Tuesday, May 17, 2011

eyes wide open...

I have to share some conversations that have been happening around our house lately...


After work, I picked the girls up from daycare and we headed home. Here is the conversation that took place in the back seat of my car:

Ellie: No, Sissy don't do that!
Mom: Ellie, What is Sissy doing?
Ellie: Picking her nose.
Lola: Mommy, snot on my finger.
Ellie: Wipe in on your shirt
Lola: No, wipe it on my pants!

Only a mom could enjoy an exchange such as this.

When we got home I asked the girls if they would like a snack. Here is how the conversation went:

Mom: Girls would you like a banana or a bagel and cream cheese for snack?
Lola: Bagel and cheese please!
Ellie: No bagel mommy, I want Chocolate!

While playing Ellie got a very tiny "owie" this is how the conversation went:

Ellie: I have a booboo!
Dad: Do you want me to kiss it?
Ellie: No!
Dad: Why?
Ellie: Too many whiskers!
Ellie: Mommy you kiss it, daddy have whiskers!

I guess in a-round-about way Ellie is telling daddy he needs a clean shave.

On a different note: The Mezzadri Twins are officially in TESTING MODE! (aka Terrible Twos, but I hate that expression because they are not terrible they are just trying to figure out their limits) Tony and I laid awake last night strategize on how we are going to tackle this new hurdle in parenting. Having two going through this stage at the same time has its advantages and disadvantages. They are definitely learning both good and bad habit from each other. The girls new saying is "I can't". When asked to do something they do not want to do "I can't" is there response about 80 percent of the time, and throwing themselves on the floor in their response the other 20 percent of the time. As an Education Specialist, I consider myself pretty well versed in behavior management and I have been pretty successful in shaping behaviors among students ages 5 to 10, so how come it is so difficult to apply those same strategies at home with two two-year olds? Tony and I decided to stick with the basic principals that work and those are:

Consistancy
Follow Through
Positive Reinforcement
Lots of Praise
Time-outs
Ignorning the undesired behavior, and not the child.
Communicate and Model Expectations, while holding the child accountable to them
Validate and respect the child feelings


Consistency is one of the hardest principals to apply since toddlerhood is ever changing. But being consistent with expectations, rewards, and consequences has helped us form an expectation of discipline and appropriate behavior in the house hold. Of course this process is fatiguing at first, but I know it will pay off - hopefully sooner than later.

At work, when consulting with teachers and writing behavior support plans, I preach positive reinforcement/praise and it's effectiveness. This principal works to your advantage when you have twins. If we see one of the girls doing an undesired behavior, Tony and I can praise the other child for doing the opposite desired behavior (example eating their veggies and not eating their veggies). One child sees their sister getting attention for the positive behavior and in theory learns that the positive behavior is how they get the attention- Not by doing the undesired behavior and getting negative attention, which is still attention (rewarding) in their eyes.

Follow through is tough but essential... I just read a quote "If you tell your child you will cancel the family vacation if they don't do their home work, you better plan on staying home." The child will not respect your directions if they know the consequences will never come to fruition.

Lastly the child must feel validated and respected. Validate the child's feeling of anger, frustration, and independence, but still keep them accountable for their behavior with the established consequences.

This past week Tony and I have had to be on our toes. One minute we are laughing and playing with our little girls while the next minute we are staring at each other saying with our eyes "What?, Where did this come from from?, and What do we do now? I write this post only so when the TESTING continues I will have a place to go to remind myself of the strategies and principals that are fool proof. Our ultimate goal is to teach our girls to be respectful, caring, confident secure women who feel loved and respected, all the while providing them with a safe environment to learn, explore, and make mistakes -learning those much needed life lesson. Once again our journey in parent hood is taking us on a new path. We are ready for the challenges and rewards this path will grant us. Each and every day we learn more about what our girls are made of and it is exciting!!! Lola and Ellie, like I said on your two-year old birthday post, Thank you for being my teacher! I still have a lot to learn!

2 comments:

  1. Is it weird if I put this post on a word doc and keep it for reference?! Seriously awesome advice! We are entering a new stage with Declan too. They certainly keep us on our toes, these adorable 2 year olds! Love the conversations - so cute!

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  2. Hi Sunshine this is aso awesome with the girls and their conversations. that is a major thing in parenting being consistant. It is had but the rewards pay off big time. I love you so much and give my presious angels hugs and kisses from me.
    grandma and mom

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