Saturday, June 28, 2008

Disciplining myself

I said I'd do another post about my own discipline confessions. I did do some soul searching after my reading and I found 2 areas I really need to work on.

I'm guilty of using vague language. When playtime gets a little rough and I intervene, I shouldn't be saying "Play nice with your friends." How is a 2 year old supposed to know what nice means? Sounds obvious but I've said such words a bunch of times and once I started listening to other moms we're all guilty of that sort of language. Adverbs just weren't designed for little people. So I've started substituting descriptive language. "When we play with the train, it stays on it's tracks" in place of previous nondescript phrase. Harder than it sounds since it's requiring a bit of a phase shift in the mental patterns.

Also, I phrase requests to my 2 year old the same as I would to an adult. Good modeling but not so good at getting the actions I want. I start too many sentences with "Could you..." These are often not really requests such as "Could you come here so we can put your shoes on?" A fellow adult would see the need and not bat an eye but a snarky toddler sees the opening for a big debate. I'm trying to rephrase so that he either gets a command or real choices. So it's better when I say "I need you to come here so we can put your shoes on." Much clearer path to consequences and less opening for debate. Or, "We need to put your shoes on. Do you want to do it on the sofa or the chair?" So he gets some control but the shoes get on.

I'm sure in 6 months I'll have to reread all the books to work on a whole new stack of challenges but it at least gave me some things to work on and areas for improvement. I hope it pays off.

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