Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Day 138: Everyone Has a Therapist These Days, Right?

Don't judge me, but I went to a psychologist with Little M yesterday. His behavior has been increasingly alarming lately. Everyone tells me that it's normal for a little boy, but it just doesn't feel right.

Mainly, he's very aggressive and mean. And there's a whole bunch more, but none of it has been a source of Joy for me, so we won't go into it here.

The reason I bring it up is because yesterday in therapy I learned about "time in". As in, the opposite of "time out". The therapist supports my use of time outs as a negative consequence, but she encouraged me to take advantage of the rest of the time (time in) to give him all the positive attention and praise I can.

As in, "Good job playing so softly with that car"; "I love how kind you are sitting next to your sister"; "That's so great that you're sitting in your chair during breakfast", etc.

It's only the first day, but W.O.W.!

He's been a different child. He's getting back to being the sweet little boy he was a year ago. He only went on time out one time. He only hurt Sweet P once or twice--that is usually a very frequent occurrence. And he was only sweet and gentle with Baby B (just recently he started showing aggression towards him--scary!). I don't think he hurt Z either. And for us, that is a great day. Joyful Moment right there.

And looking for opportunities to praise him (and of course, Sweet P) for just doing anything not naughty was a source for Joyful Moments, too. It was nice to see how happy it made them to have their behavior appreciated. And it made them try harder. Joyful Moment! Basically, it takes a little extra thought (and sometimes creativity--"Good job walking!") on my part, but it's totally a win-win.

Yay for therapy!

Wishing you all therapeutic breakthrough Joyful Moments!


Nikki said...

Postive reinforcement is a powerful thing. I am glad that it is helping in your case!

Parrish Family said...

Okay we need to talk more in depth about this because I have been having some problems with my eldest. I am really glad that things are working out for you though!

Linda said...

Thanks for sharing such a powerful concept. It should be so easy to focus on the positive, but for me it takes remembering to make it a habit. Something I'm still trying to improve on. love you! My joy - an afternoon with Megan and Wyatt. :)