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Shhhhhh....Parenting tricks of the trade!

With a two year old running wild around the house and a career in child psychology/development/behavioral therapy with children affected by Autism I feel as though I am learning new tricks-behavior modifications everyday!!!! I am happy to share mine as they come and hoping other parents will too!

*as any behaviorist/parent/teacher will say....reinforcement of appropriate behavior is much more optimal than punishment!!! Reinforcing desired behaviors provides children with more information than punishment..(i.e. I like it when you do this...instead of "don't do that")  not to mention reinforcement..(which can come in forms of praise, hugs, etc,) builds up children's  self-esteem and teaches them self-regulation of their behaviors...

*this goes the same for modeling appropriate behaviors, (We pet the cat gently like this, you try" Good Job being so gentle! As vegans we are constantly modeling compassion, and in most cases healthy eating choices!

*redirection is a amazing technique in maintaining sanity while raising toddlers!!! (hey, come look over here lets pretend we're dinosaurs while we walk (insert undesired location/demand!)

*and to get less technical

*My daughter loves frozen fruit!! She doesn't like berries unless they are frozen, but then she gobbles them up!

*sandwiches and homemade crackers in cookie cut shapes like these
http://shmooedfood.blogspot.com/2007/01/vegan-goldfish-crackers.html

*even just putting undesired food in a cool bowl or with her fav. Thomas the Train spoon helps to get her to eat it!!!

I definitely have more...and will keep them coming!

it's this one
http://vegweb.com/index.php?topic=4917.0

but for the spices I only use 2 cloves of garlic, then 2 tsp garam masala, 1/4 tsp mild chilli powder, 1 tsp tumeric, 1/4  ground ginger (i never seem to have fresh), 1 tsp cumin and 1 - 2 tsp of rice syrup or whatever sweetner I have to hand.

Sometimes I add a whole tin of tomatoes or grate in a carrot but Winnie will eat it whatever - she has changed a bit now and I have to really finely chop the onion or any veg that I might add in, and she does like to dip bread in it now as well.

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I totally agree with cutting things into shape. I swear my 3 year old will eat anything I make out of Hello Kitty shapes! I also find that she'll eat something new if I take a bite first. That worked recently with peanut butter & raisins on celery (ants on a log as my mom always called it).

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I thought of some more....I've been experimenting with the Shakey-shake, (spice shakers filled with nutritious mixes for my daughter to shake on her food. 
I've done a
* nut. yeast/sesame seed/wee bit of salt/wheat germ blend, (everything mixed to a powder together in the food processor.)
* a nori seaweed/nut. yeast/sesame seed/ pumpkin seed/salt one (not as well recieved, I believe she described in as "yuck" -I kinda like it though.

Also for new mamas, Berry Raw  you're due soon, right?
I don't know if you have a baby carrier but I tried the sling kind, the wrap kind and the baby bijorn kind and my favorite....BY FAR was the best one! you can get an infant insert than it grows with them, we still sometimes use it with our two year old.
heres her in it w/ me 2 summers ago....awwww
http://i46.tinypic.com/1428lev.jpg

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lol I forgot to mention its an Ergo one. I got mine at a organic toystore-Peapods, I think you can get them online from there too. They are like 100.00, but SO WORTH IT! Seriously get one of these before you even get a changing table!  Oh, and obviously I never wore my baby when I was cooking or anything dangerous like that.  But they are great for wearing your baby during other chores, etc

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Caitlin really isn't a picky eater.  There only a few things she won't eat.  She won't eat onions, so I have to diced them very tiny if I don't want a pile of onions on the table after dinner.  Anyways, I just wanted to see that a dip usually makes the difference between an eaten vegatable and one left on the plate.  She even likes to dip cooked vegetables.  Marinara sauce, stir-fry sauce, or even ketchup all work well. 

I also found Nemo-shaped pasta at the grocery store.  Yes it's white flour, but by putting a handful in a pot of soup, she will eat any soup without complaint.  It does confuse people that a vegan baby would ask for fish soup though. 

Those mesh feeding bags are great for teething.  I used to put frozen peas in it, and it really helped.  I used this more than anything other teething product.  I never tried frozen fruit, mostly because the peices were too big to get in the ring.  It worked well for frest fruit though.  I don't know why more people don't use them. 

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we dabble in a little PBS over here and Kea's favorite show is from Dinosaur Train, it is super cute to hear her singing about being a Hungry Herbivore....she is constantly singing "ah-woooo we love to chew," then in a deep voice, " "if its green its good!"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-Cgw_UXP-w

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I second the ERGO.....I got mine second hand. Love it!

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I love that this is a behavioral-learning based thread! I work in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis--which it sounds like babygotsauce is studying--and ABA is based on the idea that by changing our environment and our responses we can help others change for the better, in socially significant ways. ABA has tons of research backing it's ideas and methods and it is constantly adding more...it literally makes no assumptions without testing them lots of times.

:D
I'm glad to see the mention of specific praise--many kids, even typical kids, don't know what you're talking about exactly if you say "good job" but they know what you mean if you say "Good job cleaning up your toys."

A couple other 'tricks of the trade': --reinforcement (anything that INCREASES a behavior) works best when delivered within 1 second of the behavior you want to increase. So if you praise a child for something they did an hour ago, or even fifteen minutes ago it is less effective, although still nice.

--punishment (anthing that DECREASES a behavior--so when your kid is screaming in the checkout and you give them candy and they stop screaming then giving them candy IS considered punishment, because it stops the behavior of screaming) is okay to use but the rule of thumb is that for every time you have to say "Don't do this" or "No yelling" etc. you need to praise the positive of that behavior 5-8 times. So if you say "no yelling at the checkout line" then for it to be really effective say "good job using a quiet voice" 5-8 times during checkout.

--if your child already does something willingly, avoid introducing a tangible reward for it, or you will likely see that child start to ONLY do that if he is going to get the reward....something i lreaned the hard way when i started.

As you can probably see I LOVE ABA. I also love child development. I'd be happy to answer any questions anyone has. I've been working with kids pre-k to fifth grade for about 6 years now.

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sweet, Aggplanta, ABA rocks my world too! I'm, working towards my board certification, fun times..I've also been working in the field for the past 6-7 years, I am currently working with ages ranging from 3-7, which is fun..I've worked with middle schoolers too but am loving being back with little ones!.....right on with some great ABA examples!
(and just from 1 ABA nerd to another, I think that in the screaming/candy example the candy would be serving as SR+, the screaming would be functioning to attain the item/candy therefore giving them the candy would stop them from screaming momentarily, (since the behvaior was effective in getting the item), yet it would reinforce that class of behaviors, (screaming/tantruming to attain desired items/candy.) So in this case candy would be functioning as a positive reinforcer....increasing the likelihood of future screaming in the checkout line.  An example of a negative punisher to this situation would be removing a preferred stimulus-item/candy/ activity (aka we're not going to the toy store now).  This would, (like you said,) decease the class of "tantrum in the checkout line" behaviors in the future. an example of a positive punisher would be adding a stimulus that would decrease that class of behaviors in the future, saying "no!, having a time out,etc.." whew....it all gets a little confusing, even though when it boils down to it its pretty simple!

I totally agree with overcorrection (having them do something right 4x's) and along with that reinforcing 4:1 as well! Thanks for the ABA chatting!

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ooh good catch about my punisher example. that's why you should never have your behavior analyst write plans on three hours sleep! lol

i love to chitchat about aba, sometimes its fun to just nerd out and talk about all the little nuances of it  :)

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ooh good catch about my punisher example. that's why you should never have your behavior analyst write plans on three hours sleep! lol

i love to chitchat about aba, sometimes its fun to just nerd out and talk about all the little nuances of it  :)

yes, its fun, I eat, drink and sleep ABA!!! Fun to have a fellow ABA-er on vegweb now :)

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I have talked about frozen fruit before, but now that its getting warmer out there I thought I would revisit this. My daughter loves. loves, LOVES frozen fruit cut up in little pieces.  I cut up fruit that are super ripe into tiny pieces and throw them in a bag in the freezer.  (we call them "nibblahs") She eats them with a spoon so her fingers don't get cold.  She also likes fresh fruit, but the frozen ones get her to eat multiple servings.  She really likes watermelon, strawberries, blueberries, mangoes (only in frozen form,) and bananas this way. Not really a recipe but a fun way to not waste fruit thats ripe and to get her to eat it

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I thought of some more....I've been experimenting with the Shakey-shake, (spice shakers filled with nutritious mixes for my daughter to shake on her food. 
I've done a
* nut. yeast/sesame seed/wee bit of salt/wheat germ blend, (everything mixed to a powder together in the food processor.)
* a nori seaweed/nut. yeast/sesame seed/ pumpkin seed/salt one (not as well recieved, I believe she described in as "yuck" -I kinda like it though.

Also for new mamas, Berry Raw  you're due soon, right?
I don't know if you have a baby carrier but I tried the sling kind, the wrap kind and the baby bijorn kind and my favorite....BY FAR was the best one! you can get an infant insert than it grows with them, we still sometimes use it with our two year old.
heres her in it w/ me 2 summers ago....awwww
http://i46.tinypic.com/1428lev.jpg

LOL, I JUST saw this!  I have both a Dr.Sears ring sling and a Baby Bjorn carrier. I use them both around the house and when out for walks or whatever.  Sometimes when Maia's super cranky I can just put her in one of the carriers and she chills out.  I love being able to wear her around and have free hands!

Kind of am wishing I got one of those Ergo's though, as I've been hearing such good things about them.  I need a good summertime/hiking carrier for her, both of mine might make her and I too hot this summer.

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I love the Ergo-especially as she got older. Its weight distrubution made it so much easier to carry her around as she got bigger.  And it has a weight limit of like 40 pounds or something. It also has these attachable cloths for them to suck/chew on, on the straps, that Kea loved

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