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Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Rewarding Progress

The homework is to make a reward chart.  We will do this because Aslana thinks its good to help me with my homework but actually the children really liked their charts downloaded from  Edward had Bob and Aslana my little pony.  Specific behaviours is the key to the tangible reward system and that the reward chosen is selected by the child. These were colour in charts with a favourite character featured. Has really helped Edward with positive behaviour eg please and thank you but less well with the negative - ie tantrum throwing or not kicking off shoes when we need to go out or holding hands by the road because when you praise him for it he resumes the undesired behaviour, so ignoring the negative works better than praising the positive.

But today and yesterday Edward has been using praise for others - Well done, mummy or Well done, Lani Boots or even for his monkey Well Done, Norman.  So somewhere in there he does hear it and take it on board its just harder to record the reflective child's approach to praise - he does not respond in the instant but some time later and the indication is not in pleasure expressed but in how he shares it with others as a good thing  He is so proud of himself for using praise!

Cbeebies had a recent bedtime story which is worth noting here called Hugless Douglas - I would recommend it for toddlers because both children who love hugs and give and receive  them enthusiastically
and children like Edward who seem a bit perplexed or even scared about sharing their personal space can find it helpful.  When the programme began Sanjeev Bhaskar was using toys to demonstrate hugs "I expect you like hugs too" he said - Edward was pushing himself back in the chair and saying "No Don't want to!" because he felt so unhappy with the theme.  He really isn't all that tactile and feels threatened when people get too close,  but the story was about a friendly looking bear so he didn't want to miss it either.  The bear learns about gentleness and the importance of hugging someone who he knows really well rather than people he doesn't and who do not wish to be hugged.  It helps give place to gentleness and to thinking of other people's feelings, but also demonstrates the hug to be something special to share and enjoy rather than fear and in the case of Edward it meant I received the best hug ever and a rare one just to say Lub You Mummy rather than night night or I'd rather stick with you than anyone else.

Anyway all that about progress and now I have to be honest and say I feel more at sea than ever because now we are facing a move unexpectedly since the landlord has given notice on the property.  Aslana has been briliant - staying positive and thinking hopefully about everything.  Her faith that God loves us and won't leave us through everything is something of an inspiration.  She has no doubt that he will provide what we need, it is only us adults who stress because we don't really know which way to go or what to do for the best. Nothing we can offer as a home to our children seems to provide security.  If we buy a house big enough for all of us we will be stretching to do so and if a small change in interest rates occurred we would find ourselves struggling and having to have both adults in full time work  We did not have children not to see them and besides in such a situation we would be put at greater risk of homelessness if a job fell through and we were not able to keep up with repayments.  Renting is still cheaper than a mortgage on a property that meets our needs, but is in our experience an increasingly short term measure, landlords talk of long term let but they mean a year or two not the length of primary school education.  Making children have to give up their home with all that entails is of no concern to them or the law.

I took it for granted in my childhood that we had a home we never had to leave - in fact as a very young child  I remember thinking it quite dull that we never moved unlike other children - it seemed like such an adventure.  Now I am a parent though I would rather the adventures my child experienced were imagined ones not the tension of parents wondering where to go when there is a shortage of choices and a deadline for moving. But then again I think a child like view of the world is going to be the only thing to save my sanity.  If I think too hard about interest rates or the whims of landlords I get very depressed, much better to take a walk outdoors everyday feed some ducks, splash in some puddles and be grateful to be alive.  I may not know where the roof over our heads will be but I am pretty sure there will be one.  I just pray we find it sooner rather than later.  Chris tells me we are going to find it tomorrow.  May be Aslana's faith is catching.

1 comment:

  1. A very moving blog. I really hope you find the home and security that you crave for yourself and your wonderful family. We find ourselves in unusual and cruel times. God be with you all.