Archive for February, 2011

It Just Takes A Moment…Either Way

How long does it take to begin to change your parenting to get results you can be proud of?  Just a moment. 

How long does it take to reinforce a behavior that you wish would go away?  Again, just a moment.

If I could ambush coach the mom I just saw at a coffee shop, it would make a simple impact with huge long term results.  She did not break any parenting codes, there was no UTube-worthy parenting fail.  Just a simple interaction, almost automatic for both, that is going to drive her crazy over time…so unnecessarily.

Little guy is 2ish.  Mom hands him the bag with muffin to hold.  He does so, very well in fact.  When she is done doctoring her latte, she reaches down for the bag and takes it from him.  He instantly siren screams, a piercing wail that is as practiced as it is effective.  Mom pauses, and then quickly hands it back to him.  He stops the wail then walks out with “his way” clutched in his hands, not even triumphant; just with a look that things are restored to as they should be (to his way of thinking.)

Behavior reinforced:  You piss me off, I threaten a temper tantrum, you cave, I relent.  OK then, see you next time.  Score one for Inappropriate Power.

Opportunity missed:  You have two choices here;  One is give appropraite power by either letting him keep the bag out to the car, as long as he manages it well OR when you think to take it back, request it.  If he wants to keep it, accept his no thanks, as long as it is nicely given,  (not screeched at you.)

The second option is your default reaction everytime your child uses the scream, tantrum, or yell to get what they want.  Everytime.  Stop or pause in giving them what they want; even if it is easier/quieter, or you don’t mind, or you were going to anyway!  Direct them to stop asking that way and model a more acceptable request.   Coffee Mom could have just said, “Honey, no fussing, just say, please Mommy.”  Wait until you see the switch before you comply & only then.  If they do not stop the  fuss, no giving in. 

It may be harder that time, but each time thereafter will get way better.  JAT

February 26, 2011 at 12:19 pm Leave a comment


Dawn Roth

My mission is to cause a monumental shift in parenting as we know it! Wanna help?

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