Behavior Modification

You know that old saying, “People don’t change”? Well that’s incorrect. Before posting those memes or quotes do yourself a favor and fact check them. Who said that? Were their words evidence based? What credentials does the person posting hold?

I testify that change is possible. The relationships you have can be mended, whether with your children, spouse, coworkers, friends, change is possible. You also have that extra tid bit added onto the saying, “people only change if they want to”… hmmm. That’s part of it but it’s only a half truth. People can change with a nudge in the right direction, encouragement, support, advice, and most of all RESPONSE!

One of my very favorite movies is War Room. If you haven’t seen it, add it to your watchlist! The story line is based on a married couple who are in the thick of it, constantly bickering, forgetting why they ever got married in the first place. An older woman comes into play to counsel the wife on how to create change in her relationship. The thing that happens here is that the counsel given to the wife was to change her own behavior. She had to change the way she acted and responded, she changed her life and worked on herself before her husbands behavior followed. And if it had played out another way she could’ve just left high and dry with her new found self. I think this is very wise information. No it doesn’t work every time, but it’s the best fighting chance for that change to happen.

Find it, watch it, live it.

If we have people in our lives that have continued behavior that effect our own lives, our response to that can change everything. I once went through a behavior modification course to work with people suffering from developmental disabilities. We were taught how to modify their behavior because most came from rough situations and displayed negative responses to situations, such as self mutilation when they felt they had done something wrong. The system for correction was categorized by cognitive function. I took this information home with me and practiced it on my own kids. It worked! It included praise, correction, consequence, and a way to respond to the situation in the future.

I feel like we too often forget our children are still learning, they need to know how to respond to future situations they are disciplined for. Instead of doing this do that! The way we respond to behavior displayed can change EVERYTHING!

It also works for behavior we want to see more often too! I remember being a young girl and having to do chores, one night I wiped the kitchen table off. I wasn’t expecting it but my mom walked by and said, ‘You did a really good job cleaning off that table Annabelle!’… you better believe that for the next week I cleaned that table every night even if it wasn’t on my chore list because I was the best dang table cleaner in the house! Praise the behavior you want to see more often. Change the way you respond to negative behavior, provide correction and consequence when need, and give an alternative for future mishaps.

The losing battle of the single mom

Restraining kids to their beds isn’t an option is it?  I need advice on how to keep my 4 year old from leaving her bed at night that also allows me to achieve a sane number of sleeping hours.  I told her that she could no longer sleep in her older sisters bed.  I want her to start sleeping in her own bed each night.  I spent an entire weekend painting and remodeling her room for her, I bought a bed, dresser, and a nightstand with a small tv.  The kid has it made, I slept in a sleeping bag my entire 2nd grade year and I didn’t have a dresser until I bought one when I was 18.  But does any of that matter? No.  She sneaks out of her room every night and crawls into her sisters bed.  I’ve tried to guard the door, I caught her twice last night but she is a night owl and always out last me!  I resulted to threats last night, I told her if I woke to find her in her sisters bed she would be punished.

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I woke up, went straight to her room, No Hailee?  Go to her sisters room look in bed, no Hailee?  Small heart attack, as I catch a glimpse of a small people on the floor.  It’s Hailee, sleeping in her sisters room on the floor.  I’m losing this fight.

Four year old grown up

Mornings are the busiest part of our day.  As I rush around reminding each kid of what they have left to do to get ready, I try to do various house chores.  I usually clean when I come home from work or school but throughout the night the kids get up and roam through the kitchen, Hailee may have an accident and change clothes, they secretly create a fort… whatever the case, there is always more work in the morning! A few days ago while we were in our morning rush my 4 year old daughter Hailee decided to change her clothes and leave them in the floor.  Fet up, I told her that she needed to pick her clothes up and walk them to the laundry hamper.  Then I continued to lecture her about how she needed to start taking care of herself because no one was going to clean up after her when she got older hahaha, I realize now how crazy I sound.  Well it turned out that Hailee took my words to heart.  Yesterday she made her own lunch, cleaned up her own messes all day and then she decided to make me dinner.

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She calls it lettuce soup.  It has celery, fruit loops, and milk in it.  She stood there with this super excited face just waiting for me to take a bite. So I did, I really did.  Oh my goodness, the things we do to make our children happy.  Needless to say, I won’t be giving Hailee anymore lectures until she learns her way around the kitchen.