My daughter is 4.7, and we are constantly working on behaviors and habits. I would love suggestions for this problem, which we are addressing as a habit of kindness: she is quite loud, demanding - occasionally forgetting her pleases and thank yous, sometimes has a tone, repeats herself a lot, interupts, and has begun inserting words like silly inapropriately and - horror- has discovered the "stupid" word, using to describe people and things. I assume kindness, because the root is a heart problem, yes? This could also be courtesy. We have in place an "interupt rule" (yes, Growing Kids Gods Way, and BabyWise), we "turn down the volume," etc, but my goodness what a barrage of ickiness! I appreciate any practical suggestions. We have been working on this one for about a month. Prior was kindness with our hands, which took a while. Oh my. I feel like there is sooooo much, which we do not ignore, but I want to really focus on something. Growing up is hard!
help help help with habits for a 4 year old(4 posts) (4 voices)
Four year olds are testing their limits. I liken it to the teenage years when they are testing their limits and asserting their independance. It also sounds like she is a very spiritrd child. You might not think so now but when she is a young adult you will be blessed with a child who is firm in what she believes in and wont let anyone or anything deter her! For now you are doing great. Try a simple reward system and PRAISE her with words and hugs when you see her behaving appropriately or saying something kind. Praise goes a long way even with little ones :)
I try to have consequences be very natural. If you interupt you stand next to me with your hand over your mouth for a time. If you are getting too wild or "touchy" you fold your hands in your lap for a time. "Stupid" is a four letter word in our house and you get vinegar (we dip a spoon in the jug so it is just coated and hold it in their mouth while we explain the infraction and the reason for the vinegar and how they will get it again if I hear it). If they are getting sassy I can put the vinegar bottle on the counter and walk away and they know they are close to crossing the line. A few books I really liked were Creative Correction by Lisa Welchel and Child Training Tips by Reb Bradley. Creative Correction is big on the consequence fitting the behavior (you rock back in your chair, you stand at the table for supper). As far as focussing on a habit, if you feel kindness is the root issue, I would pick Bible stories to illustrate kind/unkind people and praise instances when she uses kindness without being asked and the feelings of those she is being unkind to. You are doing a great job to continue being on top of things b/c it is hard and tiring and it would be easier to look the other way so way to be a great mom! God bless!
I also do the hand over the mouth for interrupting and it only took a couple of times for my four year old to get the hang of that one! We remind them often of the Golden Rule which seems to help and I purchased the "If-Then" and the Blessings charts from Doorposts. They have a consequence for bad behavior (it saves me yelling at them about it) and they get a reward for good behavior. It explains it more and better at: http://www.doorposts.com/details.aspx?id=91
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