Apr 12, 2012


I start with consequences for disobedience when my littles are about 18 months old. Nothing harsh, mind you, just a reminder of what I want them to do, a slow count to three, and then "You can do ____ or you can go to timeout. Do you want to go to timeout?" With Lily, this was very effective. I would start to count and she would shout "Stop!" and rush to be obedient (at least, until she turned 3). That little girl does not like to sit still.
She had so much fun posing in the timeout chair. This is her "sad" face. "Mad" and "Surprised" didn't make the cut.
James has been a different story. I will start to count, and he will finish counting for me: "One...", "...twoooo...freeeee!" If I say "Do you need to go to timeout?", he gets a big grin on his face and RUNS to the timeout chair. He's always been more than content to sit in one place. And sometimes all I needed was him out of my hair, so there's no skin off my back if he *enjoys* the timeout chair!
Imagine this face in the timeout chair. Ineffective parenting :)
Once Lily turned 3, I started teaching her about choices. She's transitioned really well into making choices - although sometimes it leaves me in a pickle. For example, she'll run away from me in Walmart. I try to (calmly) yell "Lily, come back here!" and she'll respond "Choices?" leaving me to scramble in my brain for an alternative I can follow through on. Luckily, this scenario has only happened a few times, and each time I've been quick enough to reply "You can hop back to me, or run back to me, you choose." For awhile, it got really out of control. I would give her two or three choices (usually at lunch) and she would keeps asking "What else?" until I lost my mind. After several frustrated phone calls to my mom, over a period of about a month, I wised up. Now she gets TWO choices, and if she doesn't choose one, I choose for her. I really like giving choices. She rarely has meltdowns - and those are stopped by reverting to the timeout chair with a two-minute sand-timer that she has to watch until it runs out.
Bonus, she got it from the dentist. Free is awesome.
And now James has caught on. Yesterday at the park, I gave them a two minute warning, and then we headed off to the car. Halfway there, James stopped and said "Shoice? Shoice?" I laughed out loud and said "You can choose to climb into the car, or you can choose me to pick you up." (I'm clearly not teaching him grammar yet.)
Trying to moosh ants with his sting-ray. Now that's a choice Mama can get behind.

1 comment:

  1. Jessica I just discovered you blog and I LOVE it! Seriously so wise! Plus I totally agree free is AWESOME:-). You are an AMAZING mother and I love watching you with your kids and listening to your stories. I was sad we couldn't meet you at the park yesterday, but Mr "Carrot" just kept on sleeping, which did not make me sad one bit.