Problem Solving with a three year old

In recent months Hyrum has had a difficult time staying in bed. He would come back upstairs several times after being put to bed. The bedtime routine was turning into a strung out temper tantrum for both of us.

A kind friend lent me CD's on teaching self-government in the home by Nicholeen Peck.

(I'll have to write another post about her CD's, and book...because WOW.)

So the bedtime solution:
We had a family meeting and talked about how important it is for as all to get our sleep, and why we need sleep, and why we need to obey.

We created a "family standard" of When any child in the family is put to bed they stay in bed. If they choose not to stay in bed they lose their privilege to color the next day and have to wash walls the next day. (If a child chooses to stay in bed they get all the benefits of getting good rest,of not losing privileges, and they get a high-five in the morning with some added self-respect.)

Hyrum did perfectly for the first week or so. Then we went through a stage where he came out almost every night. All the while he happily accepted his consequence.

A couple weeks into it we tried another method from Nicholeen Peck. We did a problem solving exercise she calls SODAS, an acronym for Situation, Options, Disadvantages, Advantages, Solution. It's fun to break down the problem solving logic of a three year old, and help him see the best options.

We did a SODAS for the situation of being put to bed and not wanting to stay in bed. Throughout the process it became clear that one possible reason for leaving his bedroom was that he was feeling scared. I asked him, "What do you think we could do about that?" He suggested getting a fan for his room to blow away the monsters.

What a tender and simple solution! We can do that!

And the happy ending of the story is....Hyrum is happy to stay in bed, it's his choice, and he rarely comes out. YAHOO!


alex-and-laura said...

A fan, what a great idea! Does Hyrum have any ideas on how to problem solve with a 17-month old about not throwing his entire meal on the kitchen floor? Cute post.

AaronsherriHatch said...

WOW! Maybe Hyrum could call and have a chat with his cousin Morgan?? That's awesome!

Post a Comment