Sunday, June 1, 2014

Pavlov's Children (follow-up)

Well, it didn't go exactly as planned--but few things do when it comes to parenting.

Y and I spent a lot of time figuring things out, and here's what I learned:  kids can't process emotions the same way adults do.  When I'm angry, she doesn't pick up on those queues unless I deliberately exaggerate them.  I remember readings some studies showing that teenager's minds didn't process emotions shown on people's faces in the same way adults did.  It stands to reason that toddler's process emotions in a different way too.

This training helped her learn four audio queues.  Y now recognizes my approval, regular communication, agitated, and angry vocal inflections. Before this week and this time training, she really didn't respond to me at all.  She is responding very well to those now.  The treats and negative reinforcement were hardly needed at all, and the entire process took about 3 sessions ranging from 5 minutes to 2 hours.

Since Y went through the training, she has started cleaning up when asked and doing what she is told by the time I reach my agitated inflection.   I call that a miracle.  Before, she was very disruptive when it came time to cleanup--running around, dumping the toys, and so forth.  Now she is looking for ways to help and no longer trying to make things hard for her older sisters.

I'm looking forward to rewarding Y for the next few room cleanings. I also think Y and I will start getting along much better.

Why I'm (still) a Mormon

I don't expect much more to ever be posted on this blog, and I'm largely just posting this to share it with some particular friends....