We had a doctors appointment for my youngest to go to. I had to take all three children with me: Zoie aged five, Rayden aged three, and Zach aged one. To maintain order and sanity, we have developed guidelines for whenever we go to the doctors. They are: children sit in a chair and play/talk quietly whenever the nurse is in the room, once the nurse leaves the room to get the doctor the children may get up move around and explore posters on the wall, play with their one toy, etc., when the doctor enters the room children are to sit back in the chairs and play/talk quietly. This time, however, I forgot to remind them of the guildelines, and it showed.
While the nurse and I were speaking they were loud, interrupted us, threw their toys on the ground, and disobeyed when I said to leave the toys on the ground. So, I took Rayden’s car and Zoie’s doll and placed them on the weigh table out of sight until the nurse left. When the nurse left to get the doctor, I explained to them why I took their toys away – they were not taking care of their belongings appropriately. I explained why they were not allowed out of their chairs like usual – they had not followed the guidelines to be quiet for the nurse and I to talk. I then reviewed the guidelines and made sure both understood my expectations for them once the doctor walked in the room. I then reviewed the proper ways to take care of belongings. I then offered a second chance for them to have their toys back in order have something to play with once the doctor came in, but the reminder was they had to take proper care of them, or they would be taken away again.
Their toys were given back, the doctor came in, and the rest of the visit went smoothly. The children’s reactions to the consequences were as expected. They were upset to have lost their toys, although they did not scream or cry about it. We have made it a general rule in our house that if you do not take care of something be it toys, clothes, etc., then the item will be taken away for a period of time. They were even accepting of the consequence to not be able to get out of the chairs and move around once the nurse left. When I reviewed the guildelines for doctors office visits, they both new them and were able to verbalize what they did contrary to the guidelines.
I would rate my consequences as effective in this situation. Once the doctor came in, their behavior changed from what it was during the time the nurse was in the room and reflected what was set forth in the guidelines. In the future, I will be sure to review guidelines before going into the exam room. Normally, I would have reviewed them, but this time I failed to and my children’s behavior showed it. Other than that, I would use the same consequences in the future instances if the situation was the same, and I thought they would be just as effective.