May 5, 2015

5 Sentences

Not too long ago, I wrote about how all of my children are different.  As I mentioned in the post, there are many perks to having four unique individuals running around your house- but there are downfalls, too.

We've had one particularly bad attitude knocking around here for months.  None of our methods for squashing it were working.  The things we'd tried before on other kids only made things worse for this one.  We tried all the positive reinforcement, praise and special attention- but nothing was enough for this kid.  It was frustrating, and beginning to feel a little hopeless.  My inner dialogue started to go something like, "Maybe we're just going to have to live with a jerk for the next several years and hope by the time they're an adult they will have grown out of it?"  My outer dialogue (to Chris) went something like, "I can't live like this for the next several years and just hope by the time they're an adult they grow out of it!"

So you know as a parent how sometimes, when your kid is having a problem, you consult with people you trust- a doctor, a teacher, maybe just a close friend- you make a plan with your partner, and you commit to trying some recommended strategy that seems designed for your child, directed toward your goals and in line with your parenting philosophy?

And then, you know how sometimes you're at the end of your rope and instead of doing any of those things you just BLURT something out and then cross your fingers it doesn't TOTALLY backfire?

I did the second one.

And it's been working, friends!

Every time something snotty, rude, or disrespectful pops out of my kid's mouth I say "5 sentences!" and they have to write 5 sentences on 'fill in the blank.'  Sometimes they're writing about why they shouldn't speak rudely to people, sometimes they're writing about why we all do chores or homework- the assignment can be easily adjusted to fit any scenario.  It completely deescalates the situation.  The worst we get is a low breathy "fine!" and a slap as the paper hits the table.  By the time they are done writing, they're not angry any more.  I'm not angry any more, because I feel like I've reacted appropriately.  And slowly but surely the attitude has started to fade.  I know for a fact this wouldn't work on all {of my} kids, but it works for this one and I LOVE it.

As a bonus, my kid gets to practice their writing skills and I get to find 'mess ups' in the art cabinet, which I think are adorable:

1 comment:

  1. Summarising is saying the same as your source but in your own words. The source must always be acknowledged, as with a quotation. More help with essays here .