handling the NST

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rewards chart

rewards chart

we have a new rewards chart. We had one previously, but we didn’t really kept to it cause Ollie didn’t really understand it. For some reason, he has started to understand what this whole “stars” thing is about and is really excited about it.


mummy, I kept my toys. I get a star!” 

“yes you do. Here, daddy will draw the star for you”

He would count the stars he had been awarded, each time he walked past the fridge, touching each star.

But recently, we hit a roadblock. There was a lot of yelling, a lot of grabbing by the arm, a lot of threats and..a lot of tears. It sparked off when Ollie shoved QT back when QT wanted to play with what Ollie was playing with. QT fell backwards and hit his head. Nothing serious but Donald lost it. (I was in another room).

rare one-on-one moments with him

rare one-on-one moments with him

In the midst of the yelling, I wondered if it was too much for Ollie to take, having both parents have a go at him about pushing his brother. He stood in the living room, absently fidgeting his fingers, looking very forlorn..and lost. Despite being yelled at and some reasoning, he persisted in his negative behaviour. He refused to answer us when we asked him questions; if he did, he would answer it with the opposite answer. It was very trying. It was a standoff for about an hour. I then decided to pick him up and go into his room to have a chat with him. I sat him down on the bed, whilst I sat on his chair; both of us were at eye-level now.

He avoided my eye contact.

“What’s wrong, Ollie? Why did you push didi?” He looked up at me, again that lost look. “Do you not want didi? You don’t love didi?” He shook his head before flopping on the bed. I pulled him up into an upright position.

“Pushing didi is wrong. You hurt him. And when he is hurt, both mummy and daddy are hurt too. But it doesn’t mean we don’t love you. Mummy loves you and daddy loves you too.” At that, he looked up, smiled, and shifted himself forwards, towards me.

“You need to say sorry, because you hurt didi. Like when didi bit you, we sayang-ed you right? So when didi fell over and hit his head, he will cry cos it is painful, and mummy and daddy will sayang him too, but it doesn’t mean we don’t love you. We are upset. ” At that, he decided that he wanted to flop back on the bed again. Urgh. Toddlers.

I pulled him up again, and this time held him upright with both my hands.

“Mummy and daddy will not stop loving you. You see these two hands? Mummy is holding you with these two hands. Daddy holds you to sleep with his two hands. Daddy showers you with his two hands. Mummy feeds you with two hands. Mummy carries you with two hands. We will catch you with these two hands.” Fug. I was getting emotional telling him that. I wondered how much of it he understood.

And it seemed like he did. Cos he leaned forward, wanting to be held by me. And I held him tight.

“I’m so proud of you, you know? You are doing so well. Some days you are mummy’s little helper too. You help mummy close the car door, you help to unbuckle the seat-belt for didi, you help me take wipes. I love it when you are my little helper. And when you care for didi, you help to wipe his mouth and hands. You play with didi in mummy’s room this morning, remember? You were playing peekaboo with him, didi was so happy, he loves it when you play with him. And mummy loves it when you listen. You hold my hand, you stay close to mummy when I tell you to, you keep your toys and get your stars. Can you try to be my little helper again?” He nods.

my little helper

my little helper

“Can you try to listen to me again? Can we try together?” He nods.

“And just like how mummy kisses didi, I will hold your face with my two hands and KISS YOU LIKE THIS ALL OVER!” I then proceeded to smother him in kisses which he giggled as I did. He then rested his face against my chest again as I held him.

For a moment it was all good. It was good for about 30 mins, he actually went out to apologise to QT. I told him I was proud when I heard it from Donald. And then all hell broke loose for the next hour again. Urrrgh.

He threw some things on the floor and refused to pick them up when asked nicely. It went downhill from there. On top of that..QT bit Ollie AGAIN. Emergerd. This was the third time QT has done it with the first bite still recovering. QT nearly attempted a 4th attempt much later, but was fortunately intercepted by Donald. FML. Tiny teeth but soooo painful!

At various points, Donald and I would ask each other what next. We didn’t want to play the good cop bad cop. We felt hopeless. We were threatening the kiddo with the a wooden metre rule. More screaming/shrieking before the storm died down. He calmed down enough to have a normal conversation with us, he ate his dinner, had his milk, showered and then we cuddled him to sleep in bed together with QT.

At this point, I would say starting everything off with yelling is most probably a bad idea. It is so hard to remain calm at that moment but firstly I reckon the child needs to feel that he can still trust us before we can proceed with any negotiations.

So so trying. But we can only try harder. The kiddo’s stuck with us. Haha. We have had it really easy with Ollie. QT is already throwing tantrums and I shudder to think what he will be like at Ollie’s age now if we don’t ‘correct’ (for the lack of better word) that behaviour. I mean..what else can QT learn if his days are peppered with “Stop!” “Throw!” “No!” “Wait!”??

Transitional phases sure are a BPITA (big pain in the arse). 

Category: Parenting
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