Ok, so I'm not exactly an infant/toddler psychologist, so outside of applying basic behavioral principles to parenting, I haven't really gotten a chance to apply what I learned in graduate school to parenting....until now. Our morning dressing routine had slowly disintegrated to the point where it was taking excruciatingly long and was accompanied by almost continuous banshee-like screaming. So I grabbed the bull by the horns and made Jackson his first Picture Schedule. This is an intervention typically used with kids that are very visual and very concrete. Does this sound like anyone we know? Jackson has a picture schedule of tasks he needs to complete in the morning, and when he finds the picture of Dora at the end, he earns a SPECIAL SURPRISE (a gummy worm). At least, this is the idea.
I was all excited the first morning we tried the picture schedule because I wanted to show Matt what a talented psychologist I am. Unfortunately, our first morning with the picture schedule was pretty much a disaster since he was so preoccupied with his SPECIAL SURPRISE that he couldn't really do much else (you'd think I might have learned from Potty Training: Day 1, but no).
But I haven't given up hope! Since we started this intervention, our time to complete these tasks has steadily dropped from "excruciatingly long" to only ridiculously long and the amount of screaming has dropped from "banshee-like screaming" to only occasional shrieks of protest. It's progress, right?