I have been doing my best to remember that I am raising children, and that I can't spend all day folding laundry, sweeping the floor, and so on and so forth. So in the spirit of giving my children my undivided attention, I have been attempting to make sure that I call attention to when they are doing something well. Yes, I know it's cheating. As the Behavior Interventionist, it is one of my big things in BIPs, praise children often and praise children the minute that they start complying. Now here is the complicated part, I have a no yelling policy at school. I am of the philosophy that all yelling does is makes me loose my voice and for a classroom to get louder. I am a firm believer in positive peer pressure and using positive peer pressure to get the class to do what I want them to do. See Behavior 101 for some more insight into this philosophy. Anyway, I don't yell at school, I don't raise my voice, but it's not uncommon to hear, "Abby, Abby, Abby" as I grab my child from the road, or "ZOEY" after I find that she is still glued to whatever she was doing and not even close to doing or being where she was asked. Poor Happy even gets the brunt of the "ARE YOU KIDDING MEs" when I have discovered that he has used the door mat as a bathroom. So for the last few weeks I have been going above and beyond what I would do in the classroom to maintain my composure. In the classroom I praise and compliment to keep my expression from changing. I drop my pencil, or notebook so I can take ten seconds to let out the breath I may have been holding so that they see nothing but calm, so I brought it home. I have been praising the compliant child and reminding them how much I love them. I think it is really working, Zoey volunteered to help clean up the sticks in the yard yesterday to get the pool filled up faster, and today, which could have been a disaster turned out amazing.
We had a busy day starting at 8:00 getting ready for the annual choir concert at First Presbyterian Church here in Alexander City. The girls were champs and played hard and we left to come home and eat lunch. From there it was off to a birthday party where Zoey was compliant and attempted some karaoke. At 3:30 we were running to get dressed and the girls were going as hard as they could so we could be back at the church at 4:00, and the girls were amazing, when I got them from the nursery at 6:30 they were still going strong, but doing everything they could to hear Mommy say what she liked about what they were doing. We finished the evening at dinner where I sat and chewed on my straw waiting for the break down. When I wouldn't let Zoey have a tea I thought we had finally hit the money, but thankfully, she rolled with the punches and was glad to have the reward of having my to go cup for being so good. Now, with the promise of a surprise tomorrow the girls went straight to bed with little fuss, and stayed there. When I am on my game, this is how fourteen weeks of Fridays went. Since I haven't been 100% since school let out, I was amazed at how quick their behavior, and my sanity corrected itself. I was ecstatic to put to bed two very tired, very happy little girls tonight.