Week 4 – Behaviors

So, much to my clean freaky sadness, Rip has decided that he doesn’t like to and isn’t willing to clean his room.  Now, his room at this moment looks at least as bad as it did during our Do Nothing, Say Nothing week:  clothes completely covering his floor, books scattered everywhere, toys mixed in between.  His room is bad enough that it is a bit tricky navigating to the bed without tripping.  Can be done, but it isn’t all that easy.

Anyhow, we clearly can’t keep nagging him to clean his room (interfering strategy) so I tried to brainstorm on what it would take for Rip to want to at least pick up his room a little bit.  I thought Rip wanting mom & dad to read him books at bed time would be an incentive so Kirk & I agreed that in order for us to read him books at night, his room had to be cleaned.  Now, we weren’t expecting him to have it spic and span, just clothes put away with a walkable path to his bed.  When I explained what we were going to do, he said, “Awwww…I guess I don’t need books.”  Man!  That so wasn’t the reaction I was hoping for!!

Tonight was the third night of this new ‘system’ and again, he chose not to clean up his room.  He did try hard to get us to read books (outside of his room, just look at pictures and not actually read, consider it a special night, etc…).  I think we’re going to give this another night or two and if the room cleaning thing doesn’t happen, we will have to re-evaluate.  Kirk and I both really enjoy our time reading with Rip and we don’t want to sacrifice that for a clean room.  We will just have to figure out what it will take for Rip to want to clean his room.

Meanwhile, Nanny Joan, if you’re reading this, beware of Ripken’s room!


We had our official parent teacher conference for Ripken today.  Kirk and I both were prepared to go into the conference and get bombarded with everything that Rip did wrong on a daily basis (based on our experiences to date with his teacher).  Thankfully we were surprised with a lot of positive feedback.  Academically, Ripken is doing fabulous.   I wouldn’t sign him up for Harvard just yet, but he certainly is doing fine with all things learning.  As for his level of maturity, the teacher even mentioned that over the past couple of weeks she has seen him get more focused and spend less time being ‘silly’ or getting mad at her.  Probably the only upsetting piece of information had to do with Rip’s lack of participation during PE.  As a matter of fact, he participates so little that the PE teacher couldn’t even evaluate him.  We still need to follow up with the teacher to get more information but overall aren’t too concerned as he’s definitely started participating in all other areas school related.

I just finished reviewing my timeline for training charts.  So far, things have progressed pretty well and I’ve hardly put any effort into it!  Most notably, Riley is practically dressing herself.  Of course this really only happens when SHE wants it to happen.  If she isn’t ready to get dressed, oh boy, the clothes come off pretty quickly.  Some days she shows interest in picking out her clothes.  Other days, she couldn’t give a hoot.  And tonight, she totally surprised me by putting toothpaste on her toothbrush all by herself!  I’m talking, no mess, not too much, not too little and she did it rather quickly.  I don’t have her doing this for 3 more months!  Ha!  Silly me!

Rip is a little less interested in progressing so quickly.  I need to put more time, effort and planning into training him.  Will be pondering that tomorrow and this weekend.

Couple other updates:

1.  It was a ‘test’ day at Rip’s karate lesson tonight and he had 2 stripes removed from his belt….yes, this is a good thing.  He only has 5 more stripes to come off before he advances to the next class.

2. Rip started drawing classes this week.  He totally loved it!  It’s the first lesson/activity he has done where he came out saying ‘it was too short’ and this was the longest lesson yet.

3.  Going to officially start some serious potty training with Riley tomorrow.  She’s fighting the diaper thing way too much.  Makes me think it’s time.  There have been some other signs too.  Should be a fun day tomorrow 🙂

Riley helping herself to something

The master fisherman

First, I have to say that the coolest thing about Parenting On Track is that the program is at our finger tips 24/7.  Life happens and, at times, it is very difficult to get everything done.  That’s my excuse for having taken so long to move from Timeline for Training (week 3) to Mistaken Behavior (week 4).  And Kirk and I still have not actually sat down to go through week 4 video together.  Too much going on right now so we’ve each taken the audio for Mistaken Behavior and listened/studied on our own.

Ok, basically our kids behavior falls into 4 general categories:  Attention, Power, Revenge and Avoidance.  As you move through the behaviors, each gets increasingly more serious.  I’m happy to report that lately with both Ripken and Riley we tend to hover in the Attention behavior. That being said, we have definitely seen lots of Power behavior from both kids and, I’m sad to say, Ripken has spent quite a bit of time showing us Revenge in the past.  Actually, I’m pretty sure I saw some Revenge while Mimi and Bumpa were visiting…thankfully it was short lived.

Anyhow, Ripken is the king of Attention children.  He loves to keep both Kirk & I busy, busy, busy!  It’s always, ‘Watch me! Play with me! Look at me!”  I’m so grateful that we aren’t down in the Revenge or Avoidance area, but man is this attention stuff exhausting!

Riley, I’m still working on her behaviors.  She definitely has the attention moments but hers are crying fits (yes these are, for the most part, fake crys).  Oh man, does that crying wear me down!  And Riley definitely isn’t as much of an attention child as Rip.  She’s probably a little bit more in the Power behavior right now.  Especially when I’m trying to get her to participate in something like, taking the dishes to the sink, or picking up toys.  She loves to say ‘No!’  As angry as it gets me, she’s awfully cute when she says it!

Other updates:

Rip volunteered to help me empty the dishwasher today!!  Love the participation!

Riley is totally getting the hang of getting herself dressed.  She prefers to put her shirt on her bottom half, but we’re working on that.

Rip:  did manage to do some laundry this past weekend but has elected to not put any clean clothes away.  His room is pretty disastrous.  Hoping we can get it cleaned up before Nanny Joan gets here!

Rip, Riley Mommy:  all had lots of fun making scrambled eggs together this morning!  Wished I had thought to video it because it was quite an enjoyable time.