I’ve written about counting days and how my time was consumed by worrying about all those who, what, when, where, why or how, whatever or whenever…as it related to affecting Puppy having a tantrum. Well, we started the New Year without counting days. It seems like some of the repetitious teachings have finally clicked with Puppy. But before you start clapping and cheering, his behaviors have improved but they haven’t disappeared.
These two weeks since he’s been back on a routine and the exposure to his classroom setting and teacher seems to have given him a flashback about how “good behavior” is always expected of him.
I’ve mentioned that we have told him the smoke detectors are cameras for his teacher, aunt, uncle, etc…,but we also started having his teacher come over to our home once a week for a total of six weeks (two down, four to go) doing in-home training. This has made a deep impression on Puppy. The idea of his teacher knowing what is going on in his own home by viewing a camera has now been stepped up a notch, and now he is very aware of her presence because it is now physical, a reality.
So now, instead of counting days, I am marking each day on our calendar with a point for good behavior or an “X” for unwanted behavior. Yes, still with the calendar because he is still trying to earn his One hundred (100) points to reinforce the fact that he can and did have 100 days of good behavior. We changed it up just a little though. Before the holidays, his teacher sent the calendars home and the power switched over to me. I am responsible for deciding if he deserves a daily point since the lack of respect and tantrums were at home and not at school.
In case you forgot, the points system has been there since September, but the teacher was the firm one between us and she has no problem placing “X” and even removing points for unwanted behavior. This is not so easy for his mom. I’m a softie when it comes to wanting him happy. And remember, the points are being used to allow him to get the prized possession back—his wallet!
To summarize, Puppy is showing much improvement and minimized unwanted behaviors. Is it all working? I don’t know. Maybe he’s just playing us for fools, and doing a great job of it, but if it removes the tantrums and meltdowns and foul language—I’ll take it any day.