Being a mom is one of the most rewarding jobs there is, but it’s those ‘ah-ha’ moments that are the currency of the adventure.
I am one of those people who will read every article, blog and book out there on parenting, but I find that true learning comes from putting what you read in to practice. Case in point: I recently discovered an awesome resource to help me put that knowledge in to action with the Parenting Tools provided by Boys Town Parenting. These tools are an assortment of free downloadable content to help make parenting life easier.
With two kids under the age of four, it is important for me to guide them in the direction of good behavior early on. A big struggle in our house is the whining. It’s always a fight over who gets to wear the Cinderella dress and who gets to be Elsa. Another big issue is the daily battle of getting dressed in the morning and following a structured bedtime routine at night. We all have our challenges, big or small.
Recently I tested one of the Parenting Tools called ‘Building Blocks for Better Behavior.’ This is a printable worksheet where each time your child completes a “good behavior,” you allow them to color in one of the building blocks. Once an entire row of blocks has been colored in, you reward your child with a prize. In our case, M&Ms & stickers are like gold!
I tried it out for a week, and it was amazing to see the change in behavior and excitement I got from my four-year-old. Another major improvement was getting dressed in the morning. By the third day, I didn’t even need to remind her. She was so proud of herself and couldn’t wait to hear me say, “You get to color another block!” It became a game for her, and we were both winning!
From the parenting side, the biggest learning experience gained by using this tool was clear communication. I set the expectation of the preferred behavior from the start and communicated it in a way she could understand. It was fun, interactive and consistent. I strongly suggest using this tool and others with your young ones.