Friday, March 04, 2011

Renna is almost 3!

It's hard to believe that my second little baby is almost three years old. She doesn't *seem* that old until I look back at pictures of Lily at the same age and realize what Lily was learning to do at three. I have to remind myself to expect more from Renna (that is, I have to remind myself to expect as much as I did with Lily at the same age.)

She's grown so well and I'm really proud of her thankfulness especially. She is quite polite (for the most part) saying "thankyou" quite often when I or Lily help her with something. She is still very dramatic of course. It's just in her nature to be so. If she can't do something she laments and still will be known to lay on the floor with a pathetic fake cry as she talks about how she "can't do" the thing. The trick though right now is teaching her that she really CAN do it. Our latest struggle had been with potty training. Right at first she had no problem pulling up her own undies, but after a little while she must have decided that she still wanted to be "helped" and be the baby a bit more so she said she "couldn't do it." After getting back from the trip to Washington the potty training (which HAD been going quite well with hardly any accidents) went WAY down hill and we were dealing with a couple accidents a day (this was after she'd even started potty training herself at night!)

Guess what a little motivation will do though? For Lily's school I have a sticker chart that looks something like this one pictured.

Well, I got the idea that I should start doling out the stickers to Renna for going potty in the toilet and it's been AMAZING. If she starts to complain about "not wanting to" or even not wanting to at least *try* to pull up her own pants I just have to remind her that she'll get a sticker and her attitude completely changes and she'll try right away. Right now the "prize" at the end (where the star is) is a little bag of Annie's gf all natural gummy bunnies. She will even share some with Lily and that is such a sweet thing to see too. Lily gets prizes at the end of her sticker chart as well (she has fewer stickers to get to her prize because her work is harder than just going potty in the toilet several times a day.) She usually picks out a project from the dollar store (like painting or a large coloring book or craft things or a puzzle) and she will share some of her prize with Renna sometimes too.

I read a great thing about teaching kids to be organized and there was a chart that essentially was just illustrating that if children don't have some sort of work and reward balance they will be either spoiled (if they have no work, but get a reward) rebellious (if they have work to do but don't get a reward) or apathetic (if they do no work and get no reward)... SO, the right balance of course is to find the right amount of work (or chores or tasks or whatever you want to call it) with a good motivation that is in balance with the proportion of the work.

Anyway, all that to say.. I've seen an amazing transformation in just a few days with the potty training and how Renna responds to the motivation (the sticker chart.) I think she also likes that it's similar to Lily's and she gets to do a big girl thing too. Renna has been joining Lily while we do school together and can sing the whole phonetic alphabet song that we use in "sing, spell, read, write".. it's so adorable to watch her sing it with us, I really need to have Youssef get some video of them!

Her birthday is this Sunday and she's been so excited about it for such a long time (essentially ever since Lily's birthday she's been asking when it will be HER birthday!) it's going to be a fun day. :]

1 comment:

RachelCapezza said...

I hope Renna has a wonderful birthday! I was really interested in hearing about the responsibilities/rewards thing with kids and how they need that. It makes total sense when you think through it. I should think of a way to incorporate that with my kids.