A Plea to Dr. B and DEFCON Update by the Numbers

A few weeks ago I was desperate and at my wit’s end.

Maybe it was vacation detox.

Maybe it was the equivalent of male four year old PMS.

For whatever reason, The Tackler stopped listening. He was mean. He rebelled about everything not his idea. He had a day of over 30 meltdowns.

It was bad.

Seeking help, I wrote to the amazing Dr. B – otherwise known as the sister of the hilarious Ilana of Mommy Shorts – who just happens to have a PhD in school psychology with a specialty in early development.

Go HERE to read her response to my letter first before reading on.

* * *

Meanwhile, unsure of when Dr. B would fly to my rescue, the idea of Discipline DEFCON sprung  from a visit to Chik-Fil-A.

I instantly put it into action.

A week and a half later, I have the number breakdown of the results:

He was SO proud to keep DEFCON level: Purple for an entire day (his first). The frozen yogurt reward didn't hurt... Compare this face with the one on Mommy Shorts...

2 – Times The Tackler has been in red (following a plummet from the high colors during inconsolable, most likely low blood sugar induced, meltdown).

20+ – Times he has reached purple, the color of ultimate power.

3 – Times the system appeared to be worthless (during meltdown mode).

8 – Times he has shot from purple to yellow in under ten minutes.

5 – Times rewarded with ice cream (frozen yogurt with toppings) for being in purple. The 100 degree heat also played a factor.

2 – Times I had to give up writing time because trumped by “I’m in purple mommy, you have to play with me” during Lil Diva’s naptime.

6 – Times he has tried to assign color levels to Lil Diva.

2.5 days AND COUNTING – Longest time spent so far in purple without dropping color.

3 – Times dropping to an undesired level caused a mini-tantrum.

4 – Times I probably should have dropped him a level but didn’t because he vowed to “be good”. And he was.

Too high to count – Times threatening a color drop stopped the undesired behavior from occurring or reoccurring.

The last one is hopefully a sign we’re on the right track, so we’re going to stick with it.

Now I’m off to read what Dr. B wrote, because I can use all the help I can get…

About Kelly K @ Dances with Chaos

Kelly K has learned the five steps to surviving of motherhood: 1) Don't get mad. Grab your camera. 2) Take a photograph. 3) Blog about it. 4) Laugh. 5) Repeat. She shares these tales at Dances with Chaos in order to preserve what tiny amount of sanity remains. You can also find her on her sister blog, Writing with Chaos (www.writingwithchaos.com) sharing memoir and engaging in her true love: fiction writing. It's cheaper than therapy.
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9 Responses to A Plea to Dr. B and DEFCON Update by the Numbers

  1. Dr B gave some handy hints there. I will try it, but that is probably more for older kids. My twins are currently two and at the moment tantrums actually come second to them wanting to kill each other ever other day. The tantrums I think I can manage (so far), but their fighting is becoming rediculous!

  2. kir says:

    These things really worked! Sounds like you can get a handle on him beeter now. My kids have been atrocious lately too and I read Dr B’s email and plan to put a lot of that into action.

    Love that pic of him, the smile is infectious!

  3. Ilana says:

    So glad you’re DEFCON system is working. Please let me know if you use any of Dr. B’s advice and if it helps! Thanks for submitting a question and much love to The Tackler for his adorably devlish face:)

  4. Kid Id says:

    Keep up the great work!

  5. Katie Dake says:

    I know this was a few yrs ago, but researching things for my son and he sounds sooo similar to your son’s behaviors.. His school uses the color chart thing as well and it works well for him except in melt down modes.. he also has very powerful meltdowns.. he doesn’t care about the color chart when he’s that upset.. I would love to hear an update of how he is doing now.. though I guess I could skim through your blog but might take awhile.. we’re currently getting him evaluated for special ed in the area of behavior as recommended by the school. He’s seeking attention from the teachers by hurting other kids and its just not good.. We also began therapy for him. Hopefully we can figure something out. It’s very tough!

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