Friday, February 1, 2013

Oh happy day! Using Positive Reinforcement

We had an awesome morning today after a long talk last night and again this morning about being kind to each other, using nice words, and using manners.


I'm trying to catch them being good and being more vocal with praise and surprise them with a few treats now and then to show my appreciation.

 Ian offered to help Evan get his breakfast out and they said please and thank you a lot.  Ian then offered to help me make blueberry muffins for the company we were having over today.  They were so excited to see their cousins and kept counting down the minutes (starting at 2 hours!). 
       
They floated from project to project most of the morning.  Ian played Lego's in his room while Alec and Evan played with animals in the playroom.  Then, Alec played in his room working on a few new Lego sets.  I made sure to praise them all and focus on using positive reinforcement to encourage their behavior to continue.


Ian and Evan played a game called Topple.  It was pretty cold and Ian was trying to convince Evan to play outside with him, even offering him rewards but Evan wasn't budging.


We had several mishaps while our company was here resulting in a lot of yelling, chasing, crying, and name calling and nastiness.  I think that's just the hazard of having 5 boys cooped up in one house!  We redirected them as often as possible and had moments where all 5 kids were playing nicely and quietly.  Ian worked on his snap circuits and the boys all had shields, swords and weapons at one point playing some sort of spy/ samurai game.  Ian ventured outside with his older cousin and they threw rocks on the ice trying to break it up and crack it.    All in all it ended up being a pretty good afternoon. 

Once our company headed home, the boys ended up all sitting at our table playing with all of Alec's animals and zoo sets.  I had to set the timer so they could all take turns with each zoo, but I loved helping them find a solution that led to zero fighting!  They each got a 20 minute segment at each of the zoos. 


It was great and I was quick to run in and praise them and help with any disputes.  I pointed out to them how much happier I was at the end of today versus yesterday and asked them if they didn't feel better today too.  I reminded them that it's always nicer to get along rather than bicker and yell because in the end they all have more fun that way.  Hopefully, this will continue.

 We'll be enjoying a fun family movie night tonight along with the added treat of popcorn.

 I'm working on embracing each day as it comes and being thankful for all that we have as a family.  I want to focus on the positives and not the negatives about our daily lives and my children. 

Lately, I feel like I've been so focused on all fighting and discontent that I'm missing or not noticing those moments they really are playing and getting along. 

A little positive reinforcement goes a long way as evidenced by my exaggerated clapping and cheering this morning when they started getting along and treating each other so kindly.  

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