Monday, October 13, 2008

Happy, happy, happy

Caroline is learning how to use a technique other than whining or crying to get what she wants. We've tried to be vigilant about not caving to the whining or crying and it has forced Caroline to get creative with her persuasive skills. A couple of favorite new phrases that she employs: "But, it would make me happy, happy, happy!" and conversely, "That will make me sad, sad, sad." If you say she can't do something (i.e., watch TV during the week or go outside to play when it's time for her bath), she will say, "But, it would make me happy, happy, happy." And then when we reply, "No, Caroline it is a school night and we don't watch TV on school nights (or it is time for your bath, or you have to eat dinner before you can have a popsicle)." She responds with, "That makes me sad, sad, sad."

Another new technique is an off-shoot of her discovery of "ideas" (see this post). If we tell her that she needs to do something or offer her an alternative to one of her "ideas" (i.e, cookies for breakfast), she'll say, "That's not a great idea" in a very pouty voice with downcast eyes.

I think it is good for kids to learn how to express anger without hitting or yelling, because we all get angry and I know life must be very frustrating to a three year old a lot of the time. Caroline has learned to express her anger with the following sound: "Mmmmmuh." Imagine the sound you make when food tastes very good ("Mmmm"), but instaed of a tone of pleasure, that sound is angry and gruff and that is Caroline's vocalization for anger. She asked me the other day, "Mama, how do you pout?" I stuck my lower lip out and gave her some sad eyes. She replied by saying, "This is how I pout" and proceeded to put her head down and made her "Mmmmuh" noise.

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