I found this Quick Trick via one of my “awesome–always-knows-what-she’s-doing-and-is-a-fantastic-parent” pals who threw it at me a few months ago after I was complaining and moaning that my kids weren’t listening to me anymore. Ever since then, my husband and I have used this technique with Maddy, Owen, and Cora at times when we:
a. need to immediately stop unacceptable behavior;
- You put on an emotionless face when the behavior starts, and you count: That’s a one. (pause, and if it continues. . .) That’s two. (pause again, and if it’s still going on. . .) That’s three. Move to a time-out and cool down. (OR, Take 5. / Or, some other Time Out Alternative like losing toys, playtime, computer games, etc.)
- Easy to learn for parents and children.
- More time for fun and love in the family.
- Parents’ authority is not negotiable (and bargaining with little people is unnecessary and exhausting).
- Punishment is short and sweet. We use a time-out (just sitting on a small carpet piece away from others) that corresponds with age–3 min for 3 years, 5 for 5 years, and I have a small egg timer to keep track. If the offender does not have a quiet, respectful time-out, then they’ve earned a double time-out. Oooooooohhhhhh.
It’s certainly not perfect, but we seem to have found a balance between Conscious Discipline , 1, 2, 3 Magic. and just being horrible, angry, constantly-yelling parents. . . for now, at least. FYI: The book is actually called 1, 2, 3 Magic by Dr. Thomas W. Phelan, and I’ve just found that their website is super-informative.
It’s worth checking out and giving a try–the book is very easy to read, hysterical in parts, and it answers every question you may have now or tomorrow, after you start. Happy counting!