The history of how I stumbled upon this is pretty typical. My daughter was an unruly three year old. She talked back, yelled, and made the most irritating faces I have ever seen. Nothing seemed to work to get her to calm down. I tried being the nicest person ever, being the meanest person ever, and (gasp) even spanking her bottom. Nothing got through to her. She continued on with her same routine. After exhausting all other options I decided to research what other parents were doing. I even went as far as to try Dr. Karp’s “Happiest Toddler on the Block” techniques. I ended up having an unruly toddler that was now laughing at me.
So, what finally worked? Surprising as it is, what finally worked was the time tested “stars on the calendar” approach. I modified it of course, to fit my needs. First, I took everything out of her room except her bed and blanket. I mean no TV, no radio, no games. I did leave her books and crayons in there. Next, I wrote down all of her rules and consequences on paper and taped it to the wall at her level. She cannot read, but this step really intrigued her. She asked me to read them over and over. Lastly, I told her that if she was good she would get a star on the calendar for the day. At the end of the month, if she had more stars than x’s, she would get to go to Chuck E Cheese.
For the past three weeks my daughter has been so well behaved. She uses her manners and respects adults. I am so sorry I didn’t try this sooner! She now takes pride in looking at her calendar every night to see if she earned a star.