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We let the worm composter go for awhile without regular attention, so we're restarting three trays this weekend. Laurel enjoys helping with the worms, so I'm only helping minimally this round. (My knees are thankful for that.) Some of the finished compost will be going to repot the ficus plants and restart the potted grass for the cat. The pineapple could stand to be repotted too, but I have to cut it back first. Not a fan of bromeliads poking me.


The Thursday winter weather postponed the school event where we're providing face painting and balloon decor to the end of the month. This gives me more time to buy some small Snazaroo palettes, a couple of stampers (with volunteers of unknown experience painting it's a good choice) and decide whether to buy cosmetic glitter. I'm considering the UV reactive Snazaroo paint too, but that would be for personal use.


After hitting another plateau of motivation/behavior with Laurel, we've been listening to the audiobook of Marshall Rosenberg's Nonviolent Communication and applying it there. It would have been nice to do the Landmark Forum, read Richard Lavoie's books and listen to Rosenberg earlier in Laurel's life. Just Lavoie's books would have been much more useful to read while I was pregnant than the "What to Expect" series and never-let-your-child-cry books that made up most of my local library's parenting collection.

We've also been using new-to-her music as an earned incentive for consistent behavior, so this weekend I sussed out her taste in Desi music some more (I've been downloading desihits.com podcasts and noting artists she likes) and I bought Baby Loves Jazz and Vienna Teng albums to burn to disc for her to work toward.


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 9th, 2008 06:37 pm (UTC)
NVC is a great book! That stuff is really widely applicable, too.
Mar. 9th, 2008 09:37 pm (UTC)
You do the neatest things!
Mar. 14th, 2008 12:56 am (UTC)
I do the weirdest things, according to the kids that know me from Cub Scouts. I tell them the awesome part about being a grownup is that you can keep worms in the kitchen and nobody checks to see if you've washed behind your ears.
Mar. 10th, 2008 12:19 am (UTC)
rambles on the "experts" advice to hover over the little ones.
What sort of headaches is the wee one giving you?

Pretty cool that new music is a good reward for her. I worry when kids get rewarded with junk food or video games all the time. "Here, honey for behaving in a healthy/pro-social way, allow me to present something to completely cancel it out."

I think hitting the kids with a belt or telling them they are bad kids who are going to hell was not the cutting edge in child rearing technology, but the new "ultra kinder gentler" approach seems to really be showing its weaknesses as well. Sure, a hungry, wet or sick child should be promptly tended to, but sometimes a baby cries for the sake of crying, or forgets what it was crying for and doesn't stop. It needs to learn to calm itself down and the world won't end if it's left to nap all alone.

I read an article about how the recent crops of new hires are actually bringing their mothers to their job interviews, or daddy is calling the boss and yelling at him for not giving pweshus a raise or what have you. Could you imagine? I would have died before I would let my mother come to a job interview, and as nosey as she is, she never would have considered interfering in my job hunt like that. Nagging me to look more, or send out more resumes, yes, but showing up there? No. Companies have started to hire "parent/family liason officers" to deal with the headaches as managers are just dumbstruck. I think those parents never looked past the selection available at your library.

My coworker has friends who swear by 1-2-3 magic. They even have a follow up for teenagers. I don't know about the hype with the program, but they seemed to have some good ideas about the types of misbehavior and why a child does it and how some typical adult reactions are not helpful.
Mar. 14th, 2008 01:40 am (UTC)
Re: rambles on the "experts" advice to hover over the little ones.
Laurel's doing age-appropriate acting out: talking back, dragging her feet on easy tasks, stuff like that. Her team at school isn't too worried about it, but I want to do what I can to circumvent the high intelligence/low performer issue. There will be a session on it at our district gifted association's annual symposium, so I plan to attend. It's free with our annual membership and there's a kids' session in science, so we're going.

We have struggled with reinforcement for making good choices. What it's come down to with Laurel is finding things that she wants and keeping a written list of defined goals and rewards that might be available for meeting them. Right now, being ready and at the door when it's time to leave for school without being asked or talking back when reminded for one week may earn her a new CD or book. When she completes a successful week without a material reward, she still gets positive reinforcement of what she's done. It takes her four or five consistent weeks to make it a habit.

I remember when you posted the link to that article in your journal. I commented about how I would have died of embarrassment if my parents had been so involved in my first steps in my work life, but I could see it as the logical extreme of parents I've met who've gone to disagree with their children's teachers about the children's grades (or lack thereof).

123 Magic is very straightforward and effective. We have a copy -- and a lot of the books the negative reviewers recommend as "better" -- and use parts from everything to make something that works for us.
Mar. 15th, 2008 02:54 am (UTC)
Re: rambles on the "experts" advice to hover over the little ones.
Sounds like you have got the "best practice" approach, and a good handle on it, to use the lingo. :)
Hell, as an adult, I need some positive reinforcement or implied threat of negative consequence to attend some of the spork-my-eyeballs-out meetings and such. :P (ie Monday I am wasting money on Starbucks if I can get out of the house an hour earlier than usual to go to idiot supe meeting)

One thing I learned from High/scope (which btw, you would totally groove to, check out high/scope.org), and even use with adults, including myself, is that instead of "will you do X task?" I think or ask, "How do *I* want to accomplish X task?" It does not change what needs to be done, but when I have or am given or can give to others the option of input on how to do something, one gets the illusion of control and ownership in the process, and that can be its own reward or reinforcement sometimes. ie If the cd's stopped working as a motivator after awhile, in this logic, you could tell Laurel, "Look, I need you to be dressed and ready to go (and by ready to go I mean specifically "coat on, with back pack and lunch bag in hand, etc") by 8:00, and I don't have time to nag you every single morning. What can we do to help you do this by yourself? " If she's old enough she may have her own idea, if not, suggest some alternatives- lists, charts, labeled baskets to put necessary materials in near the door, find where the routine gets snarled and try a new way- let her pick out and pour her cereal the night before and put it in the fridge next to the milk, post signs with words or pictures for the next thing to remember by what goes before it in the routine, etc.

Yeah, back talk and foot dragging are normal but exasperating.
Good luck and good for you for being proactive, not waiting until you get a "bad note home" to deal with any of it and act shocked and scandalized.

Mar. 11th, 2008 01:58 am (UTC)
btw, I was not critiquing your parenting style or anything, just ranting on
how the "modern" parenting advice books are guilting parents who could be good parents if they didn't follow those darned books.
Mar. 14th, 2008 01:48 am (UTC)
I know. I felt guilty when Laurel was little about how I felt like I was failing her by not giving her enough social stimulation (we went to one mommy and me group and had a terrible time), not dressed impeccably every day, etc. until my mother asked me what I remember about my early childhood.

What I remembered: being allowed to look at any book in the house as long as I was gentle with the book, drawing on paper taped to the wall, playing in the fabric scraps, and looking out the window. I don't remember whether we went to playgroup every week or even most of my clothing, although I remember a few special dresses and a shirt that had a pair of birds appliquéd on it. (I have a photo of my sister in that shirt online if you're curious.)

So I don't think Laurel's too deprived by not doing all the things the books recommended -- she's still clever, inquisitive, and has average fine motor skills, which makes for terribly funny puppets that she cuts out of polarfleece scraps and I sew together per her directions.
Mar. 15th, 2008 02:35 am (UTC)
Oh, my favorite "toys" were sheer fabric scraps, old ballet recital costumes and a tin of assorted buttons at my Grandmother's!

I loved making "hotels" and other things for my strawberry shortcake dolls out of stacked boxes and old coffee tables, and making menus, books and signs out of paper.

There were a few toys and name brand things I pined after but never got, but I do remember mom never said no to a book fair.
I never lacked for things to read.

I remember being upset with knockoff Benetton and Swatch clothes, and some that were so ugly I was mortified to wear them (one was pink and purple with like a tetris-type checker print. It was hideous) but that built character. I dress better now, but know how to find things on sale.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )


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