Arias has always been a brilliant child. And fortunately for us she never seemed to get the bout of the “Terrible Twos”. Now, however, as she reaches the end of her 3’s she seems to have moved on from our well behaved little girl to seeing how mama and papa deal with the “Testy Threes going on Fiery Fours”. It seems she has almost regressed in her manners and attitude towards us, and is seeing how far she can push the limits. She has been giving us teenager attitude that she must have picked up from movies and school, and bringing Eben and I to red-faced, take-a-step-back frustrations. Her old punishment of having to do time on her back, literally she had to go lay on her back in time out, was no longer giving the desired results as she smirked her way through them, and so it was time for a game change. From an agreement we came to as a couple and as parents, this is a no spanking boat. We had to come up with something else that would have impact on her little life and make her realize that maybe her actions were not in her best interest. The way we chose to do so was The Noodle Way.
   Eben came up with this great idea. Arias would now be working on a point, or noodle, system. For every good deed she does she receives a good noodle, and for every bad deed she receives a bad noodle. He painted two handfuls of noodles blue and red, good and bad, and every time she is rewarded with one or the other she has to go get it and place it in a container. At the end of the day she counts her noodles. If she has a surplus of “bad noodles” each one counts for 10 minutes of earlier bedtime, if she has a surplus of “good noodles” she gets to go shopping on her noodle chart. On this chart she can buy herself, juice for the next day, fruit loops for breakfast, snacks, tuck-in time with mama, sleeping with her teddy bears, ipad time, and a later bedtime. 
   So far it seems to be working. At first she had a couple really good days and seemed to almost take this whole thing as a joke, but once she had a bad day and only had one noodle to spend, her behavior became a little less funny. With her single noodle she bought herself tuck-in time with mama, showing us that even when she is upset she still prefers us over fruit loops, thank goodness. This method has definitely reduced the arguments and frustrations that we had been feeling. Now with a simple “Arias think about your attitude, do you want a bad noodle”, usually the bad behavior stops. She also is very proud each time we reward her with a good noodle. I think it does her good to see that we actually do take note of her good behavior too.

Red bad behavior noodles and blue good behavior noodles
Her point system
Her reward “shopping” chart. Artwork by Eben