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Unintentionally Rewarding Bad Behavior??

One of the only things that will calm Burke down when he gets…let’s say, upset…is turning the TV on. When he’s going on something like a “Maggie took all the good toys and I’m not going to stop crying for 3 hours” type cry, I am all for the calming effects of the TV. Right now, Curious George is our friend. However, when he’s upset because “I did something to upset mommy, she punished me, and now I’m upset” I have a hard time using the TV to calm him down…even though that’s usually what ends up happening. *sigh* Am I rewarding his bad behavior??

Take this morning for example, it all started with Burke coloring on non-paper items (with markers) so I took the markers away. Continued with coloring on non-paper items (with crayons) so I took the crayons away. Screeching ensued. After trying to talk with him and let him know that the screeching hurt my ears (etc. etc. etc.), he kept screeching so I took him upstairs (the normal progression). I left him alone to “think about things.” He threw books at the door. I went in and told him if he did it again he’d get a spanking. Did it again. Got a spanking. Did it AGAIN. Got another spanking. (I can’t not follow through on a threat!) So…now he’s calmed down a bit and we go back downstairs. Logan is “playing” with the Legos (which Burke thinks are HIS), and I can see a meltdown starting to happen, so the TV is used as a diversion (I have to put Logan down for a nap anyway and the TV serves as a mindless distraction so I know the twins won’t get into too much trouble while I’m out of sight)…but then I think “damn. Am I rewarding the bad behavior from before???” I can only hope that he doesn’t associate the two…

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