Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Time For Different Tactics

I think I've mentioned before that I found this incredibly effective way of encouraging Aaron to put away his own toys. Anything that he leaves behind, I put away for him, on top of the fridge and he doesn't get it back until tomorrow.

So far, it has worked great. But, like everything else in these toddler lives, I've got to find a new way of persuading.

Several weeks ago, when I went to put something on top of the fridge, he started saying "Hakuna Matata. It means no worries. I'll just play with it tomorrow".

I knew it was starting to lose its effectiveness. I tried to milk it for a few more weeks worth of toy cleanup (and other good behavior) by taking a favorite toy instead of the toys that were not picked up.

Finally, this week, there are two train sets, including the rails, on top of the fridge. And, nobody pestering me to bring them down. He even tried offering me things to put up there just so he didn't need to pick them up!

Some days I think he's on the cusp of willingly and happily picking up his toys, he does do that fairly often, but other days......

Its not only picking up toys, I was using that particular strategy for all sorts of misbehavior (tantrums, running around during meals, etc). I need something new.

I remember being chased around with a rattan cane when I was a kid. Those whacks from the thin (and frayed) cane stung like crazy but they seemed to work. All my mother needed to do was look at the cane and we'd behave. I'm not going to say "never" but I don't think I'll be using that with Aaron. We never retaliated but I think Aaron will probably prove to me that "violence breeds violence". He's hasn't acted that way yet but sometimes, I hear him say that he's going to snatch something from somebody else or smack them or something else similar.

Overall, he's still a lovable little boy - helpful, funny, curious and concerned. I know everyone needs to be naughty sometimes in order to grow up. Reasoning and preparation or expectation setting seem to work if I lay enough "groundwork". I'm just cracking my head over what to try next for those out-of-hand times.

Any ideas? What do you do? What did your parents do to you?


Brian O said...

I got caned as a kid too. I always remembered watching my dear brother "running for his life" as my mum ran after him around the bed with a cane in her hand ..... and I stood there smiling and being rather pleased with myself :) Why? Because he bullied me and my mum was punishing him for it. Hah ... childhood memories and canes .... :)

Nap Warden said...

I get a fail on this. Seems I am always picking up the toys:(

egan said...

Can you take a picture of the top of your fridge please? I would love to see this.

I got spankings and my mouth washed out with soap, but I vow not to use that punishment method. I got so angry after spankings that it wasn't good.

It's really tough to figure out what works and a process parents have to determine for themselves. Good luck.

Mike said...

Maybe he needs more storage space!

Bilbo said...

My parents believed in spanking, which they administered liberally. I didn't turn out to be a serial killer or anything, so I guess I suffered no permanent effects. As far as changing tactics goes, give up now. Children can change faster than we can. Children are like The Borg from Star Trek - they adapt to whatever weapons you use after just one or two shots. Resistance is futile.

kelly said...

I am facing the same problem that you are facing now...and you should feel lucky that this tactic can be used on Aaron for sooooo longgggg....I have used it the same tactic on my daughter too...but it was only last for maybe...5 days? then she 'agreed' to keep away the toys...

NomadicExpat said...

My sis's friend told her daughter that she needed to put away her toys or else, they would end up locked up in the basement of the house. During one testy moment, daughter decided to test out the power play between her and mom. She voluntarily dumped all her toys into the basement and refused to play or have anything to do with them for the next six months.

How about alternating between rewards and taking away his fav toy from him? Or, do what my mom actually did -- threw them in the garbage? :-D