Elanor has decided that testing limits is a great way to spend her time over the past weekend.

It all began with a conversation between Ravi and I where we realized how much we had let slip with Elanor.  Having B means she hasn’t been responsible for picking up her own toys in almost a year.  With a second kid soon to be on the way, that’s not something we want to see continue for a variety of reasons (some outlined in my last post…that we also see behaviors where she scatters toys for no reason other that it was fun and there are no consequences).  So we decided to start enforcing that E needs to pick up her toys (at least some of them most of the time).

This came as quite the shock to E.  but a time-out convinced her we weren’t kidding.  So on Saturday she picked up her blocks with a minimum of refusal.

Today it took 5 time outs (she’d pick up a few and then refuse to pick up any more) and almost two hours to pick up her stupid blocks.  It became clear that she was testing us to see how much attention she could get out of it, and how serious we really were.  She was very unhappy to realize that we weren’t kidding.  And after I realized she was playing for attention, I brought B in to start giving them (a skill she needs to learn anyway, and I was there to supervise the administering of them and teach the skill) giving her very little reward in terms of attention from Mommy.  When she FINALLY finished, she got tons of positive attention and reinforcement that it was so great that she’d picked up the blocks.

I hear this is really common all the way through 4…maybe I should just start drinking now.

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One Response to Testing…

  1. Aimee says:

    Yup, we’ve been having these battles, too. The other night it was refusing to eat dinner and insisting he wanted grapes. We said, “no grapes until you eat your dinner” tantrums and timeouts ensued. He went to bed on a less than full stomach, without grapes.

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