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Re: Very Big Problem

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Posted by Rowena on September 11, 2003 at 20:37:40:

In Reply to: Very Big Problem posted by Debbie on September 11, 2003 at 19:25:21:

Hi Debbie

This is a tricky situation. To restrict your daughter's access to the buckle in any way would also restricts your access in the case of an emergency, so I would suggest it's not the best option.

What is needed is some postitive reinforcement when she does not unbuckle her belt and some negative reinforcement for when she does. This is extra tricky because of her age.

For a positive reinforcement. Can you think of something she likes to do or eat and only use this as a special "stay in your seat" reward. Keep it small so that you can offer it each time (at least for now, later you could just offer it every now and then). You would need to be able to take it with you so that she is rewarded as soon as you reach your destination. By seeing that her brother gets this reward because he has stayed in his seat may also help.

Ideas for effective negative reinforcements are more difficult to come up with particularly for a 3 year old. At this age, to be effective any reinforcement needs to be given as soon as possible after the event. In other words there is not much point putting her into time-out once you arrive home. Is she capable of actually buckling up her own seat belt? If so where it's safe to do so, I would suggest as soon as you notice she has unbuckled her belt you pull over at the side of the road and tell her she is not to unbuckle her belt and you will not proceed until she has buckled her seat belt up again. Do this as many times as it takes. Of course this would also mean she does not receive her reward. You will also need to allow extra time for this if you need to be somewhere at a set time. You possibly also use the car for time-out. Of course safety is of the utmost importance and you need to be able to observe her. (You may need to be prepared for the disapproving stares from strangers).

Hopefully some of the others on this board will be able to come up with further suggestions.

Cheers Rowena

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