When Jasper turned 18 months old, it was like a switch went off. He would scream about things that I couldn’t understand, and he was desperate to explore the world around him.
A friend recommended that we read The Happiest Toddler on the Block.
This book is rich with strategies and positive parenting tips, which fit well with our parenting style- instead of saying “no” we try to say “yes.”
One of the the strategies that The Happiest Toddler on the Block recommends is using tiny pen marks on toddlers’ hands as “checks” throughout the day instead of using a sticker chart. This way, the kid can marvel at their progress, seen literally on their hands, throughout the day. During bath time each night, parents can review the successes when washing the pen marks away.
When the pollen count ascended, Jasper’s allergies swirled out of control. His eyes gooped and itched, and he ended up rubbing them to the point of an infection. The doctor prescribed some cream- but we had to figure out a way to get it into his eyes.
That was when I remembered the dots.
Jasper is obsessed with Batman, so we called them “Batman dots.” Each time that he let us apply the cream from corner to corner of his eyes, he earned a “Batman dot.”
He was so proud of himself. After earning his reward, he runs around the house shouting “I AM BATMAN” in a growly voice.
The gooping from his eyes waned, and the conflict surrounding applying the cream dissapeared. We have tapered off the “Batman dots,” as they are no longer needed for each application. Instead, Jasper just giggles and squirms, which is an incredible, nearly over night change from the drama that was ensuing before.