Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Making progress

A few days have gone by and some progress has been made. Puppy’s behavior tends to go up and down, much like that of a roller coaster ride. Not sure if this is right, but I would say that on those days which he is having a less than normal day, it’s like taking the ride upward on that steep hill. It’s not an easy climb and it almost feels like a crawl because the time goes by rather slowly. Then we finally reach the top! And this is comparable to those moments when he stops to listen to his teacher, or me or anyone else that manages to get his attention. But then comes the drop and, swoosh… his hands are in the air and he’s grinning from ear to ear and happy as if nothing had ever happened.

Yes, I really like that ride when it’s time to come down from the top of the hill. We can never have too much harmony in our home. But we haven’t been having too many blissful moments lately. I always try to find that factor in our daily routines that has changed and caused his world to be disrupted with unwanted behaviors. But guess what? It can be something as simple as starting the new school year, having a new bus driver, dealing with homework, and maybe even the sunsets coming at an earlier hour. So many possibilities and guesses go into figuring out the problem, and we don’t always figure it out, in fact we rarely find an answer.

Nevertheless, it wasn’t too bad of a day today. The constant communication between Puppy’s teacher and me led him to bear the consequences of lying to me, by sitting beside the teacher’s desk and not being allowed to join his classmates in group all day. The worst thing a person can do to Puppy is to ignore him, continue with whatever you are doing and leaving him out of the fun, activity or conversation.

Puppy had learned that whining, screaming, etc. will get him attention simply because one will go to him and try to calm him. But nope, we aren’t doing that anymore. It is difficult for me not to answer his call, but I’m learning. And the results are improvement all around. He is making the screams shorter, and the unwanted behaviors are becoming fewer. He is catching himself and actually even correcting his own behavior before I can put my finger up to remind him to stop or signal that’s enough. We are taking some steps forward and maybe dancing the Texas Two-Step as we take two steps forward and one step back now and then, but mostly advancing and reinforcing good behaviors. We’re slowly getting to a good place and a happier place, too.