Tuesday, January 03, 2006

To Wheel or Not To Wheel?

Have you heard of the 'Better Behavior Wheel'? I hadn't either until about 10 minutes ago, when I was scanning the recent articles posted over at Blogging Baby, and I came across this one.

Like the author of that article, I, too, and fed up with what I know is typical 3-year old behavior - the whining, the tantrums and the "testing" of "boundries," and I need it to stop, or at least taper off a little, now. Like, two weeks ago, already. And I just don't know what else to do; we've tried the reward system. We've tried taking priveledges away. We've tried reasoning, bribing, threatening and yelling.

What we have not tried is this peewee gambling, this toddler roulette. Could it really be as simple as this?: Hazel kicks Violet. Hazel spins The Wheel. Wheel tells Hazel to clean the baseboards. Hazel stops kicking!

Methinks not.

However, there is a part of me that thinks this is an interesing discipline tool. Something about having disciplinary tactics (I hesitate to call them "punishments," but I guess that's what they are) pre-written, and having Hazel dole them out to herself when she and I both know that her behavior is inappropriate, strikes a chord. Hazel is the type of kid that thrives on concrete, black and white information. A+B=C. Period. I can see how The Wheel would appeal to her sensibilities.

But is it just me, or does it seem a little cold? And does it seem a little weird? If so, why? Help me process this. Cuz I don't want to harm my child, but seriously? I'm 'bout to go off. And is it wrong to be taking child-rearing tips from this lady?


Blogger Stefania Pomponi Butler aka CityMama said...

I think you try everything until you find something that works. And whatever it is that works, you stick to it. I mean, whoever thought I'd be sending my kid to sit on her "naughty spot" ala SuperNanny. It seems so anti-positive discipline, but that "I see you're upset" shit never worked for me. When Bunny is acting up she gets threatened with Naughty Spot. (one warning) If she doesn't listen, she sits and "thinks about how she could have made a better choice." Works like a charm. (Which means it won't work for Wallie, of course.)

12:08 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

I LOVE this idea...

Though I wouldn't be buying the one online. No sense spending money on something that you can make (and make better) on your own.

I'm thinking that any board game with a spinner could quickly be adapted with your own sheet of paper cut to fit. That way, you can make up different options based on severity of offense, which child did it, etc...there are some interesting applications with this.

Of course my munchkin, at 13 months is still a bit young, but if you try it, share the results. :) I'm quite curious...

9:44 AM  
Blogger shane said...

If concrete is what works for her, it just might be a good thing. No more pushing the buttons until something happens, it just always happens, and just the way the wheel says it will. Perhaps the wheel can maintain a level of consistency a human parent just isn't capable of.

Maybe it will even absorb the hate. "Sorry Haze, the wheel says you have to paint the house." She'll grow up loving you and despising that awful wheel. You should definitely foster that by calling it "The Wheel" and putting pictures of it all over the house as reminders that The Wheel Sees All.

But seriously it doesn't seem especially cold to me. I mean, so long as the discipline still fits the crime :)

2:06 PM  
Blogger lesley said...

i don't know much about parenting, but i do know you're hiliarious for including a picture of that lady. hahaha.
happy new year, ali!

6:57 PM  
Blogger GIRL'S GONE CHILD said...

that lady freaks me out. that is all can say.

3:22 PM  
Blogger Alisyn said...

She *is* scary, right?

I'm hearing a generally positive reaction to The Wheel, and Mike agrees that it is worth a shot... So, I think I'm going to put one together this weekend, and see where it gets us. It can't hurt, right?

4:40 PM  
Blogger Debbi said...

Sadly, Hannah is a handful too and Nothing works. Everything that did work for Gary doesn't work for her she is a free spirit and tests boundaries and gets punished constantly only to forget and do it again moments later. I have asked Joel a number of times if perhaps she's brain damaged or something. I can't say the time out roulette is a solution, but it may work for Hazel. Will it hurt? I doubt it. I had a belt taken to my butt a few times and I turned out okay. No child abuse articles, no feelings of loathing for my parents, no serious residual damage at all. Just a sore hiney. Hannah has had her butt swatted a few times and this doesn't work for her either. She becomes enraged and volatile and violent in return. Something I never dreamed of, but for her time out away from everyone works best. Isolation. She hates it and finding what she hates is the key. If she hates sitting alone in her room, thats where she should be for 10 minutes if she's bad. Plus she needs to know why she's being put in time out and she needs to say she's sorry and that she won't kick Violet again when she's done time out. This reinforces why she was there. Then I ask Hannah if she is going to behave now and she always says yes. Good news. Time outs taper down with maturity. Good luck!!! Just keep trying till you find what displeases her as much as her behavior displeases you.

6:23 PM  
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10:23 AM  
Blogger Twinmama said...

I came here via Childbearing Hipster, and we seem to be in the middle of the same behavior you speak of. I assume this what people meant when they said the terrible twos are nothing compared to the threes. Anyway, I have no miraculous suggestions...just a reading list...you might check out the Supernanny book. The other book you might look into, a least in regard to tantrums, is The Happiest Toddler on the Block (there is a DVD also, and I have an extra copy of this if you want it!). I have both of these books and I thought they were pretty good and made a lot of sense. It's not always easy for me to put them into practice with twins, but I think they're excellent references to have around.

10:20 PM  
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