Saturday, January 29, 2011

project 365 photo: 01.29.2011

It was a very proud day. After three weeks of trying, Cassidy filled every spot on her responsibility chart this week & got her long awaited prize: fairy wings! Tinkerbell herself dropped them off.

Cassidy's behavior has improved lately. A few months ago, right around her third birthday we had a really hard couple weeks. Nothing seemed to make sense with her behavior, nothing seemed to prevent meltdowns & nothing seemed to calm her down. We talked to her pediatrician & another doctor about what was going on because I know I am not a perfect parent. Far from it.

They told us this about our child: she is beautiful, bright & spirited. In their professional opinions Cassidy is a very spirited little girl who has tons of opinions & feels things very keenly. There is a disparity between where she is intellectually/developmentally & where she is emotionally/developmentally & that she hasn't learned the skills to handle her emotions.

It was good to hear, during the conversation that we are doing a lot of the right things such as teaching about feelings, not pushing "timeout" but instead talking about calming down time & calming her body, giving limited choices, letting her interact with more kids now (like preschool & Little Gym), etc. She did caution about trying to rationalize/reason with Cassidy which was a good reminder, since it ends in a power struggle when we engage her. A final suggestion was to begin using concrete, positive behavior reinforcement, something I had considered but thought she might be too young to understand. And, as evidenced by the grins above, it's working.

I know that this isn't rocket science & we aren't the first parents to have a very energetic, strong willed, imaginative child, but it's the first time we have done this. Most days we get through without both of us crying; some days we get through the day without either of us crying. Each day is a new adventure but, thankfully, we're in a better place today than we were three months ago. 


Ratz said...

This is just beautiful... Jackie keep holding on, you are doing a brilliant job... these two girls are the happiest little kids I have come across and they cannot be this unless their parents are doing good with them... All the best... and hugs.

Molly ;) said...

I want to know more about not pushing timeouts and giving her time to calm her body! Patrick is 3 (almost 4) and this is an issue we have, too. When he is good, he is very, very good...but when he is bad...well, you know the rhyme, right?
The kid is a screamer. When he gets mad, he screams. Putting him in timeout results in more some good calming techniques might be the right answer!

Bella's World said...

Hi there I saw you visited my blog! Thanks! Also this is a cute idea! I guess I am doing this kinda sorta too! I am doing a year of letters though....but!!!! there are pictures attached to the letter :)

I enjoyed reading your blog!

lumpsonablog said...

Cute idea! I'm sure she'll love reading the letters years from now & learning all about her life when she was tiny & about her momma!

lumpsonablog said...

Molly, it started with the book "Calm Down Time" that I found at B&N ( When we talked to the pedi she told us that it was a worthwhile idea since, time out to "think about your actions" really isn't all the helpful for little ones who just don't process cause & effect all that...effectively. Instead give a safe place to calm their body (ideas to do so are discussed in the book) & when they're calm, then talk about the inappropriate behavior & other ways or choices that could be made in that situation the next time it happens.

It's makes a lot of sense, because, honestly when anyone - adults or kids - is riled up & angered, frustrated, etc it's somewhat pointless to engage in a productive conversation. And it teaches coping skills that, eventually, the child can use to prevent the meltdown instead.

Hope that makes some sense!

lumpsonablog said...

Thanks. We try. Each day is something new & we just keep trying different options until something takes!