Monday, February 13, 2012

the limitations of a behavioral management chart

So I'm an educator. That means I know what a behavior management chart is. I have experienced it as a brilliant tool in my classrooms. Then, I became a parent. As of today, I have been soberly reminded of the limitations of a behavior management chart, thanks to my three year old daughter (pictured below).


So here's the story. Cece loves her preschool. In fact, a week ago, when they didn't have school, and I told her that she would get to stay home, she said, "but, Mommy, I love school!" So glad. However, she has been having a lot of accidents at skolka. Like up to three times a morning. Some of it, I figured out, is a matter of just pulling her pants down far enough; however, I think she having so much fun playing with her friends, that she's getting a little distracted. So, how does one solve such a problem? Well, one with my personality, with a love of charts, and a background in education, I elicit the help of my daughter, and we make a behavioral management chart! Sounds fun, right? Well, it was indeed fun for my three year old.

First, we brainstormed things that big girls do. Here is Cece's list (verbatim):
-them don't pee in them's pants
-them get dressed and undressed by themselves
-them watch movies (nice try, Cece)
-them listen to them teacher
-them share with them's friends
-they react appropriately to situations (okay, so that was my addition)

So, then we narrowed down what we (okay, I) really wanted to work on, turned all the statements into positive ones, and this is what we got, a behavior management chart:

Picture 2

So far, today, we have gotten to put a sticker in the "she gets herself undressed" box.

Awesome, right? Until, tonight.

I put Cece to bed, and suddenly, I hear, "Mommy, Mommy . . . Mommy?" That continues for at least two minutes. I don't move. Why? Because this weekend was a five hour hair marathon (me doing Cece's hair--taking out the old style and putting in a new one), both boys have been sick, and Brian was in Phoenix for the JV board meeting. I don't want to move, an inch. I just wait. Soon enough, Cece comes traipsing out of her room still loudly requesting, "Mommy??" I answer as nicely as I can, "What Honey?" Her response, "I want you to get me a kleenex." I'm still using a nice tone, "If you need a kleenex, you can get it yourself." "Why, Mommy?" Still fairly nice tone, "Because you are a big girl, and if you need a kleenex, you can get it yourself."

Cece in a very stern tone, "But Mommy, that is not on the chart, so I want you to get it for me!"

I was stunned, but I acted quickly and gave Cece a little talking to in a not so nice tone, and needless to say, she got her own kleenex. Alas, the limitations of the behavioral management chart!

In an ideal world, these remaining pictures would be in separate blog posts, with other great stories, but I may never get around to that, so . . . .

Here's Cece's new style:


Here is Alex, who continues to make this great face for the camera:


Here's Gabe, who, along with his brother, has been sick, but is still trying to smile:


Kids are amazing! So stinkin' smart.


  1. 1. CeCe is incredibly smart and that is your own stinkin' fault :)
    2. You did an AMAZING job on her hair. Super cute!
    3. Alex absolutely cracks me up in those pictures.
    4. Poor little Gaber's looks like he needs some smooches from me.
    5. I. can't. wait. to see you this summer. We will start a countdown chain one month before your arrival.

  2. I LOVE CeCe's hair. You did a GREAT job! very impressed. It was cute before too. (I'm friends with Connie by the way. Your kids are just so cute I couldn't resist commenting).