Lessons in behavior modification & positive reinforcement

Daryl and I really don't have any complaints in regards to Mia. Until now. Lately, she's taken to pushing and hitting other kids. They are usually younger and in 'her' space. If they're too close, she pushes them. If she can't push, then she smacks them on top of their head. Daryl and I have been doing a lot of reading (primarily Dr. Sears) and soul searching, and we've come up with a plan.
  • when with other moms and kids, let the moms know what's going on. It'll help prepare them in case something happens, and lets them know that I'm aware of the problem and am working with Mia about it
  • Praise Mia when she's gentle and plays nicely
  • if she pushes, show her how to touch gently
  • if she hits, remove her from the situation and explain that hitting hurts & if she does it again, we'll leave
  • if she hits again, we're gone. We just leave, and I briefly explain why while we're leaving

So, Monday morning we went to a playdate at Lisa and Keri's. I told the moms what had been happening, and it really opened up a dialog on discipline and just being generally open about issues we're facing. Mia played well, but then hit, I followed the plan, but she hit again, so we left. It was stressful for me, but this is something that we feel that if we address consistently, that it will soon be a non-issue.

Fun before we 'left the building'

Later that afternoon, Mia and I took Niles to his Dr. He was in need of his rabies vaccine and his yearly checkup. Well, our poor schnauzer has hookworms and fleas. He got his shot, medicine for the hookworms, and a pill to kill all the fleas and Frontline for the ongoing flea maintenance. Mia had a great time playing with the other dogs in the waiting room, but didn't like being in the exam room until she realized it was Niles that was going to be checked out by the Doc, not her :)

Fancy girl with her scarf

Today we went to Little Gym. We had a great time. We had to miss all our classes last week due to our colds. Mia hit a kid once, I took her outside in the lobby area, sat her down and explained the no hitting and being gentle thing. I also told her that if she did it again, we'd leave. All of this is in a serious but not ugly tone. We went back in, and Mia was wonderful for the rest of the class. We then went to the office and had lunch with Daddy. It's so nice seeing him in the middle of the day. Mia and I went to the park and played for a while before heading back home for a nap. I totally forgot we had a big group playdate at the Arboretum at noon, so we missed it.

Mia & her pal, Blake

After Mia's nap, we went over to our friends, Juliet & Blake's new house. It's so beautiful. They've only moved in boxes, the furniture is being moved this weekend, so Mia and Blake had a lot of room to run around. She has hard wood floors, so the kids really enjoyed hearing their footsteps while running around. Mia and Blake hung out on his new picnic table. They really do play together so very well. I think Mia just thinks she can push the little kids around. When we got home, Daryl was already grilling up some chicken fajitas. Mmmmmm

Mia & Blake enjoying his table

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