The whole scaring, growling, pretending to be mad, etc. has come to a screeching halt.
We have been much more firm and have given him consequences for his negative behaviour and have followed through with: no park today (for not listening to teachers), taking the costumes away (for scaring sister), time outs, etc. for various other things. We're firm but put the blame back on him by saying, "Wow, sorry you chose not to listen to your teacher, it's a shame we won't be able to go to the park this evening..."
I know this doesn't work on every kid - especially those with impulse control issues or ADHD, etc. but Cooper can control his actions or suffer the consequences.
It's totally worked - duh, right?!
Well, he's been so good up until this point, we've not really had to do anything too drastic!
So now we know.
We're basically following the Love and Logic technique - I love this way of thinking, it's so, uh, logical!
Every day when I pick them up from school, they say, "I didn't get any write-ups today!!" and they're so proud. Of course I make a big deal of it and the teacher does too saying that they tried really hard today and succeeded! I call Jim on the way home and tell him how good they were - loudly of course!
Cooper's teacher said she felt he has made a leap forward with maturity this past week or so... we felt the same thing. Hmmmm, could discipline be the answer?!
Kara is doing well too. Her biting has almost completely stopped. I talk to her everyday and say, "What will you do if someone makes you mad?" She'll say, "Not bite. Say NO! and tell the teacher." It's definitely gotten better. The school director says her behaviour is completely normal for a 3 year old. They are still working out how to deal with strong emotions at this age but that talking to her about it every day will help.
She continues to be a genuinly sweet, loving child and only wants to please others.
There are rare times that we have to put her in time-out and that's when she runs away from us for some reason. She's a runner, that one. We're working on it and it's getting better.
So Cooper has this thing he's been doing for a couple of months now, where he growls and puts up his hands and says in this raspy, growly voice, "I'm Batman!".
Then he proceeds to scare Kara and gets right up in her face. Sometimes he pinches or just touches her with his hands stretched out... of course she cries and he does it over and over again.
We've told him that Batman is nice and he gets the bad guys and brings them to the police, etc.
We've told him that it's bad manners to scare anyone.
We've told him over and over that he's acting too silly and to stop.
We've told him not to touch Kara - or anyone.
He'll just say OK, or SORRY in a sing songy voice then do it again in 10 minutes.
(It's REALLY getting on our nerves!- especially the non-chalant 'sorrrrrrry').
This has come from a school friend - not surprising - and now Cooper is often getting write-ups (sad faces) at school for disrupting behaviour, not cooperating with the teachers, not listening, etc.
It seems he doesn't know how to, or won't, turn off the silliness.
We've tried various things to reprimand him for his behaviour.
He's been put in time out for repeatedly disobeying us.
There's no t.v. when he gets a write up (however, that's unfair to Kara)
Today, we will go to the Rodeo IF they don't get any write ups.
Next we will take his costumes away for a few days if he continues the scaring. (But he does it with or without his costume on)
We've been very positive, saying you can do it, you're a big boy. Listen to your teachers if they tell you to stop acting silly.
He does respond to positive reinforcement better than negative though because when we are positive, he'll say, Look Mommy, watch me, then he'll hug and kiss Kara. It's very sweet and we make a big deal over him being nice and gentle towards her.
We have a sticker behaviour chart that I haven't instilled yet, but that may be the answer.
We still need to try a few more things.
I keep wondering though, is this just a 'boy' thing, or is it a problem in the making?
We've been told by a teacher friend of ours that we need to nip it in the bud NOW before he turns into the class clown and that becomes his M.O.
He can be such a sweet, kind, caring, gentle little guy when he wants to be but most of the time, he's just a crazy little man.
In October 2008, we brought home 2 amazing, crazy, fun, smart, beautiful, healthy toddlers from Russia.
Now we live to tell about it.
We welcome your words of encouragement and/or advice!
Thanks for reading!