Works For Me: Re-do discipline

July 24, 2013 in discipline

“Mom, I NEED more milk,” my four-year-old yells from the table.

Where did this child learn to speak like this? Often I can blame their speech habits on myself or my husband. I’ll chalk this one up to sin nature.

“MMMMOOOOMM. Where’s my milk?”

I concentrate through the bubbles of the dish soap and scrub harder at the dried egg. I will not ruin this moment by laughing. She is just so cute when she is angry. But some day, that cuteness will fad. Now is a teachable moment.

“MMMOOOOMM. Are you listening?”

” I can hear you…”

“I NEED more milk.”

I scrubbed more. I used to get mad. How dare my daughter speak to me in such a voice. And I would raise my voice and narrow my eyes and give an old fashioned, strike-terror- in- her- heart lecture on respect. To my 3-year-old. Then I saw her imitate me to stuffed animals. I praised God for the lesson while she was still young, asked my young girl, who really didn’t understand, for forgiveness and adopted the re-do plan. If I have a plan for misbehavior, I don’t usually lose control of my emotions because I know what to do. In this case, the plan for 3-year-old disrespect was to simply ignore her until she spoke with the proper words and tone. I had trained her. I like to use “talking” stuffed animals to role play kind and respectful interaction. She loved it.

I heard shuffling as Bird grabbed her cup, and shuffled into the kitchen. She smiled sweetly, aware of her guilt, “Mom, can I please have more milk?”

“Of course, dear.”

correcting kids' behaviorWith re-dos, sometimes I don’t respond to rude behavior. Sometimes I say simply, “Try again.” With issues, like sibling fights (the hose seems to create a disproportionate amount of fighting) , I make both girls redo entire dialogues. Re-dos tend to be effective because I stay calm and the girls have to practice kindness and gentleness and self control rather than just apologize for mistakes. They are effective as soon as your little one can understand what is going onĀ  until …..I’m not sure. My girls are 9 and 11 and I still use this technique. I don’t foresee an age where a re-do won’t be appropriate in some context.

Joining Kristin at We Are THAT Family for Works for Me Wednesday.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Karla July 25, 2013 at 3:13 pm

Great idea! I get so exasperated with my older kiddos (ages 3 and 5), and oftentimes find myself yelling at them… which of course I hate and end up apologizing for again and again. We do the ignoring thing on occasion, but what if it’s a refusal to obey? Sometimes I say something and my son actually says “no” or gives me a reason why he doesn’t have to do it. It’s so hard to keep my cool!

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pruningprincesses July 26, 2013 at 2:49 am

Hi Karla, great questions. I explained to my girls that mommy and daddy obey God. And kids obey mommy and daddy because God tells them to and to practice for being an adult when they will obey God on their own. Then we set up consequences about what happens if they refuse to obey. That way there was a plan. Discipline plans help me keep my cool. My girls are only 9 and 11, so I can’t say this with certainty, but I suspect teaching them to will make later stages of parenting easier. Here’s a link to a post about my last result discipline measure: http://www.pruningprincesses.com/trump-card/ and just so you know, I still apologize for losing my cool regularly though I am getting better!

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Stephanie B. August 5, 2013 at 1:24 am

That’s what we’ve started doing with our 2.5 year old. Sometimes it ends in a tantrum, but now that we’ve been following through, he kind of gets it.
Sometimes when I say “Nathan, you need to ask nicely”. His response is “nicely, please”. I usually say ok then. That kind of counts, right?

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pruningprincesses August 5, 2013 at 4:42 pm

Of course it counts! He is 2.5! How precious. And yes, cookie dough. If I don’t chew gum when I bake, I eat way too much. I have a recipe for cookie dough that is just for eating—no eggs but uses vanilla pudding mix. Maybe I should post it? Thank you for taking time to read and comment on my blog!

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