Thursday, September 10, 2009

Books and Talking Clocks

I'm so pleased with some of the new books I got for Kylie. I ordered some board books of the Dinosaur series by Yolen and Teague"How Do Dinosaurs Learn Their Colors"" and "How Do Dinosaurs Count to Ten" and "...Play with Their Friends" and "...Clean Their Rooms". Kylie and I are really enjoying them.

I also ordered the book, "When Mama Comes Home Tonight" . It was available only in hardcover. I was pleasantly surprised with how well Kylie treated the hardcover book. Before now, when I've gotten out a hardcover, she's been too rough turning the pages- bending and tearing them. But now she gingerly turns the paper pages. And she stays interested in books that have more than one sentence on each page.

I've been so tickled to get out some hardcover books I've had up on the shelf and to request some books from the library. This week we found "One Duck Stuck" and "Mr. Cookie Baker" from the Library among others. And I plan to purchase those two when I can. (They are on Kylie's Amazon Wish List, by the way). And I'm so very tickled to read her some of the wordier Dr. Seuss books. We read "Green Ham and Eggs" this morning three times.

Let me know some of the books you are reading to your toddler. We have a lot of the Boyton, Carle, and Seuss books along with books from characters like Dora and Blue from Blue's Clues. I'm looking for some more variety and your suggestions will help.

Now, onto the Talking Clock. Yesterday in my blog post, I mentioned the Talking Clock and got two comments from folks wanting to know what I meant. It's a phrase that I learned from the Supernanny. Although when I looked it up in my Supernanny book on page 50, I see that she refers to it as the Speaking Clock. Anyway, it's a technique that you probably already use but here is my description of it.

I use the Talking Clock method to move Kylie from one thing to another. I use it most when it is time to leave the park because she loves the park and rarely wants to go. I'll squat down and get to her level, make eye contact and in a pleasant, easy-going voice I'll say, "In five minutes we are going to leave the park". And then later, "In 2 minutes we are going to leave the park". And finally, "In one minute, we are going to leave the park". And then I say something like, "It's time to leave the park. I've got special juice and raisins for you in the car".

And then we go.

Even if the most beautiful picture opportunity opens up and I dearly want to stop and take a picture. Even if she sees a fascinating stick that she wants to play with some more. Doesn't matter; we go. We don't rush but we do leave. And if she fusses, we still go. And if she does that collapse-to-the-ground thing, then I pick her up and we still go.

It lets her know that she can depend on the countdown.

Fast transitions can be hard for Kylie so I also have gotten used to tell her what's coming next all the time. For example, at the end of lunch I'll say, "All done with your lunch. So we're going to wash your hands and then go downstairs". Or "After Mommy's through unloading the dishwasher, we're going to have story time". Stuff like that. So I don't do the Talking Clock for every little thing but I do let her know when we're moving from one thing to the next.

And if I say, "It's time to pick up your toys" and I get a resolute, "No!" back then I'll say, "Finish up because in one minute we are picking up your toys". And then, "In less than one minute, we are going to pick up your toys" and then, "Okay, time to pick up your toys". And if I still get a "No!" then I'll say, "This is your warning. You need to follow Mommy's instructions. You need to pick up your toys". And if she still doesn't, then she goes to time out.

And now I'll quote a bit from the Supernanny book about the Talking Clock:
"Taking the time to speak to your child in this way will save you a great deal of time and effort in the long run. When parents are busy, they have a tendency to speak to their kids in sressed-out tones and give them instant cut-off points-"Bed. Now!"- which leaves no room to maneuver and backs a child into a corner. Children very quickly pick up the signs that you are frazzled and most react by trying to take advantage of the situation. Staying calm and taking the time to warn them about what's coming next lets them know that you're in charge."

Hope that answers your questions.


Cara said...

I stumbled upon your blog a while ago and love it. My daughter is 31-months-old. Besides Dr. Seuss, some of her favourite big-kid books include:

-Sleeping Dragons All Around
-Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
-Alexander and the Horrible Rotten No Good Day
-Click Clack Moo
-The Knuffle Bunny books by Mo Williems.
-The Olivia books
-Llama Llama Red Pajama
-Several Robert Munsch books including The Paper Bag Princess and Love You Forever.

Ethan Barry's Momma said...

Isn't it great when their love of reading continues to develop as they progress in age?! All we once had were board books, and now they are few and far between. Ethan used to love all of the "How do dinosaurs..." books. I don't know how much he likes them anymore though. We'll have to send some your way. Email me what you have, and I'll see if we have others.

Ethan loves hardcover books, especially from the library. The stories are so much more in depth, and they actually hold his attention. A few series that he has liked lately are: the "Corduroy" books, the "Froggy" books, and the "Paddington" books.
Basically any book about a subject that he is interested in is a winner. I just look through them and make sure they aren't too wordy or complex.

Thanks for the explanation of "the talking clock". I guess I do a version of that, but I just never knew what it was called. I think that E is more used to transitions b/c of school. I know that the teacher uses a whistle in his preschool class, but I think that would drive me batty after a while.

E. from Pot o' Gold said...

We use the talking clock thing too. When Teo was much younger I heard a mom using it at B&N, and her kid left the train table without a tantrum. I thought it was a great idea, so I started using it as soon as Teo was old enough to understand. It's amazing what you can get them to do with a little warning.

Teo loves the Dinosaur series books too. The Biscuit books and the Spot (lift the flap) books are a big hit too.

E and M, jumpingoutoftrees said...

Echoing other commenters...EG loves the Biscuit books. (We have a golden retriever so it was almost a given.) Other favorites are Knuffle Bunny, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, Who's in the Tub?, and The Very Busy Spider. Her ability to sit through "wordy" books directly relates to her interest in them. A month ago she didn't really care about If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, now she loves it.

We let her "read" the books on her own, which has led to some of them needing packing tape to put the pages back together. However, she's just so darn cute sitting there looking at pictures, turning pages, and talking.

Soupy said...

I think I listed books awhile back that Keifer loves
she loves:

Llama Llama Red Pajama
The Biggest thing in the Ocean
My Family by Todd Parr
Caps for Sale (Kylie will love this)
What Time is it, Mr. Crocodile?
Silly Sally
King Bidgood's in the Bathtub
What a Wonderful World (she now sings it, andI showed her the Youtube of Louis Armstrong singing it )
Big Red Barn
The Snowy Day(for winter)
Sheep in a Jeep (and other Sheep stories, etc (Sheep in a Shop)
The Okay book by Todd Parr
Down by the Bay (Raffi sings the song and the book is cute)
Wiggle Waggle

Soupy said...

here's the link I typed up last year when K was still a babe! :)

I teach 3 year olds so I LOVE books! :)

Cara said...

I also remembered the Jillian Jiggs books.

Kerry Lynn said...

M&J are definitely testing who's in control but they will now do anything I ask.
Rather than telling them to do something and getting the obligatory "no" I ask "do you want a time out? They say no and I say "then you need to pick up the cereal you spilled on the floor" and they immediately do it without a fuss.
Or if they're fussing to get dressed I ask them if they want to go outside they say yes I say then you need to get dressed.
I just kind of stumbled on it and it's working great for us.
Unfortunately Chris opts for the "BED NOW!" route. UGH, why did I marry a man???