The Fun Mom’s Discipline Handbook
No yelling, no time-outs, just amusing games to get your kids to do the right thing.
Ignoring What I’m Hearing
“Stop! Stop! Stop!” is the scariest thing you’ll ever hear from your child. Then there is the instance when you see your little child taking a sharp knife from the counter while you are screaming, “NO!” As a result of my excessive usage of these orders, “stop” and “no” became essentially indistinguishable from white noise.
After getting an idea from an old party game, I turned the music up and joined the youngsters in some dancing. Switching it off and saying, “Freeze!” was my next move. We were all paralyzed by the cold. Eventually, they were so skilled at doing it without music that it was difficult for me to continue. When I yelled “Freeze!” they all immediately stopped moving. After that, we went outside and practiced. For non-emergencies like Charlie’s putting eggs in his pocket or Kyla’s pushing her fingers in my ears, I kept “no” and “stop” in my pocket. Freeze became our “safe word,” one they linked with a pleasant activity, which made them feel less inclined to defy or ignore me when they heard it. In the end, it saved my life by giving me just enough time to rush to the boy in danger and protect him from harm.
Exploring and Changing Directions
It’s understandable that the phrase “taking turns” irritates young children. For example, a yellow bus with the stop sign is the only item that causes them to hear the word “stop” at all. Is anyone to blame for grabbing the toy and yelling, “mine?” Your child may believe that he will never again see that particular bus.
When Charlie was having difficulties in his playgroups, we came up with the concept of “taking turns.” My husband and I, Charlie and Kyla, sat in a circle. I held up a rolled-up sock, something that wasn’t particularly meaningful to Charlie, and stated that we would take turns. “May I have a turn when you’re done?” and “Thank you” were used to ensuring that everyone had a chance to hold the sock more than once. Charlie was still apprehensive about handing over the squeaky clown at playgroup, but he was more eager to do so now that he understood the language and knew he would get another turn.
Ransacking Drawers and Cabinets (also known as “Exploring”)
I put the bleach away and took care of all the other childproofing duties that go along with being a mom. There were were frying pans, flour and even rainbow sprinkle to contend with. I wanted Charlie to leave them alone for my own sanity, even though they weren’t harmful. I’d go crazy if I had to lock up everything in my drawers that might make a mess or make noise. It’s important to let your kids play, but how do you do it in a way that doesn’t leave you with a headache, a massive mess, and a mom wailing at a youngster who is just being…a kid?
The cabinets in my kitchen were either labeled “For Charlie!” with a big smile or “Not for Charlie!” with a huge sigh as I walked around with my two-year-old. After a few rounds, he started looking up to see what phrase I’d say instead of lunging forward to unlock a door. Isn’t it time to stop and forcefully shake his head no when you’re nearing a cabinet? (or, in rare cases, yes — the Tupperware, for example, was all his). In addition, this game is portable. As soon as we arrived at a friend’s house, I would spend a few minutes touring the most popular areas of the house, which would save me hours of rescuing Charlie from places that were “not for Charlie,” like the freezer or dog water bowl.
All the Wrong Places for Serious Silliness
Two of my friend, Cathy’s sons, are particularly goofy. This trio is well renowned for their Captain Underpants imitation, fart noises, and impromptu Three Stooges demonstrations. Nevertheless, she took them to restaurants and museums even when they were at their most silly ages. How did she manage to accomplish so?
She’d tell her lads to put their “sillies” in their pockets before they entered a serious establishment. Their only option would be to snatch the sillies by their skinny necks and stuff them out of the way. Because the sillies have a tendency to climb out and wind placed on the boys’ shoulders or earlobes, you’ll need to keep an eye out for them. When they are reminded, they rush back. It was Cathy who told me to stop playing this game when the sillies started running down the corridors, and you had to lock them in the car. Charlie and Kyla loved the “sillies in your pocket” game I played with them. It’s a lot of fun when I inform them they’re free to leave the museum. After that, the real fun can begin!