Sunday, December 2, 2012

Fit Throwing Be Gone ... Part Five (the fit chart)

It has been almost a month since my last fit throwing post ... I want to report on this and then do a summarization in a separate post. So briefly I will remind you what I have been working on ... over the past two months E and I have been on a quest to discover the best way to handle fits ... She was fully aware that we were doing this experiment ... she was told every week what we would be doing ... This past month we have been doing what we call a "fit chart" ... The reason it has taken so long to finish this final experiment is because of multiple reasons ... first ... the last one went of for two weeks ... whoops ... and second ... I wanted to wait until she got a gift before I posted again so I could understand how E would react after she actually got the gift.

Now ... First we started by drawing a fit chart on our white board (E loves white boards ... it made sense for us that we put her chart on there because she would really enjoy making an x in a box) ... here is what ours looked like:

No, it's not perfect ... but E loves it

As you can see we made a bunch of boxes ... I just drew how many I saw fit ... and then we drew little presents in some of the boxes ... the presents become more spaced out as time goes on ... this way she would really have to focus on her attitude. You should note that the presents ... unless you are able to afford something spectacular ... do not have to be huge ... E and I went to the dollar store to look for Christmas lights ... The little trinkets they have there were enough to get E excited ... so our gifts come from the dollar store ... we take her there to pick out her very own gift.

Now ... this fit chart is a fantastic idea ... E loves it ... she has something to look forward to if she shapes up her attitude. However ... there is a con ... there is always a con ... these aren't meant to be perfect ... they are just meant to help you make your decision as to how you will handle fits in your family. Anyway ... back to the con ... I learn more and more everyday that this little four year old has every capability to out-smart me ... and usually does ... E would start throwing a fit sometimes just so she could stop throwing her fit and get an x ... It took a little while for me to be able to tell between the two ... she is so sneaky ... So I had to adapt. Whenever E threw a fit I not only told her that she had to stop but that she had to finish out the task that was causing her fit in the first place ... example ... if she begins throwing a fit over what to wear that day I tell her that if she stops throwing her fit, gets dressed, and comes over so I can do her hair then she can get an x. It may seem like a lot but by adding these tasks ... most of which she will have already been doing ... it has enabled things to go smoother ... she will want an x and therefore she will do whatever she is asked in order to obtain it. Another thing about this is that E asks about the x's all the time ... she always wonders when she gets to put an x on again ... if you can handle that questioning (because I have not figured out a way to make it stop) ... on a daily basis ... then this is the fit solution for you!

What I learned these past couple of weeks:

  1. E really responded to this form of fit control ... she really looked forward to getting her gift and continues to look forward to the next one. I think that by giving children some kind of goal to work towards they are more apt to work their hardest in order to achieve it ... especially when that goal is a gift that they will get. 
  2. Every child is different therefore everything can be adapted. E may have learned fast about how to get x's ... but once I modified the way to get x's her fits became less frequent and she really had to work for an x when she did have a fit. I think that this not only showed E how to control her attitude but it also showed her how to work hard ... she can do hard things ... controlling her attitude to get an x is  hard thing ... and she can do it! 
  3. If you do not have the money to give your child a gift it is ok ... honestly ... a gift to your child could be a nice mommy/daddy date ... or ... something like getting to sleep overnight in a tent out back ... or in a fort in the living room! Don't worry if you can't afford the gift ... make something up! that might be better anyway!