Friday, November 6, 2009

Making Memories and Charting Progress

So, this has been my focus for this past week and it paid off in Caleb's favor when he officially received his 5 green check marks on his progress chart. This means, I win/won and so does Caleb who gets to pick a special treat from my box of treasures.

Let us rewind a bit...Caleb, my sweet 5 year old is a loving and sensitive young man who has grown into loving his sister while figuring out that life doesn't always go the way we planned. I am speaking about things such as sharing toys, "what's for dinner", bedtime, boredom, and school time...

As you can imagine, all of these things as a 5 year old seem like a mountain if it doesn't go as planned in your little mind.. sharing toys = keep the awesome toys for yourself, share McDonald's Happy Meal ones with Ella, eat dessert and sprite for dinner, 15 songs and a dance before bed does not = happy mama, Have you ever heard of this? " I don't have anything to do!!" I am sooooooooooo bored!!, and of course the.. I DON'T WANT TO GO TO SCHOOL.. it's almost like it was ingrained in some wrinkle on his brain, but I figured out a solution and I am so excited about it, I wanted to share..

What Are You Focused On? Right?? It's as easy as that.. even with a 5 year old.. and one way to get a 5 year old to focus you ask?? CHARTS! I have seen this technique on several nanny shows, in the love and logic series and one time attempted a make shift idea, that obviously fell apart.. This time I pulled out all the stops and by gosh, it works like a little charm.

It goes something like this: Green= Great Job/Red=Try Again Tomorrow

One check mark per day doled out just before bed. We talk through together the events of the day and name all the great things that Caleb did to deserve a Green, we also name one thing that he could work on just a little bit and discuss why..

This allows him to learn to grow and creates an incentive for more "Greens" than "Reds".

Caleb's main goals are set on Saturday night and are things like.. trying all new foods that mom cooks and eating all of the ones he enjoys. If he doesn't like it, he does not have to eat it, and will be excused from dinner, but no snacks..

He shares one toy with Ella and when Ella is done playing with that toy, he can take it back. He does not have to share his snow globes or his Mr. Bear.

When he feels bored, he will ask me if there is something he can do, and we can usually figure something out and he doesn't whine.

In the morning, this is my favorite now. He wakes up and gets his backpack ready and dresses himself. I make him cereal and he watches cartoons until we leave.

It is wonderful. Caleb is happy, Momma is happy.. Tonight the treasure he chose for the week, a Double Decker yellow and red glow in the dark bracelet! ( I picked up lots of Halloween flavored treasures as they were on the discount aisle.. :)

It's been a GREAT DAY!!


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