I just have to rave about my three favorite parenting books currently. I am a parenting book junkie. I love to read them and see what they have to offer. Each of these books has helped me out a TON in the last few weeks!:
1. "The No-Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers and Preschoolers." This book and it's techniques have helped Marissa a TON!! We are finally moving in the right direction without tons of tears and crying that wakes up the other two kids. My Favorite technique/tips: Put your kids to bed earlier and have a very consisitent bed-time routine. Thanks to this tip our kids go to bed at 7:30pm every night and are asleep usually within 5-10 minutes.
2. "Love and Logic Magic for the Early Years." I love this series because it helps promote kids who think for themselves. It stops all the threats, multiple warnings, and wishy-washyness in my parenting. My Favorite technique/tips: Set the Limit once. After the limit has been set once, if it is broken again you simply apply a logical consequence. No more warnings and lectures. For example my kids have been instructed that they may not leave the table without permission at meal time. If they leave without being excused meal time is over. How sad. The "Uh-oh" song. When Marissa acts up and gets out of control I simply pick her up and sing "Uh-oh, looks like some roomtime" and deposit her in my room until she's calmed down and is ready to act sweet again. She's gettting to the point that if I just say "Uh-oh" she stops what she's doing immediately. Energy Drain. Marissa likes to spit a lot...it's her new bad habit. When she spits, or when any of the kids does something that an energy drain will fit, I have an "Energy Drain." All my energy goes away and I can't do anything for them anymore and they have to put my energy back by doing MY chores.
3. "On Becoming Childwise." This book, I felt, goes hand in hand with the "Love and Logic" theory for the most part. I loved the analogy about monkeys. In this book they liken responsibilities to monkeys. When you kids are born all their monkeys are on your back because they are helpless. As they age and mature your goal is to hand the monkeys over to your child and make THEM carry their own monkeys. My Favorite technique/tip: Reflective Sit Time. This is mainly for Audrey and it works great for her. Instead of getting mad at her when she does something naughty, she is sent to a chair to have some "Sit time." While there she has to think about WHAT she did, WHY it was bad, WHO it hurt, and HOW she's going to make it better. When she can successfully tell me the answer to those questions she is allowed to get up and make it better. It's nice to just tell her, "Audrey, I need you to sit here and think about what you did/how you're acting. I'll be back to talk to you in a few minutes," instead of lecturing her all the time about things she KNOWS are wrong. Structure your child's day (This tip is actually from the Childwise prequel Preschoolwise.) This series is really into putting structure and routine into your child's day. I have found that since I introduced a bit more structure to their days, they get into less trouble and are watching less TV voluntarily!! I plan 5 activities for the kids during the day. One of those activities is an "alone time" activity where they play by themselves with a specific toy, one of the activities is some one on one time with mom, and the rest are group activities and such. It's hard for me to have to think about what the kids are going to be doing each day, but it's worth it in the long run since I have to discipline less.
Well, that's my soap box. Hope you all lasted through it. Maybe my soap box even inspired some of you!!!
10 months ago