Thursday, February 10, 2011

Just One of Those Days

Today was just one of those days.  I have been struggling with my two girls sharing a room together since we moved into this home about 2 years ago.  The rooms are huge and we knew from the beginning it would be best for them to share the room.

The problem is that I have two completely different type of sleepers.  Arianna NEEDS her sleep. From birth she has always needed the maximum sleep suggested or even more.  Now Audrie is completely different.  She is a light sleeper and has trouble going to sleep (nap or nighttime) just like her dad.  As they say she has a hard time getting her think to stop thinking.

And we've gone through cycles of sleeping in to getting up WAY TOO early.  So I've been trying different ways to 'fix' the issue.  My recent 'fix' was to convince Audrie to come straight downstairs to mommy's room and to be very quiet and sneak out of her room so as not to wake her sister (or her brother.)  If she does exactly what I've told her (complete obedience) then she gets a reward.  Some days it's a chocolate or candy before breakfast (she LOVES treats.)  Some days she gets to play games and applications on my phone.  Other days it might be some other type of treat -- a special show or a special computer game.

This has worked perfectly for almost a week ... until today.  This morning she did not come straight downstairs, woke her sister up and they ended up playing (quietly so I could not hear them) for quite some time.  Needless to say, Arianna was grumpy earlier due to her lack of sleep.  [Luckily during her reading time she fell asleep for an hour nap when everyone in the house including 2 other children were wide awake.]

The bad thing is that Audrie was very snippy, disobedient and uncooperative for most of the day.  That resulted in numerous timeouts; not her favorite activity.  So at the end of the day right before bed, I spoke with her and reminded her what had been happening and what happened today.  We talked about the consequences for not being obedient and following directions.  She received no extra treat and instead spent a large amount of her day standing and staring into a corner.

Hopefully, tomorrow will be different.  Thankfully His mercies are new every morning.  So we start again tomorrow trying to instill obedience.  So if you are having a particular issue with your child, is there or could there be a reward in place for a proper response from your child.  I know that sometimes it might seem or feel like a bribe.  But when they are little we need to instill these traits into their being so that "when they are old they will not depart."  I don't plan on treating her forever, just until she knows that obedience is rewarding.

I've submitted this to The Christian Home - Vol. 2 over at The Legacy of Home.  Be sure to check them out and see what other articles were submitted in this weeks "blogazine."


Heather @ Marine Corps Nomads said...

Sorry you had such a rough day, but it sounds like you turned it into a teaching opportunity.

I have no problems with giving rewards. Afterall, don't adults love rewards as well? A little extra motivation never hurts. ;)

Susan said...

In a way, you're simply training her to develop a certain habit. The reward reinforces it. Much as we might like our kiddos to automatically to do the right thing, they need to be trained in virtue(just like we do), which definitely requires some positive motivation.

When I take all the kiddos to Walmart (a big deal for us), they know that I'll buy a box of granola bars and give them each one for the ride home if they are good in the store. We don't normally buy that kind of thing. Works pretty well, but, they have come to expect it.

Kelly said...

Thanks for the encouragement. It really helps to know I'm not being a detriment.

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