The Cookie as Carrot Method of Parenting

“Today was a tough day, tomorrow will be better.”

This quote from Lily’s Purple Plastic Purse is said often in our household. As the girls get older, their behavior is starting to be less influenced by their special needs and more influenced by their personality. Which is of course lovely and heartwarming and incredibly gratifying. And also frustrating. Because it turns out that their personalities are one third sassy, one third, stubborn, and one third mischievousness.

Oh those two.
We love them madly, we just don’t want to be driven mad by them.

This had led to a huge pile of books on both of our bedside tables. These books have titles like Chaos to Calm, What to do When Time Out Doesn’t Work, Raising the Spirited Child. I must say that I much prefer mysteries. Allthough these are a lot better at putting me to sleep.

The reading had led to another kind of disagreement. But this time between me and The Hubs. We are having a hard time deciding on which style of discipline we want to use. The issue is that while we both want to commit to positive parenting, we are disagreeing on the level of positivity. At our worst moments, we have accused each other of wanting to be their best friends and (me) and treating them like they are both in military school instead. We also can’t seem to agree on the level of rambunctiousness that is expected of five (times two.)

But we do know that we have to be on the same page. So we have been turing to outside sources to find the best methods for taming the beasts (or at least getting them to stop responding to everything we say with but, I mean again they are five not fifteen!) Enter the neutral third party, the internet.

For help with positive parenting, I have been turning to the KidPointz website. In addition to feedback and support, they also have tips from child behavior experts which if nothing else, reassures me that all of this is completely normal.

Reading it has also convinced me that an essential part of our positive parenting should be some kind of reward system. I feel it will motivate them and keep us from only focusing on the negative. I don’t want them to always hear the word no from us. But what is the best way to reward? Should we do points? Stickers? Charts? And what do we reward? Expected things like saying please and thank you or only above and beyond moments like sharing a favorite toy? And what should the rewards be? Treats? Or non-material things like an extra story?

One thing I do know, is we will be utilizing the KidPointz app. You can read a full review here. My favorite part? That we can utilize it on the go. It is important to us that we be consistent with the system!

Disclosure: I was compensated for this post and it also enters me into the Next KidPointz Blogger contest.

Comments

  1. ahhhh. . .such a timely post for me today. . .trying to work and both kiddos are home. . .we are going just a little bit crazy around here. I totally agree about being ont he same page as your spouse/partner – it’s so important to EFFECTIVE discipline.

    Hillary

  2. It’s such a conundrum how to parent those adorable little buggers!

  3. We parents who want to do right by our kids can use all the help we can get. Even after raising a child to adulthood, I still have questions about discipline.

  4. We started talking about the app today and the point collecting starts tomorrow. I’m hoping it helps!

  5. I can’t imagine how tired you must get dealing with two five year olds- Jasper is enough for me to deal with.

  6. Love these ideas for positive parenting!
    I have been using the KidPointz site for a reference since I learned about it last month!

  7. KidPointz… I will have to check this out. I have to admit that I’m not much of a positive parenting type. I tend to be the “if you do not do what I say there will be consequences” type. Not because I think it is better or because I like it more, it is just my default.

    • It’s been a real struggle for us Jennifer. My default is not positive either but it’s the form that my girls respond to better. I hope that with KidPointz we can get better at it. I think a point system will take some of the emotion out of it.

  8. I didn’t have apps handy when my daughter was little, but we did really struggle with her behavior around that age and positive reinforcement really worked the best. Good luck, I know it must be a struggle with 2!

  9. Ahhh yes. I have one of those, too. I say that she “has a lot of personality.” The times two though? That makes it that much harder as your patience gets worn twice as thin, I assume. I’m with you on focusing on the positive and not just the negative – because there’s enough of that. We do tell them how we appreciate them saying please or thank you. And they know what is expected, which we reward them just as we reward ourselves for a job well done. But it never ends, does it?

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