Saturday, August 4, 2012

Practice Makes Perfect

I know repetition is the key to success. But when that repetition is the continually repeating of new words learned, it can get, well a little repetitious.

Little P's vocabulary is increasing in leaps and bounds (she's quite the talker when she gets going), and I adore watching her discover new words. It's even more fun when she is actually able to put the word into it's proper context. But hearing the same few words over and over again can become a little trying. At the moment her new words are 'bless you'(which she says for sneezes, and coughs, and when you blow your nose, hurt yourself...), 'sorry' (which she does use in it's proper context for the most part, but other times it's almost as if she just likes the sound of it going 'sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry' as she plays) and 'push' (which she uses for anything that she wants opened and uses it for 'pull' as well - we are working on that one). 

So I can't really complain. I do know for example, a certain two year old, whose favorite word at the moment is 'sh*t'. His Mommy is blaming his Daddy for this one, and Daddy is blaming Mommy. I personally think it's both of their fault as they swear like sailors 90% of the time. It's so bad that when they don't intersperse a sentence with a cuss word you almost don't know what they are saying. But junior seemed pretty impervious to this, until a couple of weeks ago. They were at the park and his Mommy asked him where his shoes were. His response? "Sh*t. I don't know.' It caught her totally off guard and she did the one thing you shouldn't when you want to discourage bad behavior, she laughed. And I'm not just talking a little 'ha-ha' here. She was practically rolling around on the ground she was laughing so hard.

Now, almost every other word out of his mouth is 'sh*t'. It's gotten so bad, that they actually got a note from his Day Care asking them to try and teach him a different word as he is being disruptive and encouraging the other kids to say THAT word (at that I had to laugh - can you just picture a bunch of two year olds running around going 'sh*t yeah'?).

So far they have been unsuccessful in getting him to say something other than 'sh*t'. Bribery hasn't worked, punishment hasn't worked, so they are working on 'positive reinforcement' - which basically consists of him getting a star every time he doesn't use the word, and loses one when he does. When he get to ten stars, he gets a toy. It's cost them almost $50 in toys, but seems to be working. At last count, he'd gone two full days without saying it. Now their big problem is when to stop rewarding him, and if they do, will he revert back to using it? If it's not one thing, it's the other - keeps being a parent interesting doesn't it?

So, till next time, keep the lid on the 'sugar, honey, iced tea'.

             (and just because I can't leave well enough alone, here's one of my favorites)

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