a sticker to put on himself would work when he's been really good. He loves stickers, and I think he'd enjoy telling people what he got them for. Bit worried ticks on his hand would encourage him to write on himself!
I already do ignore a lot of stuff, although hubby finds it really hard to do as he sees it as allowing him to get away with things. But there's a lot I can't, for example he deliberately wobbles his chair at mealtimes or pushes himself backwards with his foot, so he's likely to end up tipping the chair over and hurt himself. I don't really like the idea of taking away his food - I have had food issues all my life and I believe it's related to my parents using food (sweets particularly) as rewards and signs of affection so I try very hard to keep food as food, never as reward or punishment. So maybe if he gets a sticker at the end of his meal if he gets through it without doing anything he shouldn't that would help.
I've been using this chart with Belle. OH laminated it at work. We have been using it for a couple of weeks to help with a problem we had with wee dribbles in pants. She knows what to do and is fine with poos, but was just doing a little dribble of wee. It was soooo infuriating as she knew what she was doing. So with the chart, she gets to put a sticker on a smiley face each time she has dry pants when she goes to the toilet. If she gets 4 or more in a day, she gets a treat at the end of the day, usually a chocolate coin or something. It seems to be working, as I have not been having to wash pants so often!!
Today I have been giving Hayden stickers for good behaviour - so far he has got one for doing everything I asked without running off (another issue we've been having) when he was getting washed and dressed, and another for being good in the trolley while we shopped, and sitting nicely on his big boy chair at lunch. He didn't get one at breakfast because he was pushing his chair back. I explained it to him, and will remind him at teatime to see if it stops him from doing it then so he can get another. Fingers crossed!
DS is 3 in May and we've been using a sticker chart for the last month or so. He was getting really bad for pushing DD over and pulling the cat's tail. I made it simple that when he was nice to the cat or nice to DD he would get a sticker if he wasn't nice he didn't get a sticker. I also did a lot of ignoring behaviour too as I think a lot of it was for attention.
It has worked out really well for us, he didn't pick it up straight away but after a little while he got the gist and now it's very rare that he actually looks for a sticker he just pats the cat and says 'patting the cat gently'. He rarely pushes DD either but we still make a point of giving him a sticker when he's extra nice. I didn't make it to OTT with the chart, it was basically one I bought from Tesco and he would stick the sticker wherever he wanted, I didn't bother with days of the week or waiting until the end of the day, I think it needs to be there and then at this age. xx
I agree it needs to be an immediate reward, which is why in the end we decided on just giving him a sticker and letting him stick it on himself. That way he also gets to show other people and tell them why he got them, and then he gets extra praise for being good. Not really sure yet how well he understands, although this morning at breakfast he was very well behaved and asked for a sticker! He really enjoyed showing daddy his stickers last night, too.
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