Over the last few days, I got the gut feeling that it was time to reduce my 3.5-year-old’s number of tickets for each day from four to three. I finally did so this morning, and also went over the rules with my son.
It has been a rough few days with him. It seems that he has gotten behind on sleep – AGAIN – despite our efforts to protect his sleep schedule. This certainly has an effect on his behavior, but I believe that we have to stay consistent with discipline even when he’s tired (unless he’s getting over a bad bout with an illness, or has gotten off schedule due to travel or something beyond his control).
When he’s tired, he is definitely more active (hyper), less focused, and more prone to pout and resist following directions.
My challenge is to stay consistent with the tickets, and to enforce rules disapassionately. Over and over again, I learn (or, perhaps, don’t quite learn) that when I get annoyed, that is his payoff.