Wednesday, May 18, 2005

May 17

Today Zach woke up with a stomach bug apparently. It fortunately cleared by noon but not before he had thrown up all over his carseat and then the floor in the house. I got the carseat out of the car (yuck) and prepared to wash it. I discovered that the cover just does not come off. At that point enough was enough with that carseat (Cosco Alpha Omega) and decided we were getting a new one. The cover not being off easily to wash was the last straw along with the straps that were constantly twisted and the buckle that sometimes wouldn't open or close. We were headed to Babies R Us today for another reason (see below) so I researched and picked a new seat. We ended up getting him a Graco Turbo Booster, which is a high-backed booster using the seat belt, age 3-10, 30-100 pounds. I would have liked to keep him in a 5-point a little longer but after reviewing Consumer Reports, Epinions and Amazon reviews we went with this one. We tried it in the store and it appeared to fit him appropriately in terms of size. It sure is easy to install so we will see how we like it long term.

Back to the reason for the Babies R Us visit though -- we ordered a new changing table on 4/30 and was told it would be in in 7-10 days. Obviously it is well past 7-10 days and no phone call to pick it up. I finally called in to check on it only to be told that our paperwork showed "complete" as of May 6, meaning it was picked up!!!! Needless to say I was a little upset and explained that in fact we had no picked it up and to find our paid for changing table! The person at the furniture desk did say she would call back and went into the warehouse to find out the status. She found our paperwork in the completed folder with no signature that it was picked up. After some searching, she found an box without our name but was our changing table and put our name on it for pickup. We went to get it immediately before anything else happend to the thing but needless to say I was not pleased at their incompetence and glad I finally called as we would not have gotten a call obviously since according to them we already picked it up. I am hesitant obviously to order more from them in the future as they seem quite disorganized and their customer service over several visits leaves quite a bit to be desired.

So, we brought our table and the new booster home and I started work. Another bad day at work with too many newbies leading to a lot of stress. (sigh).

Just not my day but hopefully tomorrow will be better.

I did finish the last chapter of Parenting Without Punishment. My review I guess would be 3 to 4 stars out of 5. I found a good portion of the book to be very dry, reading like a scientific paper or a piece intended for journal publication rather than directed towards parents. There certainly was some excellent advice, obviously well researched, in the book but it was hard to get through at times. He certainly cannot be faulted for content but rather style. I wonder if it actually was originally a research piece and the examples and more user-friendly tone seem stuck into the middle of the more scholarly parts, almost as if they were added later to make it more appealing to the new intended audience, parents.

There was not a lot new in there as I have read several books on parenting, but it offered a slightly different perspective and new examples of implementation. His title comes from the thought that punishment is a whole lot less effective than positive reinforcement to change a behavior, or rather to reinforce or encourage a positive behavior rather than focus entirely on decreasing the frequency of a negative behavior. He also had a great chapter on ADHD with a fresh perspective that the exact medical diagnosis is not as important as simply treating the symptoms in some certain cases, ADHD being one. True enough in that case if you want to avoid pharmaceutical routes. And treating the symptoms from a behavioral perspective is the same whether your child is just hyperactive or clinically diagnosed ADHD.

Lastly, I particularly liked the reinforcement of the notion that sometimes it is OUR perspective as parents that need to change rather than or in addition to behavior modification in the child. Behavior you may want to eliminate (yelling or whatever) is in fact appropriate in some contexts so really what you want to do is teach appropriateness rather than eliminate a behavior. And also as parents we get stuck in techniques that aren't working rather than branching out in new techniques and being more flexible. One of the lines that made my laugh ruefully actually came near the end of the book, when a couple was seeing him for counselling and the wife complained her husband left his clothes around the house for the 10 years of their marriage. When asked how she handled this she replied she yelled at him and Dr. Maag replied, "Congratulations, you're very persistent. You really gave yelling a chance to work --- 10 years is a long time to try one thing. Now are you ready to try something different?" Those sentiments obviously can be applied to several relationships, not just parenting! :-)

No comments: